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Wills and estate planning means ‘helping people every day’

This firm principal has found that clients appreciate her life experience and challenges after she graduated law school at 50.

user iconLauren Croft 28 July 2022 SME Law
Wills and estate planning means ‘helping people every day’
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Adele Anthony is the principal of Your Legacy Lawyer, and she is a finalist in the Sole Practitioner of the Year category. Her firm’s also a finalist in the Regional Firm of the Year category at our upcoming Australian Law Awards. Speaking recently on The Boutique Lawyer Show, Ms Anthony reflected on her legal career to date, her journey to starting her own firm and revealed what she’s found has worked for her clients.

Ms Anthony started her career as a law clerk in 1982, before opening up her own female health club business. Then, at the age of 45, she decided to go back to school and get her law degree.

“I went and got a law degree and a bachelor of business as well from Griffith University on the Gold Coast and graduated when I turned 50, ended an 18-year relationship at the same time, and had a hysterectomy, and it was just like that was the year for me, a lot of reflection,” she said.

 
 

“I think it was September 2020 that I applied for my principal’s practising certificate, and I saw my first client in December 2020. So, we’re two years old at the end of this year. So, that’s really exciting. I didn’t think I’d make the first year, but here we are, halfway through our second year. So, that’s really exciting.”

Starting Your Legacy Lawyer was a combination of loving law and wanting to be her own boss, Ms Anthony explained.

“It was really important for me to go back and get that degree, and I’ve also got a master’s in law as well, which I went on to study because I love law. I love the client interaction, especially in estate planning, which is where I’ve decided to niche. It’s helping people every day, and I’m doing it in a different way,” she said.

“I don’t have a fancy office. I work from home, out of my car, over the computer, over the telephone, and not one single client has ever complained about that because I’m able to keep my fees down because of that. So, it’s really that client-centred interaction that I really like and helping them make sure that their assets are protected, and there’s not a nightmare at the end of their life when really it shouldn’t be.”

Your Legacy Lawyer is in the practice area of wills and estate planning, which Ms Anthony said was fueled by her own experiences with relationship breakdowns.

“I’ve actually been divorced twice, and the periods of time immediately after the end of those two relationships, you’re worried about how you’re going to provide for your children, how you’re going to provide for yourself, wanting to make sure that if something happens to you that your kids are going to be looked after. So, it’s always been something that I’ve been really passionate about. When I was in general practice down in Victoria, most of my work was in wills and estate planning, and I think I loved the reaction of clients when you get their documents signed and they go, ‘Oh my God, I’ve been wanting to do that for so long. Now I’ve got peace of mind.’

“That’s the reaction from so many clients. It’s something they’ve been wanting to do. They’ve been meaning to do, and they’ve just put it off, and I think that client interaction is what I really love the most, letting clients go out the door, feeling happy and having that peace of mind, especially women, it’s really, really important to me that they do protect themselves and their children,” she explained.

“I think clients appreciate the fact that I have been through it, those challenges, and that I’ve had to look after myself and make sure my assets are protected and make sure that if something happened to me, my children would be protected. I haven’t just come out of law school and high school and not had that life experience, and I think that that’s really come across with all my interactions with my clients is that they really appreciate the fact that I really do understand where they’re coming from.”

The transcript of this podcast episode was slightly edited for publishing purposes. To listen to the full conversation with Adele Anthony, click below: