Lisa Fowler's love for property law transcended the longest lockdown in the world
Many women find it difficult to go on parental leave without their risking careers, let alone those in executive roles, but property partner Lisa Fowler proves it is more than possible working at Kalus Kenny Intelex (KKI).
Going back to the job wasn’t just something Fowler expected, but was excited about given her love for property law. However, she acknowledges the case isn’t the same for some lawyers who end up leaving the profession from burnout. For Fowler, mental wellness is a matter of finding the right home in the plethora of firms to choose from through trial and error “to see what best suits your personality and lifestyle.”
In this July interview, Fowler shares about her love for stories, the true value of legal services and reconnecting with colleagues and clients in person.
What made you choose a career in law, and what's your favourite part of the job?
I love meeting interesting people and hearing their stories. I also really enjoy reading and writing. Being a lawyer enables me to do all these things. The best part of being a lawyer is definitely the people you get to meet. Clients, other consultants, my colleagues – being a lawyer opens the door to meeting lots of new people and enjoying their diverse personalities.
What has been your proudest accomplishment in the last year or so? Or what’s the biggest lesson you learned in the past year and what advice can you give fellow lawyers about it?
I returned from parental leave at the end of last year with 3 preschool aged children. Being able to return to work and quickly re-establish my relationships with my clients and colleagues (as well as running a chaotic household) is something that I am very proud of.
What should the profession focus more on?
Mental health and burnout. I see so many of my super talented peers leaving the profession to choose different career paths. I often think it’s because they simply didn’t find the right home. There are so many different types of way to practice law these days – traditional firms, new law firms, big firms, small firms, sole practitioner, in-house, government and the list goes on and on. It’s really just about trial and error to see what best suits your personality and lifestyle.
What are the challenges you expect in your practice, and in the business of law in general, going forward? What challenges are particularly pressing in the country’s legal industry?
I think the biggest challenge is educating clients about the true value of legal services. I specialise in real estate law and the transactional aspects of this area of law are becoming increasingly commoditised. Nowadays, many legal documents are widely available and accessible through online means for clients to purchase and complete themselves, so trying to educate clients about our value (and the fact that they are not just paying for one document but rather our years of education and experience) is a challenge.
What are you looking forward to the most in the coming year?
After living in the state that endured the longest lockdown in the world, it’s very simple – I am looking forward to connecting with people again in person! I am trying to see as many of my clients face-to-face as possible rather than relying on video conferencing. I am also trying to be in the office at least 75% of the time to reconnect and spend more time with my colleagues.
If you were given an opportunity to spend a day with anyone (living or dead), who would it be and why?
Jodi Picoult, who has been my all-time favourite author for years and years. She writes the best pop fiction novels, which are seriously impossible to put down.