This Hunt & Hunt principal never thought she would stick with a legal career

Anna Shaw was afraid that legal practice would become dry in the long run

This Hunt & Hunt principal never thought she would stick with a legal career
Anna Shaw

Anna Shaw took up legal studies, but she didn’t think she’d stay with a legal career.

However, despite fears that practising as a lawyer would become dry in the long run, Shaw wound up finding an area of the law she liked, and just last month, she celebrated becoming a principal at Hunt & Hunt, where she has been for nearly a decade.

In this interview, Shaw shares what she considers to be the best part of being a team leader and talks about mastering the art of time management and efficiency through being a working parent.

What made you choose a career in law, and what's your favourite part of the job?

I fell into my first law job after completing the degree, but I never thought it would stick. I feared practicing in the law would be too dry to do long-term.

Thankfully, I found an area of law that is unusually client-facing; I often describe it as being very "human". My clients are, without a doubt, my favourite part of the job.

What has been your proudest accomplishment in the last year or so?

I am most proud of our team, particularly our junior staff. As a team leader, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing people you have worked with and mentored over a long period of time grow and develop into competent and passionate young lawyers.

What’s the biggest lesson you learned in the past year and what advice can you give fellow lawyers about it?

Last year, I returned to work after several months on parental leave. I was always skilled at time management and efficiency, but as a full-time working parent, I am now a master at it. My advice? If you want something done in a timely manner, ask a working parent.

What should the profession focus more on?

The legal industry is seeing a new generation enter the profession. Generation Z have different priorities and views on what they want from their job; to get the best out of our people, the profession needs to understand what motivates (and demotivates) them. Recognising that this is different for different people is key to getting the best out of our next generation of lawyers.

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?

As a busy, growing practice, we are always looking at ways to streamline our processes and better utilise our resources. Understanding the role of new technologies in this – their benefits and limitations – is both an opportunity and a challenge for our practice and the business of law in general.

What are you looking forward to the most in the coming year?

In the micro, I have a number of unusual cases I am looking forward to working on; I thoroughly enjoy that I can still learn something new every day. On a larger scale, we continue to grow our practice, which is always an exciting journey.

If you weren’t in law, what do you think you’d be doing as a career?

I suspect I would be utilising my other degrees in some capacity, but I am certain it wouldn't be as interesting or fulfilling.

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