Winton corporate services GM: 'Let's not class working hard as a negative thing'

Justine Hollows discusses critical aspects of being a great lawyer

Winton corporate services GM: 'Let's not class working hard as a negative thing'
Justine Hollows

For Justine Hollows, grinding through the boring stuff is key to developing as a lawyer. Discipline, motivation and endurance are three key aspects of what she describes as “the art of being a great lawyer”. 

In the second part of this interview, the Winton corporate services GM shares her advice for fellow lawyers, how the work/life balance concept can be taken disingenuously, and what medical career she might have taken up if she hadn’t gotten into law. 

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

My advice wouldn’t be anything unique – just that good old recommendation to soak in the new knowledge, take a minute to enjoy it where you can, and don’t be afraid to seek advice from those that are the experts. You can’t be, or know, everything and if you are working with genuinely trusted advisors, the knowledge sharing and relationship building is a real win-win for everyone. 

What should the profession focus more on?  

The New Zealand legal profession has had a long history of being held in high regard. Part of the art of being a great lawyer is the discipline and motivation to work hard and with endurance on big and complex projects. Working hard, sometimes on boring jobs and for long hours from time to time is integral to developing the necessary skills, resilience and work ethic as the foundation for the future of a young lawyer.  

It frustrates me that this is seen as unacceptable to some on, in my opinion, a fairly disingenuous use of the “work life balance” concept. The grind doesn’t last forever, and the balance comes – as long as there is mutual respect, let’s not class working hard as a negative thing.  

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

Continuing to work with great people on exciting projects! 

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

I found this really hard to answer. Perhaps, based on my TV watching history, I would secretly love to have been a character in the Roy family on Succession or the Dutton family on Yellowstone. In reality, I did contemplate “something medical” – a forensic pathologist was at the top of the list, but the work chat would probably not have been quite so upbeat… 

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