I’m a partner at Shine Lawyers and the manager of a branch in Dalby, a regional town some 211 kilometres northwest of Brisbane. I’m also the department manager for Shine’s wills and estates team. I’ve been in my current position at Shine Lawyers for four years.
I received offers from several universities, but chose the Lismore campus of Southern Cross University, because they awarded me a scholarship that covered my full tuition fees. I studied a combined Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Law.
It’s actually quite a varied role. Shina has a national call centre, so we receive cases from across the country. Generally, anything that has to do with wills and estates gets put through to my team. On a daily basis, we deal with ordinary probate applications and more demanding cases (such as when people have many beneficiaries or complex assets). We also mediate when necessary, such as when a will is contested or an executor fails to properly perform his or her duties.
I’d been in Dalby for three years when the associate responsible for wills and estates left. I took over his portfolio and discovered that wills and estates law is a good match for my personality and priorities. Helping people through a difficult period of their life – either when a loved one has just passed away, or when they are preparing for their own passing – is immensely rewarding.
You’ve got to have empathy. After all, you’re asking people how much money they have, where they worked, who their family members and loved ones are - it’s a very intimate discussion, and they need to be able to trust you.