Anne Marie Rice Presents: Brain Games!

Author Jelena Dmitrovic

Following her recent award of 2018 Leneen Ford AC Woman Lawyer of the Year at the WLAQ, and the speech that so many of us have been impacted by, we were all excited to hear from Anne-Marie Rice from Rice Naughton McCarthy and Rice Mediation and Dispute Resolution. Anne Marie begins her presentation ‘Brain Games’ with an insight into her background and the influence the many psychiatrists in her family have had on her both personally and professionally.

As the title suggests, Anne-Marie’s presentation centres on the brain and she speaks to us about the way in which the many different, intriguing facets of the brain shape our lives in so many different ways. Anne-Marie also reminds us that lawyers, or professionals more generally, can fall into a habit of neglecting their brains or using them unproductively through heightened stress or allowing themselves to be impacted by unhealthy influences in their lives.


How our brains work

To show us just how amazing our brains are, Anne-Marie explains through examples the way our brains are influenced in different ways by different factors, and how we can take advantage of these without any effort at all:

Colour: Each colour we see in our everyday lives triggers different responses in our brains. For example, Anne-Marie explains that the colour blue invites us to pay less attention and think more broadly whereas red invites us to think more narrowly and critically. Some colours even have the capacity to weaken our physical capacity.

Language: Anne-Marie explains that ‘language has a disproportionate influence on our thoughts and actions’. The language we use to describe what we see, determines what we see. For lawyers, this is key. The language we use will literally change the way we view a situation.

Environment: Nature offers a number of significant buffers against stress; being in nature encourages relaxation and reduces cortisol. Anne-Marie encourages us to consider how nature might influence the way you work and the way you interaction with your clients.

Where we are shapes who we are

Anne-Marie explains that our environment shapes us and it impacts the way our brains function: what is happening to us in our environment shapes the way that we behave and this becomes challenging in circumstances where our environment may be inconsistent with our personal beliefs and values. So, we must be alive to how our environment is constructed and how this is influencing our mental and emotional health, our behaviour and the relationships in our lives: if we find that our environment is having a negative impact on our lives, we make a conscious decision to change this.

The anthem for change

Anne-Marie wraps up her presentation with her Anthem for Change, the chorus of which is:

  ‘If its ever gonna change      

            We’ve got to come together me and you

            In a mo-woah-moment of truth’.

Not only did this inspire us and give us motivation to effect this change, it also got everyone up on their feet and dancing and set Day 2 of The Retreat in a really positive mood so much so that the presentation finished with a conga line snaking through the room.

Thanks to our partners for helping us bring The Retreat 2018 (a law conference like no other!) to you!

This is a photo of gorgeous Jelena Dmitrovic

Jelena Dmitrovic 

Blogger and Happy Law Student 

Hello! I’m Jelena, a final year law student at Griffith University and Law Clerk at Brisbane Family Law Centre! 

My path to law school took some twists and turns and I am grateful for the learnings I have gained along the way: embrace every opportunity that comes your way, even when is seems more like a setback than an opportunity, as nothing is ever wasted. 

Along my journey in law land I have enjoyed pursuing my interest in family law both at university and through volunteering at the FLPA Family Law Residential 2017, attending networking and professional development events, and partaking in work experience programs. 

In November 2017 I had the pleasure of joining the BFLC team and within this unique little firm I have made some great work friends and gained an incredible amount of practical experience in just a short time. 

I anticipate admission in 2019 and until then I look forward to graduating in November 2018, travelling, and of course spending as much time in the outdoors as possible.