Megan Sweetlove Presents: Thriving in Law- A Quite Perspective!
Author Jelena Dmitrovic
The wonderful Megan from Sweetlove Family Law describes herself as an introvert and to give us some context to her presentation, we learn that Megan does not particularly enjoy public speaking. To start her journey towards overcoming this, Megan has set herself the goal of presenting at 6 public speaking events this year and The Club Retreat 2018 is one of those events. How lucky we are!
To give us some insight into her career background, Megan explains that she decided to start her own practice because she found that the usual 9-5 was not meeting her needs in terms of her family and other commitments outside work. Megan really got stuck in to setting up her practice, making her own letterhead and business cards (none of which matched, which Megan reminds us it is okay!)
In the early stages of her business Megan became pregnant with her third child and, after some thoughtful consideration, she decided to refer her clients to other lawyers. Megan tells us she is glad that she made this decision as it allowed her to focus on enjoying her pregnancy and caring for her two young children whilst her husband was doing fly-in-fly-out work. Following her pregnancy, Megan restarted her practice and her husband took on many of the home duties which allowed Megan to focus on building her business.
Once she had rebuilt her practice, Megan decided that she would be a sole practitioner and would not take on any staff. This meant that Megan could have flexibility in her work hours and ensure she was available for her family. Megan also decided not to take on new clients; whilst this may be hard in the first few instances, Megan explains that it is okay to refer clients elsewhere if you feel you can not take on new work or if you feel like a smaller client load would allow you to focus on other things that you really want to do.
Megan tells us that part of her quieter perspective to practice also involves connecting with people one-on-one rather than going to networking events.
Megan's tips on adopting a quieter perspective in your practice
- Know what you are doing and why you are doing it. And importantly, don’t put pressure on yourself to do what others are doing. Don’t compare yourself to everyone else – it may make you feel pressured to be someone you are not or do something you don’t want to do;
- It’s okay to stay small. Your business does not have to grow, you do not have to hire, you can keep your business the way you want;
- Create a space you want to go to everyday. Make your office space a place you want to spend time, and it is likely your client’s will too;
- Don’t be afraid to lower your standards regarding what your home life should be like – it is ok if that bed doesn’t get made;
- Include your partner in your plans – if you can, this will help!
- Work out what you need to sustain your lifestyle and strive for that – at a conference that is all about innovative thinking, Megan reminds us to be practical when considering our financial goals, and consider what we need to keep our households functioning year to year;
- Thank the people who help you, often! By card, by email, by text, and goodness even by telephone! And don’t worry if you do not thank someone straight away – remember, it is never too late to say thanks!;
- Don’t undervalue yourself as a sole practitioner – your skills are no less valuable than if you were a partner in a law firm, so remember to value your knowledge, and your skills;
- Slow down – in your practice, and in life;
- Back yourself!
Regardless of whether we are sole practitioners, or working in a big firm, Megan’s tips are gold!
Thanks to our partners for helping us bring The Retreat 2018 (a law conference like no other!) to you!
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.