July 20, 2015
At a Glance
Bio The path that led her to this point
Prior to establishing Bright Family Lawyers, I worked as a family lawyer at top tier and boutique family law firms in Perth and Melbourne.
While in private practice, many parties commented that the stress they felt from the breakdown of their relationship and subsequent family law dispute was exacerbated by the uncertainty of their ongoing legal fees which often amounted to tens of thousands of dollars.
For many parties, being self-represented is not an option as they can't afford to engage a private lawyer. For others, representing themselves can be an empowering experience.
Regardless of their motivation, all parties who are self-represented would benefit from receiving legal advice and assistance at the critical stages of their matter.
My goal in establishing Bright Family Lawyers was to provide people who want to manage their own family law matter with affordable opportunities to obtain "behind the scenes" advice and assistance so they can better represent themselves in their family law matters (excluding financial agreements).
Unlike traditional law firms who charge on a 6 minute unit basis, I offer fixed fee packages to reduce the stress faced by parties from the uncertainty of the total cost of legal advice.
By knowing the total legal costs up front, parties can help budget and decide when in their matter they want to invest in obtaining that professional assistance.
Aside from Bright Family Lawyers, I am also the editor for WA and Victorian content for Lexis Nexis Family Law Practical Guidance module and work as a Policy Lawyer with the Law Institute of Victoria.
Q&A Insider advice & tips
What's been your greatest achievement to date?
My greatest achievement to date, apart from the successful resolution of some high profile family law matters, is the establishment of Bright Family Lawyers and becoming the WA editor for Lexis Nexis Practical Guidance.
What's been your biggest challenge so far?
My greatest challenge has been to foster networks and a client referral base after I moved interstate twice in 6 months.
Best lesson you've learned along the way?
The only thing I would have done differently is to meet co-working groups and find some physical space to hire for meeting rooms prior to paying fees for a commercial business to provide me with a fixed street address.
A website, book or resource that has helped you in your business or inspired you and why?
I effectively used LinkedIn to launch by business. Changing my notified everyone in my contact list that my new business was up and running even though my business website had been live for months. Most of my website activity and referrals have come from people clicking on my website link from LinkedIn.
Which person or brand do you most admire and why?
O'Sullivan Davies (family law firm in Perth) because of their well thought out marketing strategy and attention to systems to maximize efficiency and provide quality control.
What advice would you give someone starting an independent business in your industry?
Start networking well in advance of your business being launched. Think about what groups, associations you can join even if those groups have nothing to do with your field. Most business comes from word of mouth. Use Linked In or a similar website to formally capture those networks.
Finish this sentence
Everything changed for me when…
My husband and I (and our 2 dogs) packed up our house and moved from Perth to Tasmania (where we have no family or friends!) and then to Melbourne within 6 months.
That experience highlighted how little you actually need to be happy in life and how much you can achieve when you have to.
Moving to Melbourne made me realise how adaptable you are and what you are actually capable of once you stop relying on the "crutches" each of us subconsciously develop in our own day to day lives.