Graduate Theory

Michael Gill | On Building a Long Term and Sustainable Career

February 08, 2022 James Fricker Episode 16
Graduate Theory
Michael Gill | On Building a Long Term and Sustainable Career
Show Notes Transcript

Michael Gill has worked at global law firm DLA Piper in Sydney for over 50 years, taking roles as Chairman, Managing Partner and Consultant.

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Show Notes
00:00 #16 Michael Gill
01:17 Intro
02:32 Gilly's Experience at University
08:17 What are the articles of clerkship?
12:57 The Start of Gilly's Career
17:06 Difference Between a Solicitor and a Barrister
18:53 Gilly's First Job in Law
25:34 What is work?
32:03 Gilly's Favourite Lawyers
36:29 When Money isn't fulfilling you
44:50 When Gilly Found Himself
51:45 Gilly's experience overseas 
58:52 Is Gilly Driven or Relaxed
01:07:42 How Gilly Dealt with Imposter Syndrome
01:15:52 Gilly's Rituals and Practices
01:25:30 The most interesting case that Gilly has worked on
01:32:33 Gilly's Advice for New Graduates
01:41:47 How To Contact Gilly
01:42:37 Outro

James:

hello, and welcome to graduate theory. Today's episode is a little bit different to an ordinary episode for two main reasons. The first of these is it. It's not just me hosting the show. I've brought on a friend of mine, whose name is Peter. And we, uh, we've been friends for many years and he has come on to help me cohost this show as he has a little bit more domain experience with our guest on the show today. The second thing that is different about today's episode is that we have a much longer episode this episode. Yeah, it goes for about an hour and a half, which is a little bit longer than what they usually go for. This episode can be split into kind of two parts. The first half focuses a little bit more on the law and what my guest has been able to do in the law. And in the second half, we focus a little bit more on the soft skills and the things that actually got him to, where he was able to get to. This is a fascinating interview. This man that we've got on the show today. One of the, one of Australia's most accomplished lawyers over the last 50 years. this is truly special and it's fantastic to be able to sit down with him today, but without further ado, please enjoy. Hello, and welcome to graduate theory. Today's episode is a little bit different. I have a co-host with me today and his name is Pete. He's been a good friend of mine for many years and is a recent law graduate from the university of Adelaide. Please welcome pate to the show today.

Peter:

Thanks for having me on fricken looking forward.

James:

Perfect. And to introduce the guests tonight, our guest today is a Titan of the law industry in Australia. Since graduating university in 1970, our guest has been here they're in every way with regards to the war he's worked at well now known as DLA Piper in Sydney for over 50 years taking different roles such as chairman managing partner and is now considered. He's been the president of the law society of new south Wales, the president of the law council of Australia, he established the Australian insurance law association is now a life member of the law society of new south Wales, affectionately known as Gilley. Please welcome Michael Gill

Michael:

thanks, James. Thanks data.

James:

guide to have you on today. Gilly. Yeah, I'm really excited to chat. I know, paid us as well but one thing that we want to start off with is going way back, winding back the clock to when you're in university and in particular talking about some of those challenges and you just your general experience at university. And are there any moments from university that really stick out to you?

Michael:

well, yes, many. And just to set the scene a bit coming out of a working class background in Sydney and sort of procure Catholic schools with huge classes and lots of decisions. And being the first in my family to go to university got a good result at school, thanks to the brothers who told us. And our comms scholarship got into first year Lawrence in the university and at a pretty young age. But what I'm on pretty quickly was that studying at university was very different to studying in a very regimented disciplined hospital. You're really on your own. And as a result of that and not having those learning skills and maybe some nights who like to visit the pub to match and play football, I managed the first year more. I got one subject out of four. I went to the news agency on the relevant morning and opened the Sydney morning, Herald devastated to see the result. I'm sure why I was surprised, but that's an outreach. Had to go home and tell the folks of a more devastated the night. Shy to tell the night has all of those sorts of things, the broader family, but ultimately I decided to go back, give it another shot, pay the fees. Second time round. Great grandmother helped me financially, which was good. And ultimately I came to appreciate one of the most valuable lessons in my life. And that is I had, yeah, doesn't have to be, and I'm not suggesting you can sort of get to this really quickly or easily in your life, but there's a great deal of learning in everything we do, including what we are tempted to only think of as embarrassing five years of time. And ultimately, hopefully we come to see them as, as positive things in a way that we can share with other people equally, importantly, positive things that can help shape the people that I am. We are because it's not the only thing. In our lives, one failure would be incredible. I mean, that's not capable of belief. It's just not real. Is it? So the sooner you sort of get into loving yourself, including your fire ideas. Yeah. The more humongous a life. I think we have it, that didn't quite work. Let me get on with it. Some other, otherwise that does that. And that I went through then, second year, third year, fourth year law, or a bit of a breeze. And so that was the start really of the academics of law. And of course in third year, Laura, I had to find articles of clerkship those coming from my background, that a guy in was a huge, huge challenge, which didn't put me off that put a lot of resilience.

Peter:

Yeah, I think that's a good thing, especially for people like Fricker and lock myself to hear kind of when you're at the very start of your journey and in your career stuff, you might go it off those failures in your head to be the, be all and end all and kind of feel like the sky's falling in. So it's, it's a good reminder of parcel to. Just remember that, the sun come up again and keep moving forward. And eventually, hopefully we will treat those failures kind of in the same way that you've come to treat them now as great learning experiences and things that you wouldn't change. I'm sure you wouldn't go back to first year university now and pass with flying colors. I feel like you, you'd think that having that experience made you into the person you are and helped your career be what it was.

Michael:

Yeah, it's, it's interesting that the next phase of uh, um, you know, articles of blockchain back in those days was like an apprenticeship. You had the third year and fourth year law, you needed a job in a law firm. And if you had lots of relatives who were lawyers and judges, or you went to one of those sort of GPS schools, sort of stuff, well networks, which tells you that they opposed them very, very quickly, but coming out of Morris brothers Paramatta, I think I wrote about 420 letters of application together job. I had about 42 interviews before I actually started the predecessor firm to my current one on 25th of March, 1968. So I started writing in August sixties. Evan bought the job towards the end of March 68, but the interesting thing was that the particular job I got. What's the one that actually made arrest in my life. That would be Tom. I got a knock back or somebody did respond to a letter. I now see that it was more meant to be, it wasn't meant to be until like February or early March 60. I, when I read the ad in the Sydney again in the Sydney morning, Herald from a little firm called franca Devonport in Banton, I applied to them, my actually got that job and that was one of the most crucial steps in my career and I'm old. So I look like I was my early and my early correspondence. And those earlier interviews, what I did is I would just not get appropriate for.

Peter:

yeah. And can you you've touched on it, but can you maybe explain. And a little bit for our audience what the articles of clerkship involved as obviously now that articles are no longer the process that law students and law graduates go through to start their career. So could you maybe just explain for some of our listeners that maybe don't, aren't fully aware what exactly was involved in articles of clerkship and kind of what lessons you learned from your articles that you think might still be applicable to law students and recent law graduates?

Michael:

yeah, either in a simple expression, practical, legal training.

Peter:

Yeah.

Michael:

It was before we had institutes providing that colleges of law and. so it was, it was very serious stuff. My master solicitor who's only died recently. John meant, and I had to appear before the performance story of the Supreme court. And we were both sworn in to a very serious document, faulty article supply sheet. And it described what the, my master solicitor would do for me by way of training. And it described what I would commit myself to like, not pinching the stamps.

Peter:

Yes, very important. One, two, a it's.

Michael:

Well, it was because it's, it's an example of honesty and integrity, which is just so critical. Well profession and John and his fellow partners 13 in the first line. The first Catholic that had ever employed, which was just interesting. but, I took very seriously their role and the most is Todd. He had produced the little booklet, all the article, plot handbook, and page one had a heading called Agworld theme. And I think the last page had a heading called mills probate and administration. And between the two, you covered the practical aspects of everything. I was lucky because I took it seriously. Whereas I had other friends who spent two years in firms where they did nothing but discharge walk. Others spent most of their time doing photo copy or filing documents in outline that copying is for being those, if it's part of a discovery process, it's so important that it, yeah. And filing documents is important as well, but it's not the full thing. And I really got the full thing from very, very generous people. And it only went out because it was an explosion of law graduate stores to late sixties, early seventies and not every lawyer was a good teacher. Doesn't follow up. So we needed to find another way within the profession in new south Wales of giving this Bible practical, legal training. Yeah. I set up the Leo custom Institute in Victoria. We set up the quality of Florida, new south Wales off this senior max Fisher old school, the whole at the university of Toronto, probably the bitch. I had it pretty well covered for you.

Peter:

Yeah. Yeah. And it is just interesting to touch on, I guess, because. You're not myself. I've just finished practical, legal training last year, got admitted last year. So it's just very different to what sort of the process was for me, but, and also hearing about it. It was still very similar. And even though that's a bit paradox, I guess it's more taking it away from the Institute while we still had our practical, work experience requirements. And I guess you just were doing that all the time kind of thing two years every day and getting real, working on real world cases, real world examples. And yeah, I think it would be good if we have that podcast star off, still a lot of law students today, the, from second, third year, even getting a. Positions as Clarks and farms. So they're still getting similar sorts of experiences to that.

Michael:

It's so important to get the practical aspects for the early stage, because all of that training is equally important for your life as a whole. And I'll just one of my very first jobs as an article clock was I was the load boy on the totem pole in one of the very first big corporate prime cases in Australia. It involves the collection of a company called IHG. And I had three roles in that team where we were defending two of the directors obviously in charge of photocopying and I had to make nine copies of everything on eight Chan photocopy machine that all elect like. What type of whatever loss you got, the chemical stuff that disappeared off for years. But I had to do all of that, the most terrifying of my roles. I mean, absolutely terrifying. Whilst at the morning tea adjournment, I had to go to the Queen's council who was running the case, right. List to me. And I would say misdemeanors, what would you like to for lunch? Because I had to go across the road, Taylor square in Sydney to what was thought of as the best place to buy your sandwich, coffee, and being Sydney in the late sixties, traditionally, a Greek Catholic and Mr. would always tell me what he wanted and then I'd get the other law. I'd have to flip out and make sure it was ready on there in the council room at one o'clock because we only had the hour and. So that was heightened to interrupt him because he was not happy to be around as well. And then when court adjourned at four or four 15, I had to hang around all the transcript of evidence to be typed down. It was at about nine o'clock that evening that I would go to the court reporting branch, and I'd go back to the office to make nine copies of a transcript of evidence for the day. And then I would drop them off to all the lawyers and barristers involved in the case. And I'd be back to walk on that evening by about 11 or 1130 and on the trial, six 30 or seven the next morning. So that's like, sure. What? That was just the routine.

Peter:

wow. That's a sudden I'm in house myself. So it's certainly not something I've yet been exposed to, but it sounds very, very full on not much sleep would have been happening in those days for you.

Michael:

Oh, no. And that, that was a big part of legal practice and still is for some people, but walking technology it's it can be good to stop, but it has certainly taken a lot of the, the, the, the non-necessary torture out of the way we can have this school.

Peter:

Oh yeah, definitely glad that I feel all young law students, law graduates have to do their fair share of photocopying scanning and that sort of thing, but I'm glad it definitely, yeah, it was on a more modern machine. Then maybe if we could just jump forward a little bit to perhaps when you finished your articles what was sort of the process there? So you still would have. admission and informally become a solicitor embarrassed or of a Supreme court in new south Wales. And then kind of, where did your career go from there in those early, early days? Post admission.

Michael:

Well, you don't leave where a non fusion state.

Peter:

Okay.

Michael:

So I was admitted as a solicitor

Peter:

I am.

Michael:

and brought that of the Supreme court of new south Wales. Not to be confused with a barista. Yeah. We get people who like to dress up in drag and other things. So

James:

and what's, what's the actual difference between a solicitor and Abass typically, I'm not too familiar with these things.

Michael:

Giant sexy, challenging question full with a slight degree of cynicism about them. But effectively about us, the signs, the role of the bar and spends most of their time being advocates before the courts. So listeners can do the same thing and forever have done it in the minor courts five years. But otherwise we are in the pulpit side of things, the documents of wills and pry bites and advice and writing advice as setting up corporations, all of that other sorts of stuff. I think in south Australia, when I started you probably didn't have an independent bar back in the sixties and the seventies. It was, know, I think the bar associations in the fused like Western stridor in south Australia, you were all admitted to solicit. And only the best barristers were in the law for like, I have many of these people I still around, but yeah, Joan DUSA, for example, was in these fathers from the form Doosan, the Gregory, the a specialist barrister. Then I think the judge, they go for it. But others like Ted Molly gun and such like became judges largely thereafter because they barest. Uh, but that, that was the big difference than the full white spade in this device, in the Australian professional about what's the best system. I think they both go off to being admitted by the court and signing the court role that afternoon. We had a bit of a party at the law society where we will give them. And become members of the loss, the spot. And then I continued my work at the little thermos prank identity. I think I was admitted in August of 1917. And I, then I on a great leap forward in income. I mustn't forget that pushed your articles were $7 a week. Second year I was $15 a week. Now you want us to Cilicia that was it. $5. So to this day that remains the biggest specific jump in income I've ever experienced.

James:

That's amazing.

Michael:

It was probably fortunate because about two months before I was admitted in August, 1970, like I was married on the 4th of July 19. As a 15 year in family dollar a week in club. So then I was working away, very broad range practice, but my master was, although John Wayne, my masters was developing quite a reputation in insurance for the whole plan, knew that he had a great love for town planning. Yeah, he's real passionate in life was not the law, but it was his stats food. And then I think there was probably some sense of obligation there. His dad was a die hard member of the liberal party and John was a labor party. So the Columbia station. So, um, it put us in the early part of 1971, I think it was in about April. That young John's did to me, he was retiring partnership. It actually decided to make the big leap to go down and Britain for work for the national African development. And we should love, and in a funny sort of why I thought to myself, well, if this guy's a lead source of my work will be blown. So I better start looking for a job in a couple of weeks life where he's dead, pulled me around to his office, his office. He said to me, he said, I understand, my son's living the floor last week. Yes. He said, now I understand you think you must get another job last week. Well, I think that that Patil clientele this week, he is not sure where they will go, but they said to me, well, I've spoken to, and he mentioned a couple of. And I said that they, more than happy to leave. They work for them as long as you are. So you go, went through the stale. I don't know whether he was a suspect. I suspect he was totally bullshitting, maybe close. He didn't want to have to go through the process of hiring somebody else. Well, my boy didn't feel good. And what followed felt even better because he added without any prompting on my part. And I suppose if you're going to take on that responsibility, you will need to be a partner.

Peter:

Wow. Yeah.

Michael:

yes. Mr. And, so, I would have been telling my wife who was about to give birth to our first child, which she did on the 3rd of July off rod became a plaque on the 1st of July,

Peter:

Wow. Pretty good.

Michael:

empty. Absolutely. And that job was also on the young lawyers committee at the law society. And they invited me to take his seat. So my career thereafter in once you might loosely refer to as legal politics and related things also got to start from that. So if you go back to what I said a while ago, wasn't that fortunate that I didn't get the job offer when I did.

Peter:

Yeah. Yeah. It is incredible. Sometime those sorts of things, what you think, and it's just a good lesson to anybody at the moment. I do friends. I know myself that might be getting disheartened a little bit. I've had a few knock backs from a few applications, both within the legal profession and outside the legal profession. But yeah, it is just a good lesson to hear. I mean, I'm not sure. How many people are fortunate enough to that, the job that they do end up getting them being made a partner within a year of admission, but still it's a good lesson that where, where you end up is where you're supposed to end off every, every knock back is for a reason. And just, you've got to keep pushing forward and trusting in yourself and in what you're doing. And it mentally, you end up where you need to be.

Michael:

at Pedro. I think it underscores the importance of patience

Peter:

Yeah.

Michael:

and the job professional career is not the totality of what your life is about. It goes on. We also learned in the decade of the seventies, that one of the things most valuable to me was variety. I needed to do a lot more than simply spend my time working for clients. Finding solutions to legal things.

Peter:

and I think that is, I mean, especially today, there's a big push around them having a bit of a, a work-life balance, I guess. And so it's interesting to hear as well. I mean, I'm based in Adelaide. So our perception of Sydney is that in Sydney, if you're a partner in a firm in Sydney, you, you just work. That's all, that's all you do with your life. So it's good. I guess. I mean, I'm quite comfortable here. I don't really have any plans or intentions to move at this point, but it is good to hear that either. Back then. And I'm sure today that, it is possible to have that sort of variety and balance in your life. You're not, I think it is very important to not, who you are in your career is obviously important, but it's not the be-all and end-all of who you are as a person. You want to be Michael Gill, the great man, not just Michael Gill with a great lawyer.

Michael:

We, we shot used the word bright in sports. Not unless it's in relation to YouTube, but just let them give us a question. They find my, what for you is work. How can you think of the word?

James:

Yeah, I think, work is almost sort of what you're employed to do in some sense, like, whatever your sort of job is, that's like, or even, doing things for an employer would be, would be work. And even, I guess you could maybe extend that if you were doing like this podcast for me is probably work as well. It's just a bit more, it's not more, it just is fun. So it doesn't feel like work. And even though it's not necessarily for anyone, I probably would still fall under that. But I think if you were looking at it from a career sense, then I would say, yeah, if it's for the employees, That's what

Peter:

I guess in a careers. And so I, I agree with Frisco, but I think. There are a lot of other ways you could on this, a bit of a lawyer answer, and most other ways you could interpret the word. I, I play soccer, that could be considered going to training, trying to improve. That's a type of work. I don't think it's limited to just rocking up then doing tasks for an employer, I guess. So there's lots of other ways you can interpret the word work, I guess. I don't know. It's however you want to think about it really? I don't know. I don't know if that really answers your question too much, Michael, but.

Michael:

Very good answers. And it's the sort of stuff that will be revealed to you personally, in your own circumstance with a lot of guys, all giants by news. Do you prefer James will freak out?

James:

James is, is fine. Two of my close friends can be out. Cause we have a few James is in our friendship group, so it's tended to be easier. Yeah.

Peter:

Oh, yeah.

Michael:

I'm totally distracted by make the frigates. So James, when you say do something for your employer, can you think of examples where you do something, which is only for your employer? In other words, you have personally nothing invested.

James:

Hmm. Oh yeah. I'd say, yeah, it's a good point. And I think, even if it's, I'm just thinking of like a basic task, like, sending some emails or things like that, you're still, it's still a mutually beneficial relationship in that. Like they're paying you to do that. So that there's something in it for you in that sense, but even in terms of a career progression web looking at it, I guess there's a ways in the things that you do as still driving a career forward and maybe make you more able to be employed. What I do other things for other people. So I guess there's growing as skillset is also something that is beneficial to yourself as well.

Michael:

Yeah, that was one of the woods I was hoping you would get to just to get the money for a while. But yeah, even things like a simple email has the potential to develop you around knowledge skills, and. Every interaction if you think of it that way. So coming back to my response to you in a funny sort of way, I don't see any more work-life balance because as I've had more time to read new things, since I retired from the partnership in 2008, I now see work very much as what you do whilst you waiting for the real joys in your life. And once you are in that space, I promise you, you will never think of it as work a guy. When you largely I'll answer a hundred percent, I've done like a, I have a book, but when you are a large. All of the thought that I really love doing this stuff. Yeah. This is Nate.

Peter:

Okay.

Michael:

I love the people that I'm with. I love the opportunities that it's giving me to develop as a human being. Yeah. It makes me return to my family every day, a really decent human being. I no longer have any notions of leaving the work at the front door. So it makes sense.

Peter:

Yeah.

Michael:

And it's,

Peter:

Strive forward.

Michael:

and it's not easy. It's odd because there's so much in life that completes without attainment of that spice. And, I could start to. Some of the awful challenges that fuel generation adds about lifestyle and getting the sort of money that enables you to live in a particular way, and then being locked in your selves and those close to your about whatever else I do in life. I need a job that returns me. I a minimum of X dollars every month. And when young, when young lawyers picks up your point, which is going to look for honesty to it, when young lawyers from big law firms come to me and stay all my STIs admission of five-year, this isn't really for me. And I had to tell my parents, a lot of y'all in the M and a department of three Hills. So Dale I pop or something. I hate it. I absolutely heightened. And I cited them having fought and this money too, because if money is not terribly important to you, it was a lawyer, the world's your oyster. But if the first thing you have to do is get a tick on not less than a hundred thousand dollars a year or $200,000 a year, or being on that slippery ladder to chop the ship. What will that stop? If all of that's there, then all you've done is closed off a huge number of options, which might not even want to include your authentic stone.

Peter:

yeah.

Michael:

And if you're the site, if we think about three of the lawyers I admire most in life and people think they they're one of the choice to have the choices, to really see one of the lots as a bit strange. But I liked them because two of them have got really nice. That's my hat, my Gandy. Yeah. Mikhail, Gorbachev, and Nelson Mandela old, truly great loyal.

Peter:

and

Michael:

Y

Peter:

interesting. Definitely not where I thought you were going with that to answer why

Michael:

where did you think I was going?

Peter:

not? I don't know where I thought you were going, but it's I guess there,

Michael:

Oh, this is Pedro. This is, this is alignment of candor and honesty. You can give me nines and I don't get offended. But did you think I was going to mention people who were really successful in the corporate world or something?

Peter:

yes. I thought probably my veins on the high court, No, I honestly have no idea why. I know that I can understand why as a people, you wouldn't mind, I'd be very interested to hear your, your reasoning as to why they are lawyers that seen.

Michael:

well, because the law is a very special calling with privileged, hugely privileged. Yeah. We, we have the opportunity to stand up in the most serious of places where lives are at risk. I am speaking on behalf of another human bank I'm representing this person. Whatever is, even in basic pro bono work that we can do around the suburbs about apple cities. Yeah. That trusted exists. Hopefully still broadly the case, although our profession is always blind muscle. Perfect. Yeah, the, the right that the law gives us to keep straight forward what our clients tell us legal professional privilege and confidentiality are huge parts of what we do and and not enough of a number. Just tell you the profession for what it is. Largely as a mail ticket to a significant and like to sit on a pedestal and be looked up to and to the hype is that we are some very sort of significant person entitled to praise and gratitude and all of that. It's not, so that's not reasonable.

Peter:

no, I'll do it. I'll do it definitely with that point there. And I guess. Is a perception people have within the profession, but also outside of the profession. So we'd hope that over time, and as you touched on, it's not always blameless and it's not always without falling. I think particularly lately that's been highlighted quite significantly in the media, but, hopefully I think that's a great point for just, someone like myself to keep in mind as I progress throughout my career in the profession to, I'd tell them what you were saying before, just to make sure you're in it for the right reasons. And if you don't get enjoyment out of it, and if money's not that important to you, you can find other opportunities apart from climbing the, the, from Stripe. So maybe if we could just touch on some of the things you've maybe done outside of the. On that topic kind of, or what advice you'd give to those young lawyers that come up to, and if they say that they're not, money's not that important to them. How, how do you, what sort of advice do you give them to perhaps looks outside the traditional firm structure to find fulfillment in the profession?

Michael:

Yeah. It comes back a little bit to what we've been talking about. I think the starting point must always be to willing to find our authentic selves and it don't start with what's available in the law. You stop with the doula, right? That's an everyday question for all of us. Should you don't get an answer like in a business plan where you say in the next month, I'm going to do an analysis of who I am. And then I will insert that into that paragraph before values mission, that sort of thing. It's, It's, a constant quest for who am I? Why. That makes me the most joyful person I can be. And, you, you get the answer to that question. I say that an answer that's not comfortable when you've done your study at university and you've started to practice the LOA and you're getting an actual taste for what you're doing. One basic thing is do I want to spend my life in a back room analyzing and producing Piper or actually walking with people? Well, I don't want to spend yeah. Where I'm on most comfortable with. When do I actually get this feeling within myself that I can do? Not just the most good in some sort of hairy fairy sense, but what I can do, the stuff that really gives me the Lafayette. So that, you get to 74, like men, you can look back and say, well, I didn't entirely wasted. You don't actually waste anything because it's all the learning stuff. But if I come very specifically to what you're asking me, then yeah, obviously the world needs good practicing lawyers in private law firms who are going to experience a lot of pressure because the people who run those firms have different sorts of motivations. Some of them are very keen about the value of equity and whether they make $2 million a year, some of them are caught up with comparisons like that. The partners at Mallesons Mike Molden, the partners at allergens or something like that. I don't know why that happens, but a lot of what happens with. A little bit of our sentence, selfishness and Wharton get, go, all that stuff. but then you get this great explosion that had in other spaces, you know, millions of lawyers around the world who put their lives on the line, the human lights. Yeah. The incarcerated kids in homeless wall. Yeah. The thousands of lawyers in prison in India, a lot of them alongside their colleagues who are academics at universities or or social workers. Yeah. All the people you can go back to Soviet history, Nazi his, yeah. Who, most retina lodge degrades the members of this profession, even though others office, I helping them prop up their corrupt. Right. They're facilitating that's the power in many lives, it's like the Donald Trump moods to ensure that he's well, like try every day that the basic decency of those judges and their ethics and their response to our calling will come home to bite misses and chocolate. So that probably may be in appropriately give some a bit too much in politics, but again, I've got to share with ethanol that copy. Yeah. I didn't think about the U S president. So I think if somebody like, yeah, a lawyer who came from Springfield, Illinois, you can probably think of many famous lawyers from Springfield, Illinois.

peter-2022-1-26__10-7-47:

I

Peter:

think I've got one on my head. Abraham Lincoln

Michael:

Absolutely. But do you remember anything he did or some lawyer?

Peter:

narcissism.

Michael:

Nah. You remember something else and you don't remember a single submission to a court, but you do remember the Gettysburg address.

Peter:

Yeah.

Michael:

And if you don't remember the Gettysburg address and if you want to have a little offline the lesson in beautiful, the, a short writing go and look at it up a lot. Yeah. You think, I think of John Kennedy came in in 1960 and set up the peace Corps and I beautiful speeches about asking what you can do for your country rather than what companies should be doing for you. And I thought Neil Stryker understood that message last I'm doing about this. Yeah. Why couldn't I do better. Rolling again. COVID test for excavation. Yeah, I'm a journalist on the, I, they say I've got the right to bitch about everything sort of is a human rights movement at the moment. Climate change, the lawyers who are caught up in this right. Fighting for climate change and the role that the law play in that

Peter:

yeah.

Michael:

I now, since I retired from the cognition of divisive myself explicitly, but without a doubt, it's become probably by no teaching and then violence the certificate in the third world, countries of south east Asia. I absolutely loved it. I learned so much from those kids, but they weren't able to, I can't teach them the domestic war, but I can talk to them about the rule of law access to justice, the role of pro bono place and all the skill stuff.

Peter:

Yeah.

Michael:

Yeah. You can go into government, you go into corporations, you can be an example. If you see examples of bad behavior, You can try and change it. If you can't change it, you can resign and go and get another job somewhere else, making it clear to anyone who wants to listen. What your values and principles were the target at that point, bake out, being comfortable with the establishment. One of the great things about lawyers is that we know the law. We can have a respectful conversation with a placement. When we think that that long beyond their role, just talk through, we can stand up in the Courtney side with respect, your honor. I disagree with what you've just said.

Peter:

Yeah,

Michael:

Yeah.

Peter:

no. And I think you did touch on a very important point, especially for people and ourselves at the start of our careers that, the law can be involved with. Mentioned that the impact that the law can have on that I'm already in Adelaide, there's a big focus on the space industry here. And what's opening up here with the space agency. That's going to open up here and that's a big thing. If you're interested in that, the field of space law, what governs, our relations in space, what governs, what you can do in space, where you can leave. It's, there really isn't any limit to what you can do. So I think it is a very helpful advice that you've given. Just try and find out what it is that makes you, you, what drives you, what your values and core beliefs are, because if you want to make it happen, the law really can. It does touch every aspect of our lives.

James:

Hmm. Yeah. And can I just jump in there, Gilly, I wonder if there's any X times that you've had where you, you were doing something and you felt like it wasn't, it wasn't you and you like it was in speaking about that or authenticity and things like that. Was there any moments for yourself where you perhaps got involved with something and you will you realize it wasn't for you and then you you sort of got rid of it or that maybe there was something that you realized it was for you and you really pushed into it more. Is there any examples that you can give for that?

Michael:

a few. But maybe the one that might resonate a bit with your broader audience has to do with a job offer. Now in the mid nineties with a going through what was called the de mutualize nation of banks and finance company. Yeah, a lot about banks, life, insurers, general insurers, what Mutual's, where they were owned by that account held as policy holders and suddenly some bean counter gurus kind along the city have got a free up the capital. So household nine in Australia, like the am play, for example, was suddenly no longer owned by the people who had policies, but they were converted in the spot. So if you had an I M P policy, you got lots of cash, but you no longer own the company. It was done by the shareholders. So to facilitate these very significant news there was a lot of change in the top and they decided that they needed to have what for Australia then was a little bit of an unusual character, full a general. And not just an in house lawyer, but somebody who was right up there at the elbow of the CEO for absolutely everything. And at the time I was in life club leading a very big team of insurance lawyers. A head hunter came to me after probably three or four weeks, and I tell them what was going on. And I was offered money. Like I was offered a million dollar chance, but anything else I'm not talking now like 20, I used the gap

Peter:

Yeah.

Michael:

and the stock options when it floated and all sorts of things, because at the time I was probably one of the best known insurance audience in the country, but doing a very careful due diligence. I came to a conclusion, which was about nine. It wasn't so much about the company that it was going to behave potentially in ways that I may not be totally comfortable with. And of course I kept my wife info informed of all of these developments and my kids were getting older. They were born in 71 and in 73. So I knew the value of a shack a lot too. And I thought go to the offer that was on the table for me was just irresistible. But for me, ultimately, it was unacceptable. And I didn't regret it for one second. I picked up somebody else into that role. My life went on in a sense financially very much for, I mean, very, very. I could have doubled my income in one step,

Peter:

yeah. Wow.

Michael:

but it was just, there was something about it that I wasn't really comfortable. And I've said to people at the, since, it's not just about getting a job offer, it's about getting a job offer, which is truly you that's full thin, typically you, and you can be really at times desperate to get an a in chemistry, but for what you're giving up from.

James:

Yeah, I think that's interesting how, like you would place that, doing things that are authentic and things that you're okay with a much higher value than, money or, like you said, the things that you're kind of, you're trading for that it's. Yeah. It's really interesting how the importance that you place on that, that really, money can't buy that kind of authenticity and that feeling that you get when you're working on something that you're really passionate about. Particularly as young people, you can kind of do exactly that and just checks the dollars and try and find the highest paying job or whatever it might be. But I think it's important to keep in mind, like the mission of the organization that you're working for, like you were saying, how they're actually going about achieving that and does that align with my personal values and other people I'm working with the kind of people that I sort of aspire to be like. And I think, I think, yeah, that was really interesting. Yeah. The importance he placed on that is as being the most important thing by a long

Peter:

yeah. I just think it's something a lot of graduates forget because it can be quite a brutal market to try and find your own your first job. But even with your first one, you does their research of the companies that firms, whatever, when they're doing the application. So if you can see from the start at that stage, it's not going to be a good one. You, you don't have to feel like you have to apply for every single thing that's out there even at the start. And then when you do have that first job and you're potentially looking to move somewhere else, it's an important thing to keep in mind.

Michael:

And once you start compromising your core values and beliefs, you're on a super slut. And know you finding the remodel plus examples all around the world at the moment, but probably no better one than some very fine lawyers who signed onto Donald Trump. And some of them have served time in prison like Michael. You've only got to read this stories of, of what they've really lost to sign on to something that was really off. Then you stop. Once you start to surrender your reputation yeah. Spot all the theories of forgiveness and still your time and everything else. It's so hard to get it back.

Peter:

yeah.

Michael:

And that's not just in the law, although it's very specifically,

Peter:

Yeah.

Michael:

so back to a happy topic.

Peter:

I was going to potentially change tack a little bit and talk about obviously you born in Sydney and grew up in Sydney and started your career in Sydney. But you have had a lot of experience interstate and overseas kind of, could you tell us a little bit about how you, how those sorts of things and about for you to work in other jurisdictions and not specifically, doing court work or whatever, but being on trade missions to China and all these sorts of things, how did you kind of get involved? I feel like sometimes my perception in Adelaide is that sometimes Sydney and Melbourne can be a bit of a bubble when people get caught up in that. So it's interesting to hear about, people can. Expand the horizons outside of those bigger markets thing.

Michael:

Yeah. It's again, it comes back to who you are. Comes back to some patients and some black I used to nodding ID ID one, but I was president of the closest body of new south Wales. People used to say to be, you got like, I was young at the time. I was 33. And, it's a bit of a novelty somewhat. So the media would say, well, did you do wrong that it had done that? But I know why I'm sticking with war. And while you sticking with the stage now where I'm seeing the world at my client's expense to have international groups with Jessica, but see, that's always in the two, two arms. So I'm there as an insurance lawyer acting for the London insurance. the four European insurers and reinsurers that thing for some of the American lock and developed a little bit of my reputation around this stuff. for example, nodding likes you forget that. Say the 74 75, I went to the Atlanta pockets post all my should be called apply because I'd been doing all of this stuff for a funny sort of group of insurance Lloyd's of London to transact the business in a very special way, some extent. I really didn't understand it. So I stepped to the pot, but I think I'm going to have to go to London because I'm going to court talking about how contracts have formed in a London pocket. One. I've got my fingers crossed. So I ended up going to London and I had some awful weeks there with some really good people, clients and nuclides or Isabelle. And at that stage, Australian insurance lawyers, didn't gung to see their clients. And I became a little bit of a strange person. So, I started getting a lot more work when I got involved in really each light. I'd have to go to London for brief the park, your shorts and pencil every now and then my wife Kathy will come with me and we would stream awake to his holiday on the end of the bench. Yeah. That have all the boring, enjoyable pleasant, simply the case that she was at home raising children while I was on the gala venting. So it was all of that. And then like, coincidentally, Legal spikes like came off the young lawyers and the invitation of the 26. I think the average age of a member of the council at that stage was about 50. So I had some very strange ideas. I bet I should. But of course we were getting into that era where lawyers were being sued and professional negligence with important. And I was doing a lot of that work and it was getting a reputation in that field. And ultimately as a vice president also just taught me in the late seventies. I had a few others set up while also culture professional negligence. Okay. Well, outlaw some states full of law class. I think there's one in Adelaide on the watch or what the south of striking both these guys little clients and having done that and done that you need to face with the state government and all that sort of stuff to both the guy short-circuits inflation, which were groundbreaking worldwide. Michael Kirby was then so James does Michael Kirby's name meant something to you? Michael could be a Peterbilt nose, sinus high court judge, who is written many writing or judgments, a bit of a lifting. Who's an amazing Monica. Also very gratefully, the first period, quote, judged about sky. And I knew him from when I started more because he and Marie Gleason, both junior theaters, when I stopped. Michael Kirby headed the Australian law reform commission set up this brand new legal regime around insurance. Well for Australia. So I had to do lots of trips out of the seas explaining to markets in other license, how this is different to what they with Mindy, with Bush, that scaled a lot of pockets, but it was the combination of all of those things that developed this reputation that had plenty of shore traveling a lot. And also speaking a lot because I became very comfortable with as a little society office bearer had training of the patient and I taught how to deal with the media and all that stuff. Sort of just my favorite wood stage in my life and everything it's unconnected. So. And then it's the knotless I set up the Australian insurance or association I'll set up some insurance publications. Ultimately I was president of the national insurance law association, lights, it ideal Nazi countries throughout the world, some clubs by accident. That was really how it happened. Then many of those bright clients in other places became very close to those friends as well. it's, the relationship becomes more than professional become supposed to. And then you have another dimension.

James:

Well, yeah, I have a question for you then Gilly. Sometimes when we, I speak to people on the podcast and people, wherever they might be, they often fit into sort of two categories and like, or maybe there's two, two sides of two sides of the coin. And some people are very driven and that they'll really chase after big goals. They're very serious getting what they want. And then there's kind of the flip of that, which is people that still managed to be successful, but they, they go about it differently. They're much more relaxed and they're much more sort of chilled in, in, in the way that they go about achieving the things that they want to do. And I want to ask you, were you on the sort of really driven side where it was sort of, I have this target and I'm going to do it by this day. Kind of thing or is it more of a relaxed, like this opportunity came up. That's great. I'm going to do as best I can and see where it goes. I'm curious to hear what your thoughts on that isn't perhaps which side perhaps you, you lean to more

Michael:

They make possible answer. The question is the one that everyone wasn't given and that is, and it's on the Tom, if your life and the circumstances, and we're often not our best judges, it's often the people closest to us who will have far more accurate pinions of that sort of thing. In my own defense, I would stay, I wasn't driven. Well, I like wife, I have a very different feel about it as my, some of the people who were my partners. If you would sit determined Ralph Wilson river, I would have said, yes, I am a person of two, two, and I sh I'm not easily dissuaded from what I think, but as I progressed in life, I became a far better listener and a far better just the termination with me sometimes meant I had to get to the end very quickly. I have to know the answer. Whereas I now understand that the real value was in. Just that I think it's a dried African 12 isn't that a love and I can travel fast together. We can travel. Uh, And I think with my life, I've come to understand that much better. I hate categorizing people. If we think about, I don't know what your favorite sports but if you were to think about like tennis or maximun in cricket, laid back relaxed driven C for my ear, or I would say that doggy Walters, the great Debbie voltage would between these innings sat in the room, smoking. Cigarettes back to back and playing poker and chewing on gun, came out to Sandra, never showed any sign of being driven, but was unbelievably tenacious. And then you get a lot solve Steve Smith and Michael Clark before all the world looked as though the most important thing was never getting out. And then you get the other Gilly. Adam Gilchrist is just heavily a batsman and for all the world look the, so at every moment he was having the greatest planned, absolutely determined, absolutely tenacious. Didn't want to give the English. Micro millimeter. So, I think it's good to be conscious of the state, but it's also good for yourself not to beat yourself up about it. You think you have any, anything I would wonder about the wood driven and I have, I'm a bright, like catching some Wyatt's, it's not really, it's an etymology, which is the science of the meaning of woods. Anyway, we could go look up the wood driven and where it came from and drifting to me, connotes something that's coming from outside of you. Well, nice. The little sense. If you've got no control over it, almost like a runaway motive or something, whereas if you aspire to something or you're tenacious, Will you determine that always seems to be, so it's coming more powerful if you five and you might have more control, that's difficult. Why? I I'll say it. I wouldn't, I wouldn't attribute Google bad or right or wrong to any of those things, because at times in our lives, it's those things that represent the breakthrough scores or, I can see in my oldest grandson, a great deal of my, the patient, more importantly, most of the rest of the family says, Michael, he's exactly the same issue. He's just so determined about things, but he's the most loving plus generous plus a spectacular basketball and rugby, but get that much for the team all about that. And it's the other point. We've got a avoid single lines in ballot. Like you could look at a human being and if you're just looking at one line in their balance sheet, your mom's thing, the post at the same time, of course, as you're maybe inappropriately judging, maybe doing some comparison stuff, go read Rene Girard. I don't know whether you got studied philosophy, but it's all about hopeless. You can look at somebody and sell off what a main person or maybe in that circumstance. I bought off the wine, all of that

Peter:

yeah,

Michael:

while I really understand what was happening in their life at that point in time. understand? What else did anyone get off the Sidebox Skilly you're not here for that.

Peter:

No, it's still, it's just useful life, no advice, you never, I think the point you picked up on that, why you never train are what someone else is going through. And I guess you picked up on two points, really it's important. Well, how other people perceive you? Like how, your grandson, just importantly to use that everybody can kind of tell you that he's just like you, but it's also, I guess, just important to keep in mind that we don't always know the full story of what's going on with someone else. Perceptions of what's going on with them might not actually be accurate to the truth. And I guess, someone who's annoying you or doing something to rub you the wrong way that might be, it might not just be because they enjoy doing that too. They might have other things going on. So just keeping an open mind and trying to be tolerant and respectful just goes a long way, not just in your work, but just in your life general.

Michael:

And they, when the other site he's like, they're quite more because I can see characteristics within him that in his age I would have died for, I would have loved to have had the courage that he has to be done in convictions. I would have loved people, felt able to my parents, in a respectful way as he does. Whereas, I was raised in an environment where you could not have those challenging. I love that sort of stuff. He and I, we love, and that's why I say it's only when you thing I take off as well.

James:

One thing I wanted to ask you about. This thing that we call imposter syndrome, where you're kind of in a position and you don't feel like you deserve to be there or don't feel like you are, you have the skills to perform the role, as well as you would expect someone to be able to do it. You don't really have that self belief, I guess. And I know the self you've been, we've spoken about you made partner like one year into starting your law career. And you've done various other things like becoming the president of different committees and things like that. I mean, was there ever points where you felt that you know that, or I'm not sure if I can do this, those kinds of thoughts running through your head and if so, I'm curious how, how you dealt with that and what your, what your thought process has kind of like during those sessions,

Michael:

I think I was the first thing I would excite James is that it's the first time I've heard the expression imposter syndrome. And I'm probably grateful for the fact that when I was an imposter, I didn't know it existed because I might not have tried, but a little bit more seriously. I can't think of any serious circuits. In which I felt alone. Whatever I did that was pretty serious was always in the company of other people. It was all white. I might have been leading, but it was always with a team and people who were supported by the one day, the one, the mine, I wasn't competitive. And that gives you a huge amount of confidence. Now, perhaps the one area, well, you feel a little bit alone or I did was if I was being interviewed, particularly by an aggressive. Or making speeches on insurance, law topics here and overseas, where perhaps in the audience there would be more knowledgeable people in. They challenged me on something or the other, yeah, just some tips around all of that. In, as I may have indicated before the late seventies within the law society, I got a lot of presentation and public speaking and media training because we were just as a legal profession, we were just moving into marketing for the first time, before that the ethics of the profession word, the shouting was a terrible thing. You what could the ties or any of those. So suddenly he, we were having to sort of be out there with all those others torch people, undertook advertisement. I learned from one of the trainers that if you are selected, for example, to speak on something, because you are seen as an expert in the subject, then the audience is going to be about 98%, less knowledgeable than you. I know it was always the joke that the other 2% who might know more than you are probably too embarrassed to ask your question, fear of embarrassing themselves. it sort of gave you a lot of confidence to do that sort of thing. And then as I went along from another very wise person, I learned the power of the question and the power of saying upfront and immediately, I that know the answer to that. And I've got to say and feed to write down whether your experience this year. Young lawyers who worked for me, probably hundreds of them reach the certain point in my estimation, my appreciation of them when for the first time I heard them say, Michael, I don't know the answer to that question, but I'll find out for you. Yeah. Lots of young lawyers, and I'm sure this applies beyond the law, think that they ended the marketplace possessive knowledge, and more importantly, that they can't in the presence of a sort of superior person confess to not knowing something.

Peter:

yeah.

Michael:

It's one of the most important tasks of maturing as a human being. Like, I don't know that.

Peter:

Yeah. Now, and I do relate to that a little bit. You don't want to, I don't know. I guess sometimes in, my mind or I'm sure other younger, not just young lawyers, I'm sure it's applicable to all, young professionals will just fear of looking stupid or something in front of their, their boss or their someone more superior. They work with. That's definitely something I will take on board this to it's okay. To say you don't know.

Michael:

wow. It's essential

Peter:

Yeah.

Michael:

essential. Or what did he shoot the top of the things that in your engineer with as well? One other little thing, which was important for me, but has to do with my sort of Catholic background before I started any meeting that was of concern to me. I took about one minute then I would say to do a little bit of praying, but just to clear my head. To take myself into a more sacred environment, as a spice of calmness, a place where I can think to myself tonight, this might be a rugged meeting. You've got a couple of things on the agenda here, but at the end of the day, there were lumps of people around you. I ended up with abolish the death penalty. If you don't get crucified, they need more in this country. So the worst that can happen is that yeah. What you want to see outcome, isn't the outcome, but that's not going to bring the world justice sort of in those store. I don't like that impossible word to be blood drives, but just didn't that's ice where you might feel a little bit out of your depth to be able to put soul back on dry land and say, okay, this is where we are. This is one of 12 about in the overall, in the big scheme of things. So.

James:

Yeah. Yeah, definitely. I can definitely get a sense that yeah. Very humble, humble guy, yourself, Gilly. And I think even having that humility when it comes to being asked things that, you don't know the answer to is really important. And then trying not to sort of act like you're, you're better than you are. And and creating those situations where, know, you say, you know, something when you actually don't and then It can get awkward. I think at that point

Michael:

It can backfire big time and it doesn't matter what area of endeavor you are in it's it's not all musty. It's far easier to remember the truth, the principle of life. It's far easier to remember the checklist. Whereas if you're guessing and you're throwing stuff out, one of them, didn't you tell me two weeks ago when we were talking about this, that, well, then trust, remember your lie can be tough. We can all identify with it. There's nobody on this planet who doesn't tell the fit from time to time being pulled out.

Peter:

definitely.

James:

Hm, Hm. Yeah. I'm interested to hear, I know you spoke just before about, you had that ritual before a meeting where you would kind of have that one minute of almost prayer to put yourself in a better space to, to start the meeting. I'm curious, is there any other things like that or any other principles that you follow through your career that you would say contributed to. Yourself being able to do all the things that you've done because yeah. Many people would look at your career in sack. That's what I want for me. I want to be able to, have all these things and do all this amazing stuff. I'm curious if there's anything that you did, any habits or rituals or things that you did consistently that you would say, okay. That was really important in getting to where I was able to get to

Michael:

Let's just put ritual to one side because I see rituals are incredibly important, I think trust is incredibly important part of this, and it's trusting people it's to work out who are the most important people in your life. can you turn to? Who can you take your anxieties and your fears and worries too, because no stupid. Most of us have times of anxiety and depression to some extent. self-doubt and that's in the personal space, it's in the professional space, all the stuff around relationships and that sort of thing. And we all need those angles. Yeah. If we talked about sort of core values or belief, whether it's a religious belief or something else, we all need some anchors, lot. And, it could pillow incidentally, be the people that you might like to be with on the occasional Saturday night, but it might be entirely different. But I think just felt the topics, those personal relationships that are so important it's because so much of the challenge is in isolation. And if you can't find a why out of the isolation, know, you can get those other problems and the loneliness and the the anxiety to the moment, that sort of thing, if you're talking about a ritual. I often share with people that I mentor and a lot of them really struggled with the emotional side of their lives. I say to them now, when that your internal thoughts, personal or professional or business attending to the black side of things you do need to have rituals or, or ways to transition out of it. Everybody needs them. And I've always encouraged people to buy a helicopter and that normally evokes a smile or a loss. It's just a metaphorical helicopter, but you got to keep it front and set up because when that, when you're totally. Volume internal documents. You need to jump in that helicopter and sort of Gallup about 200 meters, and then look down at yourself and say with a very loud voice, what the fuck's going on down there so that you start to develop techniques or rituals around those out of body experiences. But yeah, you don't need to read books. You'll have a psychologist or psychiatrist. You just need to understand in a detached flight, what stupidity is going on within you now, stupidity, isn't a nice thing to say because it's real. It's real. So pull us there and say to you guys that I've just given you the heli, which is a technique to reshoot transmission really are. Do you need that? do you handle it? do you handle it when you personally get deflected by negative thinking?

Peter:

got one. If you're thinking for go not so much the helicopter, like on and off you said out of body experience, I don't know if I've ever really had anything like that. Something I'll try it because it sounds pretty cool. But for me, I like to just go for a drive. It's a lot. I just go for a long drive down where I'll leave, locked down south close this place called civic space. And then I kind of just stop there and I'll look at the beach on the, just try and empty mind kind of thing. Yeah. That's drunk. I mean, this by Adelaide stands long drive, so it's like 45 minutes by Sydney standards. That's a, that's a trip to the shops. Yeah, that's kind of my, my thing. Just be in the car, have one of the music playing and then that's why, well, I think.

Michael:

Yep. So you've got a technique that you've worked out for yourself, Dave and woods, which is excellent. And James,

James:

Well, yeah, I would say similar to pate and then he gets out of the house and I think for myself, I'd prefer to go for a walk. So near my house in Adelaide is a mountain husband. It's like a really, really good lookout. You can see the whole city. So. I would walk there walk around and like, don't take my phone or anything and just, just walk and just deal with what's going on. Or even here in Melbourne. I'll, we'll home the Yarra for a bit, just do a big walk, get it out of my system. And then often not when I'm coming back in that sort of the last 500 meters back to wherever I'm staying, that's kind of the refocus moment, now that we've done the big walk, it sound to get in the zone and get back into things. See, I find those to be helpful. Now you got

Michael:

I should probably applied it more in personal circumstances than professional or business circumstances, but and it may well be that in professional and business circumstances, you may have to vary it up. It depends how well the books those sorts of things, because often for example, if you're in a serious mediation or court case you might not be able to jump in your car or go for that long, but you still might have played totally distracted by the unethical conduct of an opponent to the way you are thinking much more about that. The leash trying to be resolved for the best benefit of the applied but that's one example of it, but. I think if I were swayed straight in a total Gilly whole of life, that I am very comfortable with the notion that I know very little I truly believe that we know very, very little about all of the issues and it's probably never going to beat the case that we will know a huge amount. And that's something I just must accept. I, I own that as part of who I am in my life. So I don't beat myself up because there is something that's evading my analysis ordinates. If that's the way it's supposed to be. That's the what? So let's accept that. Illness is a good example of it. I have lots of friends in my life looking brilliant at handling illness, probably the best one. It's one of your, one of your favorites. At the lady, a great lawyer and my age lawyer, John fountain, and John has been struggling with leukemia since 2009. That has the most amazing way of dealing with them. I know other people who are similar circumstances, we're all wise as part of the conversation include one night. Why did it happen to me? Yeah. One of these things happen to kids. I don't know, but if it's me, I did, my wife died 70 years of age. Well, that's life still happens. And I think when you bring it to your question giant, if, if the context, if the background. Is that sort of acceptance. Then a lot of these other things can be handled in a very much easier way.

James:

yeah, that's flown. I liked that a lot. We all got a one question left in my head, but I'm curious, Pete, is there anything I'm sure you could almost go all day here with healing. But yeah. Is there any like, yeah. Is there anything else that you'd like to.

Peter:

maybe one for, again, a legal question. Just what, what is it's really taught us what. One of the most interesting pieces you've ever worked on this. Just pure curiosity.

Michael:

It wasn't a case. Is that all right?

Peter:

Yeah. We'll follow matter or whatever.

Michael:

Well, it's, it's it it's easy for me because it's only seven years ago. So 2015 I was asked by the insurance council of Australia to head up a task force, looking at the effectiveness of all of those pre-contract documents that have to be handed out when you're arranging insurance and stuff like that. So I think James, just for the non-lawyers, it's all about legal stuff in the consumer space that you get often inundated with when you're opening up a bank account or taking out an insurance policy or doing anything else. And it's all around this notion of the last. consumer rights, auric, financial literacy, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And it was an amazing exercise for me for a whole lot of reasons, but it was the very first time that I had been asked to work with an funeral site. And the funny part of this story is that one of the youngsters from an insurance company, it was on the task force. When we were just about to submit our report to the board of the insurance council, rang me at the time and said, Michael, can we talk about what they're going to call the report as well? And they told me that, you should be. Definitions of social media, like LOL for lots of love and all of that they said to me, they've just included an expression, which I think I'd like to think we can use as the name for our report. Well, what is it? He tell me what a boss and like bring my three daughters. And I told them what it was. They'd never heard of it. So we pulled that report till semi-colon Dr. But everybody very excited all around the world. I even started in the Netherlands. And of course, the LDR is

Peter:

It's been a long darn right.

Michael:

right too long. Didn't write. And that applies to just about every bit of consumer guff that goes out to people, hopefully helping them like wise decisions, but too long for them to be at least interested. So I gave a talk in the firm a few weeks after the report. And I said to all the lawyers there who have made lots of money for the firm drafting all of these documents for insurance companies, banks, everyone says, oh, the reality is that you don't have light for the firms, Scots and Scots of money drafting documents that are absolutely fantastic for your plants and totally useless for their customers.

Peter:

now.

Michael:

I began to look a lot more clearly. The best outcome. Isn't always a legal outcome.

Peter:

Yeah, I can ask you a plea. Went with that long with Noah Myron. A lot of how that it's likable to me and off, off probably disclaimers or whatever for our customers that realistically one of reds, it's a good lesson, trying to think about how can I write those things in a way that will communicate to that? Yeah.

Michael:

Yeah. Connected with this is the banking Royal commission kind of time, the high court or former high court judge, she had it and he made it very clear that the legal outcome. Is it always the right guy. Yeah. Yeah. Corporations over the last 50 years for a whole series of reasons, we don't have time to go into just want a legal spine off. I want lawyers in-house or externally to say legally, this is okay. And then senior management and the board will go ahead and do it. And it's not been saying for about 15 years. And Hayne has said more recently to get a legal opinion about something is the start of the process. If they didn't go to work out, what do you do in that point?

Peter:

yeah. Yep. I'm definitely going to keep that one locked away. That that's good.

Michael:

And we'll probably get back to that. And that applies James to every bit of relevant human. Yeah, every one of us is a consumer. We all know what it's like to be kept on hole by Telstra. There was no coal is important to us. And when I get on the line and they say I'm being recorded for training purposes, I site I'm also being recorded feedback purposes. And there's a bit of style. Well, if my call was really important to you, you would have a more, and we know that that is consumers. We know that it's all done with broken teeth. That's really true. But somebody in marketing says, oh, you've going to tell them that they call this important. And worry about how inconsistent your behavior is, as long as you tell them that too, before

Peter:

Yes,

Michael:

that's a bit of carrier. you got something out

James:

um,

Peter:

no.

James:

no, it definitely. Yeah, no. that's interesting. I mean, so, I mean, if you'll have to pay it, I've got one more question for Gilly to faceoff the interview today, and that is, a lot of this podcasts around careers around grads and it's around people starting their career. And so I want to ask you, what advice would you give to people that are starting their career? Again, all the stuff that's just starting their career in 2022.

Michael:

James, when do you start your career?

James:

In my head, the notion is that when you sort of get your first full-time job

Michael:

Your tertiary education has nothing to do with your career.

James:

yeah, I think it, it does. Yeah, it definitely does.

Michael:

So what's your question.

James:

I think how about when entering the workforce?

Michael:

So, if you read 18 and lost Pedro, are you familiar with 18 and lost James? You are aren't you? Yeah, I didn't lost was a book written by a number of the constant students which has us, it's something what we know at 26 or 27 that we wish we had known that it, because they knowledge experienced values skills. Take into the decision-making for a university course is very much less than what you have at 20 steaks. When you have experienced one of the most important formation periods of your life. So the first lesson I think James to take out of that is keeping an open mind and an open heart is much more than it's the glitzy sighing of the moment. It's one of life's most black and survival skills. So point number one is you haven't wasted to do education. You haven't wasted tertiary stuff, but keep your heart and your mind open as to how you're going against that full lights and be prepared to extend yourself all the way. Don't feel bad, restores shamed. If you're tempted towards thinking I've made a mistake. No, you haven't made a mistake. It's like Michael in first year law, you're just learning. And yeah, if you do that and you stop understanding what turns on your passion while you're dumb lights coming from, what you're picking up, which really seems to be the authentic you as well, doing it for yourself rather than your employer or your parents or other people, or things that have an expectation of you your ability to break away from you feel. From the bombardment of social media, all the stuff you'll reading, which is, I think, forcing you in a particular direction somewhere along the way, you'll got the little so kicking. I'm not quite sure about that because it's not my field of expertise, but I say way everyone who wants to listen these days, you have three very important ways of knowing, and that's your head, your heart and gut. You got to keep them all in balance. You got to listen to all of them. And then it's just walking down the path of life, understanding that it's all a process. Yes. And it's all about the journey. It's not so much about the destination. So yeah, this is luckily shy, but it's Felicia. what I'd want is, or in five years time, I am to be a senior associates at DLA. They will like to have out, but be totally reoccupied. It shouldn't be a lot of your clients. I've got a lovely guy of my age, retired land, surveyor Jewish people in have presence without talking about planning. Then the old Weiss is if you want to go and play,

Peter:

Hmm.

Michael:

I love it.

Peter:

Um,

Michael:

slipping will come. The surprises now embrace the surprise. I didn't think that was going to happen. Wow. When did that get a gift card? How about how did I end up meeting a person like that at a nightclub at 11:30 PM in the evening? And this is a person who may have a contribution to make to my curiosity about my career or something else. does this stuff come from from a cell phone would cite that you diverse? Yeah. Life is more than a single career. Life is about switching on the totality of your unique gifts. All of them leave any of it on the show. had planes in the background so that's that's. Yeah. And that's an awful lot to digest. And I could give you a lot of other stuff about wounds, like general loss. Typically, if you're in a business, a circumstance where there are clients involved, generous to them, not because you want to have a reputation of some food posts. Yeah. People want generosity and I respond. Yeah. We all know that it goes with all experienced. So that's not hard. Is it when we know how we feel about people who will be genuinely generous. In other words, they're not looking for anything in return. I just do it because they want to do something forth. And that turns on something within us, which is exactly the same as it turns on within all other people in similar circumstance. Sure. There can be some signal cynics. You can have people. Why would they have done that? They must think there's something in it for them, but we're going to try and rise above that because what's authentic people. Don't I understand what unconditional generosity gives them and you can feel it exactly the same. Why? So in that relationship scenario, generosity has exactly the same impact as the night. No relationship scenario, if you're in a personal relationship with somebody and it might be somebody that we're dating early stages, you do something for them, you might've been doing and knowing it, but just means so much in terms of something generous. You might be waiting to take them out and you're tidy up the teacher rather than sitting there watching. One of the Adelaide 40 teams playing football on their television. just all that sort of stuff. It's not the whole of life skills are exactly the same as the business life skills, the professional life skills, personal lives. Why Y we'll show anyone this, and it's not three of you. It's not one that puts on the time they get out of this business. Another one who sort of looks on a basketball outfit, becomes a basketball, and then tell me the ulcers. He hadn't been taking some of the are all life skills from that we don't put on outfits.

Peter:

Yeah. Cool. I think that's just not us on the, and the car.

James:

Yep. I agree. Yeah. Thanks so much for your time today, Gilly. I think, yeah, that was great. A great note to end on. I think I've learned a lot from this conversation, so yeah. Thanks so much for for sharing your time with us today

Michael:

If I

James:

And, and then thanks so much. It's well paid becoming on it was a good experience for

Peter:

asking me on and thank you, Michael, for yeah, just everything you've given us the last couple hours being really insightful and

peter-2022-1-26__10-7-47:

interesting

Peter:

to chat with you.

Michael:

And lastly played to thank you for wearing the type was a nice reminder to me of what they just

James:

oh, I know. Yeah. And Gilly, I've just got one last, last thing to add is if someone's listening to this and they want to find out more about you on or get in touch with you, where's the best place for them to do that.

Michael:

give them my email address.

James:

Okay. Sure. Well, that'll be, I'll leave it in the show notes so people can look fine to their

Michael:

a problem, Not a problem,

James:

wonderful. Thanks for listening to this episode I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. If you want to get my takeaways, the three things that I learned from this episode, please go to graduate theory.com/subscribe, where you can get my takeaways and all the information about each episode, straight to your inbox. Thanks so much for listening again today, and we're looking forward to seeing you next week.