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Profile: Work in progress

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Cite as: September 2013 87 (9) LIJ, p.104

In this special LIJ series practitioners reveal how they balance the demands of their professional and personal lives.

Name

Lisa Maynard

Firm/Company

Adviceline Injury Lawyers, which is the personal injuries division of Holding Redlich

Position

Special counsel

Hours worked and where

3 days in the office and 1 day at home, with flexible hours

Why did you seek a flexible work arrangement?

I sought flexible working arrangements initially as a result of my return to work post maternity leave, but I have maintained them so that I have balance between being mum to my three year old daughter and practising law. I have flexible start times which allow me to take my daughter to childcare on the mornings I come into the office.

How did you convince your employer?

My employer is very supportive and has always been agreeable to the arrangements I proposed. I would always take into consideration the needs of my clients and other staff, as well as my own, when discussing the arrangements. Any convincing required would come from the proof that the arrangement works. My supervising partner is a mother herself so she understands the needs of working mothers.

What are the challenges of working flexibly – for you, colleagues and clients?

The main challenge has been getting used to the constant feeling of not giving enough to either role. I have had to learn stronger discipline in getting as much work done as possible in the time available, as well as learning to rely on the support of others more, as I simply cannot be at work all of the time. Colleagues can find it challenging to not have you in the office at the same time as them, but if you keep the hours and days as consistent as possible, people do get used to it.

Have flexible hours kept you practising law?

Definitely, not that I ever considered giving it up, but I feel lucky to have a supportive employer who has encouraged me to continue in my successful practice whilst balancing motherhood responsibilities. Flexible hours reduce the stress and pressure of two competing roles and allow me to give my best to both.

My proudest moment in the law has been . . .

I am proud that every day I can help injured Victorians during one of the worst times of their lives, having spent the first two hours of the day successfully feeding, dressing and packing up a three year old which can be a challenge in itself. I am also proud that I can show my daughter and my peers that two very important roles can be balanced and performed well.

Do you envisage working flexibly full time?

I hope to be able to continue working flexible days and hours for as long as my family responsibilities require it. It definitely provides the balance essential to maintaining a happy and healthy life.

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