Reflecting on 2019

The lead up to the Christmas break has been hectic; this is a great opportunity to pause and think about where 2019 took me and SoundLegal. 2019 was such an amazing year – I came into so many amazing opportunities it’s hard to know where to start. To keep it brief though, I feel like 2019 took on something of a “P” flavour.


The beginning of 2019 saw me give up my stable corporate role of more than 8 years. I took myself to the edge of a career cliff, gathered my courage and leapt off. Starting my own business was a long held dream, but boy was it scary. Spoiler alert: I didn’t fall over the edge of the precipice… that cliff became the launching pad for a sensational ride into new professional opportunities, particularly my own practice SoundLegal.


I wish I had kept count of the people I’ve actively connected and reconnected with this year – it’s well into the 100s. I’m a born introvert so making a considered decision to go out and build my network was nearly as scary as the career cliff. I’m delighted to say, the outcome was every bit as rewarding. The most wonderful part of this journey has been all the scaffolding I’ve received from new and old friends; literally every single person I’ve dealt with this year has greeted my requests for connection and help with encouragement and support. I can’t express how strong I feel, knowing that I’m standing on the shoulders of so many amazing humans.


I’m lucky enough to have had a diverse career, which has given me the opportunity to develop a variety of skills. However, 25 years of working life has also taught me when to “know what I don’t know”, and despite my corporate background it turned out I had a lot (understatement) to learn about running a business. My new career direction also gave me a fab reason to start the LLM I’ve been dreaming of for years, so I can be sure my legal toolbox is capable of servicing my clients in the way they deserve. Lucky I love to learn!


Leaving the in-house world to go back to private practice is an unusual pathway. I had a few reasons for this new direction, but one of the major motivators was a desire to reconnect with and contribute more to the legal profession, which can be challenging from the in-house world. I’ve done lots of things this year that have allowed me to apply my legal skills with a greater sense of purpose (contributing to Subiaco Justice Centre was definitely a highlight), but probably none more so than joining Curtin Law School as a lecturer. I’ve always wanted to have a crack at a formal teaching role and it did not disappoint. Working with my colleagues at Curtin to enhance the offering of the John Curtin Law Clinic promises to broaden this horizon even further in 2020.

What about 2020?

I don’t know what letter of the alphabet will govern 2020, but I could not be more excited about where it is going to take me. I’ll keep you posted.

Stay safe, friends.

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About Gemma

I help construction, engineering and consulting businesses create and negotiate clear contracts so they can achieve great project outcomes. I founded SoundLegal to help SMEs in the engineering, construction, consulting and light industrial sectors manage their risk to support business growth, by finding practical, common sense solutions to contractual and other legal challenges. Subscribe to the SoundLegal newsletter “No Jargon” to hear monthly business insights from me.


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