Five minutes with… Renée Sadler

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Renée Sadler, partner at Curwoods Lawyers, tells Australasian Lawyer why she’d have Don Bradman to dinner if she could.

What made you decide to become a lawyer?
I took Legal Studies for my final year at school and it was my favourite subject. I suppose law was a natural progression, but it certainly had something to do with growing up in the western suburbs and wanting to make a difference.

How long have you worked at Curwoods Lawyers and what brought you to this position?
I've been a partner at Curwoods for nearly three years. I was attracted to the firm having heard excellent things about the culture and I certainly haven't been disappointed!

What’s the strangest case you’ve ever worked on/been involved with?
A personal injury claim made by a person who hurt themselves fleeing the scene of a crime. Maybe not strange, but definitely interesting!

If you could invite three people for dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
Mary Gaudron. First female Justice of the High Court.  
Michael Jackson. Clearly there is no correlation there I just love 80s and 90s music.
Donald Bradman. I love cricket and if I had these three wishes and didn’t choose him, my partner would never forgive me!

You’re based in Sydney – where’s the best place to go for a drink and/or dinner after work?
I wish I was asked this question five years ago, pre-children. I would have known a cool answer then. Now it's my couch, or the conveniently located Ryan's Bar (downstairs from the office!).

What’s the best piece of advice (work or personal) you’ve ever been given?
This quote definitely falls into both categories – "you should never feel guilty for taking some time out for you, you cannot be creative unless you are your best self". 

Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work?
I love going to sporting matches of any kind really but mostly rugby and cricket. I spend most of my free time with my wonderful partner and gorgeous son and stepson. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…
An events coordinator. I like to socialise and have fun so why not get paid for doing both.

What do you think will be single biggest issue facing the legal space in Australia in 2015?
Gender equality in senior positions at law firms. I'd like to see women have an equal share of equity partnerships, appointments to Senior Counsel and appointments to the bench. Basically abolishing the "Pyramid of Authority", as Dr Margaret Thorton calls it.

If you had Tony Abbott’s job for one day, what would you do?
Take each of the blue ties from his wardrobe and hide them.

What do you love about your job?
Working closely with my peers and clients in a trusting and professional environment. I love that it helps me to be a better leader and lawyer all at the same time. I try to create that feeling for everyone in my team too.

What would you change about your job right now if you could?
I'd add a day care centre to the office building.

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