Five minutes with…Rachel Storey, Rachel Storey & Associates

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Rachel Storey opened her own boutique firm in Broken Hill in May 2011, starting out in a one room office where she worked on her own. Now she has made it into Australasian Lawyer’s Hot 40 list due to her ground-breaking proceedings against the Parole Board, Department of Corrections and SA Police in a case where a violent parolee led a siege.    

How would you sum up lawyers in three words?
Diligent, hard-working, driven.

What made you decide to become a lawyer?
I wanted to help people who are underprivileged.
    
How did you end up in Broken Hill? 
I wanted to try something different – make a ‘desert-change’ if you like.  I spent 13 years practicing   in Melbourne before I decided to go work for the Community Legal Service in Broken Hill.   In the end it didn’t work out so I decided to start my own firm.

What has been the highlight of your career to date?
Winning cases for my clients.  None stand out – they’re all the same.  Whenever you win a case it’s a great privilege to have represented them, so every win feels equally good.

What has been the hardest part about establishing a boutique firm?
In a small town like Broken Hill it’s very hard to establish yourself and ensure you have the right referral sources.  You’re away from a lot of things so you need your own resources to keep yourself occupied.  You miss out on a lot of things too like movies and restaurants, but that means it’s actually a great place to save money! 

What’s the strangest and/or most interesting case you’ve ever been involved with as a lawyer?
There was a case where a cockatiel had puts its owner in hospital.  The owner got sick with a particular kind of virus when the cockatiel he was kissing bit him.  He had been given a certificate that he was inoculated against the virus when he clearly hadn’t been.   

What would you change about the legal industry if you could?
I would make the lawyers treat each other better and more fairly.  Sometimes they are not very pleasant.  They want to come out all guns blazing even though it’s not always appropriate.

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…
A cook.  I used to be a commercial cook while I was studying law.  I worked in a food shop in Melbourne that made lots of take home items and special gourmet food.   

How do you take your coffee?
White with two sugars– And don’t forget the chocolate sprinkles!  

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