Emily Kalatzis is Practice Manager at Justitia Lawyers & Consultants, with professional services experience and a vested interest in law.

What inspired you to become a Practice Manager?

I have always been interested in the legal profession. If I could go back in time, I would probably study law at university (I completed an Arts Degree, which I loved too!).  Because of my interest in law, when the position was advertised at Justitia I jumped at the opportunity of becoming a Practice Manager.

What do you love about your job?

The team, the leadership and the variety of tasks each day. I like playing my part and contributing to the success of our organisation. I’m dedicated to aiding the lawyers so they can focus and deliver to their clients.

What interests you about employment law, and what do you think makes Justitia unique?

I’m interested in making a change for the better with our clients and their organisations. Seeing that all the way through inspires me. That’s what is great about Justitia – focusing on the clients’ goals and objectives and providing training sessions and tools within their organisations so that they learn and sustain changes. I believe we are quite unique in that way.

As the only employee of Justitia who isn’t a lawyer or a lawyer in training, you have a distinct perspective on legal practice. What do you like and dislike about working in a legal environment?

Great question. The Justitia team as a whole has thrown the usual judgment of lawyers out the window! There are no egos here. Instead, there is so much support, encouragement and collaboration within the team. It is a totally different view to what you would think lawyers are.

Another point of difference is the innovation. I imagine that in a corporate legal practice it would be more structured, and perhaps your ideas don’t get put forward as often or aren’t well received. At Justitia, all ideas are welcomed and we continue to strive to be innovative and at the forefront.

And I don’t have any dislikes!

What is the best advice on management you have received?

The best advice I have received has been to observe, listen and support. That’s what we ourselves want. So as a manager, my job is to return that to someone else. It’s essential to keep an open dialogue in management.

Who would you consider a mentor or your biggest inspiration and why?

I had a previous colleague and dear friend who taught me about striving for your dreams and achieving whatever you put your mind to, but also the importance of life /work balance. Now that I am a mother of a little one, I really value that advice. As a woman and a mum, we CAN do it all.

What have you learned in your current role?

No two days are the same! Which is great, because it’s always different and the variety makes it more enjoyable.

Obviously during this pandemic, we have had to pivot into a new way of working by not being in the office. This involves moving to a different technique with management (being remote), and communication and connection become essential. We are all learning to adapt which is an essential trait in any job or career.

I remember Steve Harvey made the astute observation that we need to flip our framing from ‘I got to go to work’ to ‘I get to go to work’. That has become my daily mantra.

What’s your favourite legal TV show? Who’s your favourite character?

There is a courtroom drama called ‘All Rise’. I’ve watched a couple of seasons of that recently. I loved the court stenographer – the girl who does the dictation. Obviously, she sees and hears everything!

Em and Kalinda

Emily Kalatzis was interviewed by Kalinda Scheef.