Parenthood, a pandemic and the changing face of the law – what I have learnt from my journey in legal practice

Shona Hoskins gets personal about her journey in the law and the impact of parenthood on her career.

This year Douglas Hoskins Legal celebrated its 10th year in practice as a legal firm practicing in South Australia. This milestone has given me cause to pause and reflect as to how, after a period approaching 20 years in the law, as a full-time working mum managing a busy legal practice, I have reached this point in my legal career.

It is with some trepidation that I ponder what the future might hold, in terms of the success of running a legal practice. This is particularly so in what is quite a challenging time to operate a legal practice following the COVID-19 pandemic, with increasing concerns over cyber security, as well as the increased pace of the provision of legal services, in light of heightened expectations and pressure from clients.

I first started my career at 22 years of age, as a law clerk, working for the firm Caldicott and Co. As a junior practitioner, I worked on anything and everything that was given to me, in a wide range of legal areas, often left to my own devices to find the correct answer, or the right pathway forward.  Although I later went on to specialise in specific areas of the law, I do not regret those early years of wandering into a particular Court, terrified that I would say or do the wrong thing in front of the client and my colleagues and then the overwhelming feeling of relief when the hearing was over. Those early days of legal practice taught me resilience and gave me courage and therefore I do not begrudge the various stumbles along the way.

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