Episode 50 7 November 2021
What I have learned from 50 podcast episodes
Principal lawyer, Geraldine Grace | Host, New Earth lawyer podcast
After 50 podcast episodes, I'm taking a break before returning with a new format in 2022.
In this final episode of Season 1, I reflect on what I've learned from recording 50 podcast episodes - from my guests who are brilliant lawyers doing amazing things in law, to the experience of opening up about myself, my beliefs and vision for a new legal system.
Thank you to everyone who listened, watched, downloaded, commented, subscribed, followed and liked these episodes. It's given me much more than I expected and I'm extremely grateful.
I am an experienced corporate lawyer, using the law to build purposeful, human-centred, Earth-friendly legal enterprises & ecosystems, for happier humans and a better planet.
I am also the founder and host of the New Earth lawyer podcast.
I am based in Melbourne, Australia, and an expert in enterprise governance, purpose, business & human rights and modern slavery. I established my own law practice Geraldine Grace in 2020, focussing on enterprises seeking purpose, and actors in the impact economy.
I am a legal advisor to not-for-profits with a national reach in impact and purpose. I work with Boards to optimise performance and help enterprises embed purpose and integrate human rights into their business.
I have over 20 years' experience practising law in Australia, the UK, Hong Kong and mainland China. I have worked for large global and Australian law firms and was a partner of a top-tier Australian law firm for several years.
[1:48] My expectations when I started the podcast in May 2021 were to explore my interest in the development of new legal practices.
[2:40] One benefit was building a great network of like-minded lawyers all over the world and learning what was innovative in legal practice.
[5:23] Practically, I have learned about podcasting - what works and what doesn't.
[7:16] It was important for me to be transparent and authentic about my personal, spiritual beliefs although it was challenging to do that.
[9:30] Those of us who have deeper spiritual beliefs can support others who are speaking up about their own beliefs - it will help make the world a better place.
[12:18] I sum up the simple lessons I learned for anyone who might be thinking of pursuing a similar path.
Hi, everyone. My name is Geraldine Johns-Putra. This is the new Earth lawyer podcast. I'm your host, I'm a lawyer based in Melbourne, Australia and I'm coming to you from Boonwurrung country and I wish to pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
This is a special episode because it's episode 50. Yes, I have made it to 50 episodes, it's also going to be the last episode for a while, because I'm taking a break having hit 50 episodes. I began this podcast in May this year, May 2021. It's now November. So for the past six months, I have interviewed 24 amazing lawyers who are changing the practice of law to change the world. I've also put out 24 episodes, not counting this one, of me alone, talking about various things to you all. And that's what the past six months and 50 episodes have been about.
I'm going to take a break, and I'll be back next year, probably around February. I really want to thank everyone for watching and for commenting on these videos for downloading the audios for subscribing to my YouTube channel, following me on Facebook and Instagram and commenting and supporting me.
You know, I didn't really have a lot of expectations when I set up this podcast, it was actually something I wanted to do as an outlet because I had at the time, a little extra time in my schedule and I wanted to explore an interest I had, which was to see how law was developing in different, more courageous ways and about the lawyers who are doing that, or just creating, in my vision, a system of law that is more beneficial to clients, to lawyers, to the wider community, to the planet than our traditional law practices. As I've always said, it's about, this podcast is about showcasing lawyers who are changing the practice of law to change the world.
So along the way, I gained a number of things, and I'm just going to talk about them, you know for people who might be interested in putting themselves out there in a similar kind of way, there might be some interesting lessons that I can share. Firstly, the thing that I found was that I really solidified and I invigorated some great friendships. These were people I already knew and were already doing fabulous things, innovative things in the law. But by having them on my podcast, I really got to grow those friendships, take them to the next level. And then through those friends and my existing network, I was introduced to even more lawyers who were doing wonderful things. And I now have a network of lawyers from all around the world from the US, the UK, South Africa, and here in Australia, I've been able to call on them when I've needed to, to actually assist my own clients and acquaintances. And that's been a true gift. And I am just so appreciative of that. That's the biggest thing for me that's come out of doing this podcast. And so I've learnt so much from all of my guests, and it's actually helped my views on the practice of law, a new practice of law, and alternatives that people are actually working on right now and developing for clients and to make things better for lawyers. It's like lawyers moving away from the billable hour model, creating innovative practices like transformational mediation that resolves criminal matters and disputes in a really holistic and compassionate way. There's collaborative family law, which is another compassionate practice in matrimonial and family disputes. There's new ways of drafting contracts, values based contracts and visual contracts. There's trauma-based law, which actually is a practice of law that looks at clients as people who are carrying psychological trauma, and aims to help resolve that trauma and not create more trauma. There's spiritual legal coaching and other legal coaches who are coaching other lawyers as well as coaching clients. So much, you know, in the episodes that I've put out and the people I've interviewed.
And then on a more practical level, I've also learned about what works and what doesn't work in the world of podcasting, I'm still learning. I've made mistakes. I've definitely I've put out episodes where I thought, oh, I shouldn't have put that one out. I've looked back and thought, oh, that really, maybe I should take it down. But I've left up all of my episodes, because I really don't want to be embarrassed about what I've done. Everything that I've done in the last six months, is going to have an element of trial and error. I'm trying something new, anyone is going to be making mistakes and learning as they go, I'm no different. This is the first time ever I've worked in digital media like this. So it's been a massively steep learning curve. I've had feedback from people, I've taken them on board.
And now I've got different ideas about how I can improve things for when I come back, which I intend to next year. I've thought about the different technology I can invest in, cameras, sound equipment to improve quality for people who are watching, and / or listening. I've learned about sound editing, video editing, there's so much room to improve. I've thought about things like how often I should be producing episodes, how to promote them, what the time commitment is going to be for me going forward, what I can afford to fit into my schedule, all these practical things. And now I'm going to make those adjustments. The important thing was to start, and then to keep going. And now that I've done this for six months, which was the commitment I had in the first place to myself, I can step back and make the adjustments.
Another thing I want to talk about as a learning, I opened up about myself. That's been huge, it was very scary. So I'll admit that. I opened up about my spiritual experiences, about the evolution of my spiritual beliefs, which is very hard for a lawyer to do, because we're supposed to be rational and analytical. And here, I was coming out to the world talking about these woo-woo things. And I knew it could expose me to possible criticism. But it was a boundary, I chose to test for myself. Why? Because it was part of being transparent, and authentic. See, I've had these spiritual beliefs for such a long time while practising law. And they definitely inform my practice of the law, they inform the type of law I want to practice, the way I want to serve the world, and how I go about doing that. You know, I do fundamentally believe that there's more to the world than what we see. And I believe in our interconnectedness with all things, I believe in unity consciousness, you know that we all share a larger consciousness, and I believe in a greater and higher spiritual purpose that's based on principles of love. I can't be the lawyer I am meant to be without bringing these beliefs to my work. So I talked about those things, like my journey into developing my spiritual beliefs, and also how I see the legal system developing to align more with those spiritual truths. And although, yep, it was very confronting, I also found it liberating, because I was being honest and true to myself. I was also aligning what I was showing to the world, my outer self, with my inner self.
I think there's also an important thing here, about people who do carry these deeper spiritual beliefs and who might not be necessarily bringing that to their work. Now, these beliefs we tend to hide, generally speaking, because they're not necessarily widely accepted by the world, and especially in professional circles. So when any of us speak about these things, I think it's also great if others who share those beliefs can support coming out, so to speak, with those beliefs, and give each other courage, because I think it'll encourage others to do the same. And then it'll present to the world, you know that there actually are a fair number of us who share these sorts of beliefs in a higher purpose and so on. And then we won't feel so isolated, and we won't feel like we're so, unusual, because like I said, we're not so rare.
And then it's also going to be good for the world. Because people who are spiritual beliefs and who live and work in accordance with them, I believe we tend to be more engaged and active in serving others and serving the world. So if we're encouraged to speak up about these things, then I think we can be more proactive and more visible. And we can make an impact with our work and make the world a better place. For example, in vocalising my beliefs, I spoke a lot about individual rights and self agency, right, the rights of people to choose for themselves. And this was also something of a challenge for me because I was doing this in a time when there was a lot of divisiveness and a lot of noise and chaos around discussions about our individual freedoms, due to the pandemic and mandates. And I spoke up because I felt it was important and because it was aligned with my beliefs. At all times, I stressed the need for love and unity, because those are my beliefs, too. I was definitely concerned about what people were going to think. But I'm glad I did it anyway, right? It was important for me to put my thoughts out there. It didn't matter how many people listened to them, because also putting together my thoughts in a cohesive way helped me to make sense of my positions on things and to integrate them, and was, again, a test of my own alignment with my beliefs, and what I was presenting to the world, and a test of my courage and a test of my ability to stand up and to be transparent and authentic.
So I'm going to sum up, you know, it's not been about numbers of subscribers, or likes or comments for me. I mean, this is still a very small channel, you know, it's not got huge numbers. But that's definitely all right. This podcast has been about things like enhancing my own knowledge about new legal practices, teaching myself skills in social media and digital media, increasing my network, and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. And I would add to that, that I have also achieved work coming to me out of this podcast, which I hadn't expected, but which has been great. And I'm really appreciative for that.
So the lessons for me and for anyone who might be thinking of doing something similar, is just put down some simple goals, not goals to do with fame and fortune, but really authentic goals around things like self growth and service to others. And then another lesson is stick at it for a given amount of time. So I decided six months, stick at it, and I have. And then the final thing is not to have expectations that as lawyers, especially we tend to put upon ourselves about what success means. Just remain aligned, and committed to the simple goals. Altruistic ones. So as I said, I'm going to take a break, I'll be back next year, I'll probably have a new format, where I'm going to focus more on the guests. And I've got a collaboration that I'm working on as well with a beautiful soul. So I'm hoping that that's going to come off. And I might invest, as I said, in some new technology and make this a better experience for people.
So that's it for me again, I want to thank everyone so much who has shown me support in so many ways from my guests to people listening and watching to my family and my loved ones who have been really great, you know even know they've watched and gone hmm, wonder what Geraldine is going to do next. They're given me fantastic support. That's it for season one. From the New Earth lawyer. It really has been far more than I expected it to be. Thank you so much. Goodbye, and I'll see you next year.