Director, Qld Law Society Accredited Specialist in Family Law, Mediator, Collaborative Lawyer, Author
Hi, I am Clarissa Rayward and I am the owner of Brisbane Family Law Centre. I have worked exclusively as a family lawyer since 2003 and my specialty is helping my clients to find a calm and considered resolution to their legal issues, staying out of the Family Courts and in an ideal world remaining friends- whatever that means for them.
I am a wife to Oliver, mum to 8 year old London and 2 year old Daisy, a lover of all things chocolate and the fashion label Gorman! And while it may sound strange, I love the work that I get to do- helping my clients navigate one of the most difficult moments in their lives.
In 2013 I started a blog called ‘The Happy Family Lawyer’. At that time I was anything but a ‘happy lawyer’. But late one Saturday night a very quick decision to start sharing my thoughts on how you can have a kind, calm and respectful divorce marked the beginning of my ‘happy lawyer’ story.
What began as a simple blog has fast become of community of almost 10,000 people all committed to changing the experience of divorce and separation for the better. In 2015 I published by first book, ‘Splitsville- How to separate, stay out of Court and stay friends’ a legal guide for families experiencing divorce and separation.
As I started to share my thoughts on life, love, heartbreak and happiness I soon found many other lawyers from around the globe getting in touch. Many of these lawyers were unhappy and were looking for guidance on how they too could practice law and find happiness in their life. You see being a lawyer takes a lot of hard work. We spend most of our time dealing with other people’s problems and as such it can be hard to see the good in all that we do.
In 2016 I started writing my second book- ‘Happy Lawyer, Happy Life- How to find happiness in law and in life’ in an attempt to address the rising rates of unhappiness in the legal profession. Here in Australia we are regularly told that 1 in every 3 lawyers will suffer a mental health condition during their career and it seems these statistics are similar the western world over. To assist with my research for the book and to be better able to open a positive dialogue about happiness in law, I created a podcast, also called ‘Happy Lawyer, Happy Life’ where each week I interview other lawyers who have found success, overcome challenge and found happiness in their careers.
Over the past few years I have found myself doing a few new things- I am still a divorce lawyer and run a great team of lawyers at my firm but now I get to do more of the things that I love- writing, speaking and sharing my knowledge and it is this that has enabled me to truly find happiness in my career.
Whether you are looking for assistance during relationship breakdown or are perhaps a lawyer looking for a little more happiness, I would love the chance to work with you.
Clarissa was also recently interviewed by popular personal chef, Ronsley Vaz on his podcast ‘Bond Appetit’. You can hear Clarissa’s thoughts on how food can unite friends and family here (and learn a little more about Clarissa, including her lack of culinary skill!)
Qld Collaborative Law – Committee Member 2009 to 2014
International Academy of Collaborative Professionals– Access to Collaboration Taskforce- Committee Member 2013-2014