Sarah finds her ideal fit
SARAH Minter’s passion for the law is evident from the moment she starts talking about the journey that led her to join Coulter Legal in early 2017.
Sarah grew up in the UK and completed a Bachelor of Laws and Post-Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice in London about 17 years ago.
She says a lifechanging placement while completing her university studies confirmed she was on the right career path.
“While I was studying I did a couple of placements and one of those was in Mississippi working for Capital Post-Conviction Counsel which involves doing death row appeals,” she explains.
“Obviously that was absolutely amazing and it was an experience that really shaped me.
“It was very challenging but made me fall in love with the law.”
Sarah says it gave her a huge sense of achievement and led her to take a job in the UK Parliament as the Senior Caseworker to a Member of Parliament and the Minister of State for Children and Families.
But a change was in the wind after meeting her Australian husband, Greg, with the couple deciding to live and raise a family on the Surf Coast where Greg already owned a Jan Juc beach shack.
“I followed a slightly unconventional career path so when we moved to Victoria I was looking for somewhere to work,” Sarah recalls.
“I applied to Coulter Legal and met with our GM, Belinda, and I felt quite excited because I hadn’t expected to find a fantastic law firm where I could be close to home in Torquay and the maximum commute being Geelong.
“I ended up interviewing only a couple of months after I arrived in Australia, I’d been actively looking for work and was really fortunate to find Coulter Legal.”
Sarah – now a dynamic working mum-of-two – has three roles within Coulter Legal as a Senior Paralegal within the Litigation and Dispute Resolution team, an Executive Assistant to the Executive and Leadership teams, as well as being Project Manager for the Surf Coast and Melbourne offices.
She works four days a week to complete a 0.9 full-time equivalent role and spends the fifth day studying through Deakin to requalify and become a practicing lawyer in Australia later this year.
Coulter Legal provides her with the flexibility to work both in the office and from home, allowing her to pick up the children – Finlay, 8, and Isla, 7 – from school and stay connected to her local community.
“There are a lot of us who have flexible working arrangements so we can work around picking up children from school or childcare, or caring for older relatives as well. There is a real focus on support of the family which is wonderful.”
Sarah loves that Coulter Legal has equality among the leadership group and staff, with 60 per cent of the leadership team being female.
“Very excitingly, we just introduced a generous parental leave policy which includes 18 weeks of paid parental leave.
“That applies to parents whether they are the person who gives birth or otherwise and I just think that is fantastic because to me it is really progressive and it’s great to be working for a business that treats parents so well.”
Sarah and her family moved from Jan Juc to Torquay about two years ago and she says living in Australia has exceeded all of her expectations.
“When we moved to Jan Juc I thought ‘this is what I dreamt of when I was looking at moving to Australia’ – that is what you think an Australian lifestyle would be.
“It’s really outdoorsy and I love running and walking and being on the beach so it was just an absolutely fantastic move.
“I am one of the run directors at Torquay Park Run and my kids go to school locally and we are actively involved in the Surf Life Saving Club.”
Being part of the Coulter Legal team only enhances that strong sense of community, she says.
“We have a long history so when I’m working at the office in Torquay – and also in Geelong – it makes me feel like we are providing a service of quality legal advice in the local community and I really enjoy that.”