The founder and CEO of Her Lawyer Pty Ltd, Courtney Bowie, has been named a finalist in the Emerging Leader category of the Telstra Business Women's Awards in New South Wales.
The firm aims to turn the traditional law firm on its head, being the first in the country catering solely for women-owned businesses. From service design, communication style and the way the solicitors interact with their clients, the team at Her Lawyer have been meticulous in creating a service with women, and their values, firmly in mind.
The founder, Courtney Bowie, kicked off her career at a mid-tier law firm, but had to leave after finding out the severe headaches she had been experiencing were caused by anxiety and depression that had manifested physically due to the high stress work environment.
After this experience Bowie was determined to create a life for herself and others that would utilise their skills and experience while offering work life balance.
Bowie set up Her Lawyer in 2017 from her spare room and now employs three people and a team of remote workers across the country.
The company runs 100 per cent virtually using tech solutions including Dubsado, Slack, Zoom, Zapier, LawSwitch, ClickUp and OneDrive to ensure projects are run effectively.
The company also implements a fixed-fee model and offers video advices and strategic road maps for clients to help them DIY their own legal solutions.
"By adopting a non-traditional tone and voice, Her Lawyer provides legal advice to women in business in a way that helps them feel heard and supported," says Ms Bowie, CEO of Her Lawyer.
As an emerging leader Bowie has not only been a spokesperson in the media for mental health issues, she has cared for children in an orphanage in Peru and worked on a dairy farm in Victoria. She champions Indigenous rights and reconciliation and dealt with further health issues last year when she was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum during her pregnancy with her son.
"These decisions, opportunities and experiences have been pivotal in making me strive to be the leader I am today," says Ms Bowie.
"I'm someone who loves the law but values people first and I will always think outside the box to make the law truly work for the people it serves.
"If a client wants to chat for 10 minutes because her baby has gone down for nap or needs a late-night conference around work and caring responsibilities, we can make that happen."
The firm also heavily relies on a female-dominated workforce who love the flexibility and respect the firm's culture provides, with one solicitor working from a caravan travelling across the country.
"Flexibility is something many firms pay lip service to; many are male dominated and highly corporate.
"I'm passionate about showing that law can still be efficient without losing the personal touch.
"Law doesn't have to be about offices with waterfront views, designer suits and confusing legal jargon aimed at justifying outrageous hourly fees."
Question: Can you tell us about Her Lawyer?
Courtney Bowie: Her Lawyer is a commercial law firm for ambitious women in business.
We offer commercial law services (like contracts, employment and intellectual property) to support women to start and grow their own businesses.
We're focused on making legal services flexible, friendly and even fun for our clients.
Question: What inspired you to start Her Lawyer?
Courtney Bowie: The amazing women I was seeing blazing a trail on their own.
I also saw the need for women to take back their own story, and to develop their own financial independence with a business.
Question: Why is it important to you to keep your firm female-only?
Courtney Bowie: Despite the name, Her Lawyer is not female-only. We hire men and we have lovely male clients.