This week marks the 40th year I have been practicing as a Lawyer. It seems like only yesterday when I took the oath to serve as a Solicitor of the Supreme of New South Wales on the 8th August, 1980.
It’s been a wonderful ride. I have made many good friends amongst my clients, my staff and my colleagues and I have learned so much through practicing law.
I have at various times been a general practitioner doing crime, family law and everything else which has walked through the door but in more recent times I have focused on Probate and Property Law. Every matter I do is different and even after 40 years, I am constantly learning more and more as I go along.
I started practicing in Hurstville with Colin J James Solicitor in 1980. I took over his firm in 1981 when Colin moved to Queensland and I bought in a university buddy Peter Wood as a Partner in 1984. Peter and I opened a branch office in Mascot in 1986 and in 1989, I went into partnership with my sister Lisa Salerno-Ruggero and we have remained in partnership since then. Lisa’s daughter, Daniella, is now a partner as is my son John and my daughter Sandra is a Licensed Conveyancer with us.
The firm has had steady growth over the years and in 2012 it acquired the Family Law practice of Adrian Twigg & Co and it’s Goulburn Street office. Both the Mascot office and the city office are busy hubs of activity as we go about servicing the needs of an ever growing client base.
Practice has certainty changed over the past 40 years. When I just started there were relatively few female Lawyers but they would go close to matching the number of male Lawyers these days.
Lawyers were held in much more esteem in the 80’s and 90’s. People would wear their Sunday best when they came in to see us and they all expected to pay great deal of money to engage a Solicitor. Competition came along forcing fees down and the expectation of clients are now much more than they were in those days. The successful lawyers are now those who have adapted to change and expectations and who can deliver legal services in a competent and timely manner at a fair and reasonable price. I am proud to say my firm does that.
Many thanks to the staff, clients and suppliers who have supported me and our firm over the years. I still very much enjoy what I am doing and while another 40 years is somewhat unlikely, I reckon I still have a few more years to go.