“Leanne remained in the office alone during the multiple COVID lockdowns to coordinate client - lawyer activities and ensure business continuity, whether that required staffing the phones, receiving/dispatching files or responding to clients without any disruption. Leanne also provided training and mentoring to new staff during the change of ownership of the firm and the transition of the practice management system to Smokeball. Without Leanne and her ongoing dedicated service that extends beyond 14 years with the firm, including her wise counsel, dedication, loyalty and technical expertise, the firm would not be poised for ongoing success through our structured transformational change program. Leanne is testament to the phase 'going the extra mile',” Alexandra explains.
Bianca Bowron-Cuthill, General Manager Australia, Smokeball notes: “In the second year of running this competition, nominations more than doubled which is so pleasing to see the great recognition of the work that legal secretaries and paralegals do. It is not a surprise to see the competition grow as the normalising of remote and hybrid teams really brings the importance of these roles to the fore in terms of creating a smooth and happy working environment and an excellent customer experience. Leanne is the epitome of this as the successful key to not only business continuity during multiple lockdowns but also in successfully steering her firm through an ownership and transformational change program. We congratulate Leanne on a job very well done.”
“And we also extend our congratulations to our hundreds of nominees and ten finalists who are the heart of their firms,” Bianca adds.
Leanne received a luxury hamper valued at $250 and the ten finalists all received a Smokeball prize pack.
10 runners up
Due to the number of incredible nominations, it was extremely hard to only highlight one.
Brodie Hart - Women's Legal Centre ACT
"Brodie efficiently and capably manages the Intake Team for our Centre. The intake team is the first point of contact for women who are seeking support and often are escaping domestic and family violence. The stories the Intake team hear day after day are harrowing. Brodie approaches this difficult task in a trauma-informed manner. She is calm, caring and appropriately directs the women to the best options of legal advice available to them."
Melanie Bullard - Bona Fide Lawyers
"Mel is way more than a legal secretary, and I mean that quite literally. It wasn’t until I’d been at the firm for a few months that I learned that in addition to providing administrative support for the lawyers, she single-handedly operates the debt collection practice and for years has been the backbone of conveyancing and wills and estates matters."
Prue Garvin - Clarity Lawyers
"Prue always goes above and beyond for our staff, our clients, and her family. Prue is most definitely the best assistant in the business, she is always one step ahead and is proactive in everything that she accomplishes."
Astra Reichman-Floyd - Integrated Family Law
"Astra is a warm soul who offers empathy to all our clients (we are a family law firm, and many clients are dealing with a difficult time). She has positive energy and always goes the extra mile to make sure that the team runs smoothly."
Kerry Holmes - D'Arcy Sloman Peacock Lawyers
"Kerry is more than just my secretary; she is my personal assistant, conveyancer, trust account person, diary keeper, office manager and more. Without her, my practice simply could not function. Kerry recently had a week’s annual leave, I was on my own, and by Friday night, I did not have enough energy to stay up and watch the football."
Louise Mcmullen - Toltz Lawyers
"Louise makes a gigantic contribution to our office with her positivity, work ethic, efficiency, and optimism, making all our work much easier. Her dedication, assistance, and can-do attitude is inspiring to all, and an excellent example to our new law graduates."
Tracey McLean - Ballarat Lawyers
"Tracey knows everything - she knows exactly where the file is when I cannot find it. In fact, Tracey knows I will be looking for the file before I am. She manages me, as well as most of the firm's family law cases."
Anita Sodhi - Vitality Law Australia
"Anita goes the extra mile for my firm by continually improving our systems and processes, somehow managing to be a mind reader for me, and putting in extra hours (often after hours) to ensure the work is done and so the matters can progress smoothly."
Lily Johnston - Bluekey Lawyers
"Lily is constantly going above and beyond for all her clients and regularly offers assistance to others even when she is already at capacity. Taking quoting calls on the weekend and staying back for an hour to walk one nervous client through the Settlement Adjustment are just brief examples."
Bridie Elder - Grit Legal
"I love having Bridie as a member of our team! Bridie currently works remotely, and it is amazing how much she has learnt over the last five months through training with Smokeball and our regular zoom catchups. Bridie always goes the extra mile to ensure work gets completed, even if it means popping online on a day she is not working to ensure the completion of a task."