Theresa Jennings is a deaf lawyer working for the Cancer Council Queensland
She is a founding member of the QLS Diverse Abilities Network, a network which connects and advocates for solicitors and law students in Queensland that have a disability or diverse ability.
Genevieve Nuttal a generalist lawyer with a special interest in the National Disability Insurance Scheme helped me interview Theresa
Theresa talks about:
· Choosing the university she went to based on the support to students with a disability and then failing to take advantage of the support;
· The difficulties she had in her first few years at university because she didn’t want fellow students to know that she was deaf and couldn’t hear the lecturer speaking;
· How she relied on lecture notes and asking questions to get through;
· How getting older has helped her to be more comfortable with disclosing her deafness and asking people to make adjustments;
· Securing a disability internship with Sparke Helmore and the tax office;
· The benefits and challenges of having a hearing impairment when practicing law;
· How a question she asked at a Queensland Law Society stand at a succession conference ultimately led to the formation of the QLS diverse Abilities Network;
· How the network has improved her confidence in her practice of the law as a practitioner with a hearing impairment;
· Why being deaf was such an advantage of working for Bunnings (whilst at school and during university) in customer service with a focus on loss prevention;
· How a volunteer role helping with staging events led to a paid job as a lawyer at the Queensland Cancer Council;
· The role of legal counsel for the Queensland Cancer Council including managing bequests, negotiating contracts and protecting intellectual property;
· How Genevieve and Theresa first met and what Gen thought when Theresa kept asking questions as to what members of the group were saying; and
· How having a disability made it easier to get connections as a younger practitioner because she had the benefit of membership of the QLS Diverse Abilities Network.
If you want to find out more about Theresa you can contact her through Linkedin:(3) Theresa Jennings | LinkedIn or drop me a line through the website.