Bree Knoester | Brave Legal
Why did you choose to practice law?
As simple as it sounds, I wanted to help people. My mother had always worked in the not-for-profit sector and instilled in my sister and I a passion for helping those less fortunate than ourselves. I think we are incredibly privileged as lawyers to be trusted and confided in by our clients – particularly in the area of personal injury. We also possess a toolbox of skills that can help someone navigate towards an outcome at the worst time in their life which is a pretty amazing thing in itself.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love hearing people’s stories and learning about what they have overcome – we get bursts of inspiration from our clients on a daily basis. It is incredible that you can help someone at their most vulnerable. In that way, I think we are much more than “just” lawyers. However, I also really enjoy the teaching of the law and the sharing of experiences with our team of lawyers and support staff. It is such a rewarding experience to be able to play a role in the development of junior lawyers and authentically invest in their progression. Before you know it, you are being taught things you do not know by the lawyers you are collaborating with and this, in turn, ensures that you are continually growing and developing
What do you like doing outside of the law?
Outside of the law, I am a passionate cyclist! Whilst COVID and scary drivers have meant that I now do a lot of my training on an indoor trainer using the Zwift platform, cycling is a wonderful outlet and stress management tool. I am part of a training team working towards a 13 hour endurance event in early August 2023 and a women’s racing team who race weekly. This means a lot of sweaty Lycra, early mornings and talk about “carbs” and “functional threshold power” much to my family’s boredom! I also have two small children so weekends are busy but my all time favourite thing is brunch at a local café with my favourite chai latte and corn fritters.
What does community mean to you?
I think we often worry that we are not involved enough in a community, or not part of a community and that it is a much bigger thing that you are either “in” or “out” of. In terms of the legal community, I have had these feelings of doubt that I am not “in” when I left the Bar and returned to private practice, when I left a national firm to start a boutique firm and definitely when my parental responsibilities doubled and I just could not work in the way I had previously.
But I have now realised that even the small group of people you work with, is an important community that can provide a be a vital support. We have the opportunity to contribute to this small community in many ways – sharing a cake, an idea, an article or a patient ear. For me, the joy is in connecting our small community at Brave Legal to the larger legal community but also seeing our team do this for themselves and establish wonderful bridges between communities. At Brave Legal, some of our team have developed interest and support groups in line with their area of practice or seniority and in this way they are fostering a sense of community and linking communities together. A wonderful thing to watch in real time.