June 2024 | Meg Crawford | Justitia Lawyers and Consultants


Meg Crawford | Justitia Lawyers and Consultants

What makes you feel confident at Justitia?

I am surrounded by kind, caring, compassionate and very clever people firm wide. I have peers that I trust and from whom I learn, every single week. I’ve been a lawyer for over 22 years, so learning something on the regular is pretty incredible. To borrow a footy phrase, I feel like I’ve “lifted” since being here. Also, they just let me be myself. I love them, and I love being here! True story.

Based on what you know now, if you could give your younger self some advice, what would this be?

Dear Meg,

You will find this hard to believe, but being a lawyer will equip you with enough transferable skills to step out of the law as a full-time music and lifestyle journalist for a few years, before returning to the profession part-time, with lots of tattoos and writing fiction on the side. You will love the ride and everything will work out in a way that delights you beyond measure, so relax. Also, please go to Anton’s for suits sooner rather than later. You will thank me for it. Finally, I’m sure you will ignore this until you don’t, but it’s ok to talk about your feelings, and, for the love of Goddess, stop smoking.

With all love,
Future You

What personal action and/or collective initiatives do you believe are crucial for driving greater gender equality and representation within the legal profession?

Easy. We need to talk about perimenopause and menopause, loud and proud. I’m 50 at the time of writing this, and I’ll be 51 when it goes to print. I’m slap bang in the perimenopausal hotseat. Looking back, I may well have been there since my early 40s, but didn’t know. I just thought my thermostat was broken, and I was crazy. One of my dearest pals, is also a lawyer and a smidge older than me. A few years ago, when she was considering a change, she said that she needed to be in a workplace that would be kind to her in menopause. Now, I know why. I’ve been tired, tearful, itchy, irritable, forgetful, wanted to set things on fire with my mind, clumsy, sweaty, with periods that lasted for 19 days a month and were so heavy I needed to WFH because I actually couldn’t leave the house and suffered from chronically low iron as a consequence.

If I didn’t have the full love and support of the women at Justitia, throwing in the legal towel may have seemed like a good option (if not the only one!).

Instead, we have had a menopausal consultant talk to the entire firm, a fan was installed at my desk (fondly called, “the menopause fan”), I was allowed to WFH when necessary without it being a big deal, a partner stepped in to conduct a seminar interstate when low iron finally toppled me, and another partner hailed the benefits of MHT from her own lived experience and urged me to continue to advocate for my own health.

Happily, I’m now on MHT, I’ve had a uterine ablation and my iron levels rock. My next decade is looking very sparkly, but it wouldn’t have been without candid conversations and meaningful support.