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Tell me law - 3

Tell me law – 3 with Fran O’Brien QC and Matthew Karakoulakis

In episode 3 of Tell me law we are joined by Fran O’Brien QC as she prepares to retire from a brilliant career as a barrister practicing in employment and industrial relations. She is also an expert in discrimination law. Fran O’Brien confided that her area of expertise is gratifying. "Because you are always dealing with people and their lives.”

Our special guest, Fran O’Brien QC, has done some work helping Matthew Karakoulakis set up a 100% Aboriginal owned and Aboriginal operated law firm. Over the years, Fran was also Matthew’s mentor.

Fran O'Brien has practiced in employment and industrial relations for 30 years. She is also an expert in discrimination law.

In our conversation Fran revealed that she started focusing on discrimination law when not many people wanted to work in this area. This gap led her to open a full practice in this field.

“You are always dealing with people and their lives,” Fran O’ Brien said.  It is a gratifying career though, sometimes issues can be complicated and the role requires a lot of skills.

Fran O’Brien also considers the satisfaction and gratitude from clients as another source of motivation to practice in her field.

In her Chambers, colleagues specialising in the corporate and commercial fields of law predominantly, regularly approach her inquiring about what new and intriguing things she might be working on as there is a lot of variety in discrimination law.  

Fran O’Brien encourages legal students and young lawyers to consider becoming barristers.

“It is a gratifying career. It is very satisfying especially when you win a case in court. Winning is always a highlight.”

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