Kate Latham

Kate LathamHow would you describe what you do?

I am a personal injury lawyer. I assist people who have been injured at work, in a motor vehicle accident or on public property obtain compensation for their injuries. My day to day work predominantly involves speaking with clients and their families, preparing court documents and reading lots of medical reports and clinical notes.

What are the most important skills you need in your job?

Empathy, strong analytical skills, good listening skills and the ability to communicate effectively with all manner of people. You also need attention to detail. I enjoy meeting people and developing a good rapport with my clients.

What was your most formative experience?

I assisted a family to obtain a significant amount of compensation as a result of the death of their son at work when I first started working at Carroll & O’Dea. That matter resonated with me as I realised how we as lawyers can assist members of the community seek compensation not only for injuries they receive but assist their family members at what can be a very difficult time in their lives. It was then I realised I was a piece of that puzzle to allow for some sort of closure for many people when accessing the legal system. At that point I realised I really enjoyed this particular area of law.

What's the best career advice you've received?

Find something you like doing and stick with it. You might as well enjoy your work as you spend the majority of your life doing it! If you feel a sense of satisfaction in your work, it should flow into other areas of your life.

What motivates you most in a job?

I actually really enjoy being able to help other people. It is satisfying to be able to assist members of the community access their entitlements to compensation and put a negative experience behind them. I get to assist them accessing the means to secure a better future.

What career achievement are you most proud of?

I receive the exact same amount of satisfaction with every case that is finalised. Whether it be settled informally with an insurer or proceeds to hearing at court. If I can assist in successfully obtaining a client a fair and just amount of compensation I am proud.

What is your biggest career mistake?

I wouldn’t say mistake per se but there are things I would have done differently. It is the benefit of hindsight that has allowed me to learn from the way I may have tackled something in the past to maybe try a different approach next time.

How do you spend a typical Saturday morning?

You will find me taking my children (who are 1 and 2.5 years) for a run in the pram and usually heading out for coffee and lunch. Other weekends you will find me at the local artisan markets selling cold drip coffee with my husband (we really like our coffee).

What does the future hold for you?

More work and hopefully a holiday!

Career history

2007 - 2010 Law Clerk, FatchesJones Lawyers
2010 B.Ec.LL B, University of Newcastle
2010 - 2011 Law Clerk, Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers
2011 Admitted
2011 - present Solicitor, Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers