Clarissa Rayward

Unit 27, 14 Argyle Street
Albion, Queensland 4010
Office Phone: 0406997012
Member since 2008
Membership Type: IACP



On most days I would describe myself as a “happy family lawyer”. I love the work that I do and the way in which I am able to do it. I work in Brisbane, Australia where I operate a busy family law practice, Brisbane Family Law Centre, and a mediation practice, Brisbane Family Mediation Centre. I am a wife to Oliver, mum to 7 year old London and almost 2 year old Daisy, a lover of all things chocolate and the fashion label Gorman!

I am a divorce lawyer and I specialise in helping separating families stay out of the Family Courts and stay friends as I believe that a divorce can be part of a relationship that we can look back on with some pride.

I am passionate about relationships- I believe that the most important things in life are our relationships with others. I most enjoy working with parents who value their relationships with their children above all else. As a mother, wife, daughter and friend I am constantly amazed at the impact my relationships have on me and those around me.

In 2013 I started a blog called ‘The Happy Family Lawyer’. At that time I was anything but a ‘happy lawyer’. But late one Saturday night a very quick decision to start sharing my thoughts on how you can have a kind, calm and respectful divorce marked the beginning of my ‘happy lawyer’ story.

What began as a simple blog has fast become of community of almost 10,000 people all committed to changing the experience of divorce and separation for the better. In 2015 I published by first book, ‘Splitsville- How to separate, stay out of Court and stay friends’ a legal guide for families experiencing divorce and separation.

As I started to share my thoughts on life, love, heartbreak and happiness I soon found many other lawyers from around the globe getting in touch. Many of these lawyers were unhappy and were looking for guidance on how they too could practice law and find happiness in their life. You see being a lawyer takes a lot of hard work. We spend most of our time dealing with other people’s problems and as such it can be hard to see the good in all that we do.

In 2016 I started writing my second book- ‘Happy Lawyer, Happy Life- How to find happiness in law and in life’ in an attempt to address the rising rates of unhappiness in the legal profession. Here in Australia we are regularly told that 1 in every 3 lawyers will suffer a mental health condition during their career and it seems these statistics are similar the western world over. To assist with my research for the book and to be better able to open a positive dialogue about happiness in law, I created a podcast, also called ‘Happy Lawyer, Happy Life’ where each week I interview other lawyers who have found success, overcome challenge and found happiness in their careers.

Over the past few years I have found myself doing a few new things- I am still a divorce lawyer and run a great team of lawyers at my firm but now I get to do more of the things that I love- writing, speaking and sharing my knowledge and it is this that has enabled me to truly find happiness in my career.

Whether you are looking for assistance during relationship breakdown or are perhaps a lawyer looking for a little more happiness, do get in touch.

Area(s) of Practice: Family Law and Mediation
License(s): Member and Practicing certificate issued by Qld Law Society

Professional Activities

President- Qld Family Law Practitioners Association Member Qld Association of Collaborative Professionals Member Family Law Section Law Council of Australia

Professional Education

Collaborative Family Lawyer
Qld Law Society Accredited Family Law Specialist
Nationally Accredited Mediator

Training Offered

Clarissa is able to provide both the Introductory training in Collaborative Practice 2 day intensive program meeting the requirements of the IACP training standards for recognition as a Collaborative Professional.

In addition, Clarissa delivers more specific skills and module based training for more advanced practitioners or those seeking a refresher. Training can be offered in person or online via Webinar. Clarissa will also travel to your region to meet your specific training needs.

Training Conducted

Marketing your Collaborative Practice (Gold Coast Collaborative Practice Group) May 2015

During 2015- Webinar series co-presented with Anne- Marie Rice, monthly 1 hour online workshops in-
Marketing Collaborative Practice
Overcoming common misconceptions and hurdles
Growing your collaborative practice
Common skills required of a Collaborative Professional

Collaborative Practice Interdisciplinary Basic Training (TOWNSVILLE), March 2015

Keynote Presentation- 'What's all the Fuss about Collaborative Practice' Central Queensland Law Association Conference October 2014

Collaborative Practice Interdisciplinary Basic Training (BRISBANE) November 2014

Collaborative Practice Interdisciplinary Basic Training (BRISBANE) November 2013

Collaborative Practice Interdisciplinary Basic Training (BRISBANE) November 2012

Collaborative Practice Interdisciplinary Basic Training (BRISBANE) July 2012

Collaborative Practice Interdisciplinary Basic Training (TOOWOOMBA) March 2012

Collaborative Practice Interdisciplinary Basic Training (CAIRNS) February 2012

Collaborative Training Reference

To Whom It May Concern,

I have known Clarissa and worked with her for at least seven (7) years.

In that time, my professional interaction with Clarissa has included involvement in Court Proceedings (in which I have acted as the Independent Children’s Lawyer and she for a party), mediations and training programmes/seminars.

My extensive involvement with Clarissa has enabled me, I believe, to gain considerable insight into her professional competence and personal attributes.

Clarissa is a very competent lawyer technically. She currently holds the office of Vice President of the Family Law Practitioner’s Association. This is an elected position and reflects the high esteem in which she is held by her peers.

One of Clarissa’s great strengths is her ability to relate with people (regardless of their socio-economic background), establish a rapport with them and gain their confidence. She is able to support people in often highly emotive settings whilst at the same time keep them focussed and involved. Clarissa is quietly confidence and always approachable.

I have presented with Clarissa at Family Law Seminars on a number of occasions. She has an enviable ability to engage with people, hold their attention and interest and encourage active involvement by them in her sessions. She is persuasive and clearly enjoys teaching. Her obvious enthusiasm is infectious.

I have also attended a Collaborative Law Training Course (as a registrant) in which Clarissa has been one of the trainers. She is passionate about the practice of Collaborative Law. Her passion and commitment permeates her presentations.

She has conducted many Collaborative Law Training Programmes throughout Queensland and enjoys an enviable reputation as one of the state’s leading Collaborative Lawyers.

Clarissa always meets the high expectations which I have learned to have of her.

Clarissa would be an excellent trainer and no doubt would become a highly valued member of your team. I support her application without reservation and would invite you to telephone me if you require any further information.

Yours truly,

Rob Grant

Grant & Associates Family Lawyers
PO Box 657
Everton Park Qld 4053
Phone: 07 3353 6081
Fax: 07 3353 6090

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