Meet the speakers – Chrissie Wolfe and Lucy Dillon

Meet the Legal Geek speakers

Lucy Dillon

Lucy Dillon Interview

With us unable to fit the full line up of our conference speakers on The Enchanter, we had the chance to catch up with Lucy Dillon, formerly the Chief Knowledge Officer at Reed Smith LLP and now the Director of her own consultancy business, Lucy Dillon Consulting Ltd. We remained on shore for our chat where we talked about Lucy’s favourite Legal Geek moment, what she will be speaking about at this year’s conference and so much more.

What are you speaking about at our September Legal Geek Conference?

The Air Force has been piloting (no pun intended…!) a new form of virtual training for their fighter pilots. Although lawyers will hopefully never have to master a flap actuator failure or understand the physics of a spiral dive, the mental practice method their trainee pilots adopt is of wider application, and I am going to talk about it’s potential, as well as the way they use technology for enhancing learning.

What has been your favourite Legal Geek moment?

Last year was a brilliant experience for me personally. Being a self-confessed extravert, getting to attend my first event in person after lockdown filled me with so much joy. The joy of seeing familiar faces but also getting the chance to meet new faces that I had only seen on a video screen, in person, was brilliant. The weather was wonderful, Legal Geek did what they always do by creating a fantastic community experience, and although exhausting, it was my favourite personal moment with Legal Geek. In addition to this, I would like to mention Srin Madipalli’s presentation back in 2016. His story of creating an accessible offering within the travel sector was inspirational and caused a great impact on me.

What do you do to recharge?

I have two things to help me rebalance. The first is running…done slowly. Running is my chance to think and process information. The second, which I fully switch off with, is gardening. My husband calls it combat gardening as we are constantly battling with the weeds. I have always been a keen gardener, from having window boxes on my first flat balcony, through to growing beautiful flowers in my garden today. I’ve never been a big fan of gardening programmes though, as much as I like Monty Don, they always make me feel inadequate. Gardening allows me to be free spirited, not to take advice and just be in the zone. My garden is also a walk down memory lane, seeing plants that have been given to me by individuals, or remind me of someone. Walking around my garden brings me so much joy as I think of those I care about, in flora form.

If you could give your 20-year-old self, one piece of advice, what would it be?

Don’t be in a hurry. Life Is a long journey, so enjoy the ride and savour each stopping off point. I’m at that age when I do look back and there are so many things that happen in life that you don’t expect. We are all guilty of hurrying through these unexpected moments to get to the next expected stage, but there is so much to enjoy during the in-between spaces.

How do you describe your job at a dinner party?

Before setting up my own consultancy business, I worked in law firms and always described myself as having the best job with the worst title. Chief of Knowledge – Brilliant job but awful title. It means that I helped lawyers to work more efficiently.

If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all your human needs—such as food and water—were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you?

As someone who is not good with silence, I would take some form of radio or a Spotify account and machine to play it from. The device would have to give me access to both speech and music though, and this could then be on in the background all the time, to provide me with company and break the silence. My second item would be a pair of secateurs with a trowel in the handle. How have these not been invented already? This would mean I could be dancing around the island and gardening away. I considered taking up a new hobby, but I’m too old to be learning something new.

If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be and why?

The horse chestnut! There are three reasons for choosing this, in addition to it being my favourite. They grow more majestic with age (very appropriate for me), they have the most amazing flowers in the spring, and they also produce fruit that provide people with joy and laughter. Who doesn’t love a conker?

What song would be your theme tune if you were in a TV programme?

‘Rocking all over the world’ by Status Quo. Absolute classic that you can’t help but dance to. Also ‘Dancing in the Street’ by Martha & The Vandellas. I learnt my US geography through this song, listing out all the American cities. I enjoy music that lifts you up and would be happy with any great feel-good tune. ‘Green Green Grass’ by George Ezra is another favourite for dancing in the kitchen too.

Who are you most looking forward to hearing from at Legal Geek?

Well obviously, looking forward to hearing from Srin Madipalli again, but this year’s list is absolutely amazing! It is hard to choose. Mari Sako (Professor from Saïd Business School) will be interesting to hear from, but as the line-up looks so incredible, I feel bad choosing just one. I have no doubt everyone will be brilliant.

Chrissie Wolfe

Chrissie Wolfe Interview

We had the pleasure of talking to another of our conference speakers – Chrissie Wolfe. Not only a solicitor, Chrissie has a busy portfolio career, including but not limited to creating digital content, presenting and business consultancy, as well as being the founder of her own company Law and Broader.

What are you speaking about at the Legal Geek Conference?

In September, I will be talking about how to build a human centric business. In the wake of the great resignation, and with so much attrition and movement, businesses need to connect with their employees more than ever. I’ll talk about how one can attract and retain talent, plus look at building a better culture in the remote working landscape, sharing case studies as well as practical tools for businesses to implement.

What do you do to recharge?

Due to wearing multiple hats, I spend a lot of time working and so to fully switch off, I must do something that completely immerses me. I am obsessed with Tik Tok and challenge myself to learn the latest dance routine. This takes so much of my concentration that I am unable to think about anything else. By the time I’ve finished my multiple attempts at a dance, I have no idea what day or time it is, and always finish in such a good mood. Not only pleased with myself for my achievement, but I’ve normally had a lot of laughs along the way, with many attempts not making it to the final edit. This activity takes over the whole of my brain and requires my full focus. After a dance, I am ready to return to my laptop, feeling recharged.

What’s your favourite Legal Geek moment?

I’ve been involved with Legal Geek for three years now, having been an attendee first and then had the pleasure of speaking last year. The moment that sticks with me the most is back in 2019, when Noah Waisberg, of Kira Systems, took to the stage with an axe and a filing cabinet. His unique approach to convey our contract capital and how we should go digital, was iconic. Who doesn’t love an analogy that involves chopping up a filing cabinet mid talk? I didn’t envy Legal Geek’s risk assessment for that though.

If you could give your 20-year-old self, one piece of advice, what would it be?

Place less value on what other people think. Don’t worry so much about doing things that will please your parents, your friends or even society. Focus on what you really enjoy, what engages you and drives you, rather than the objective definition of success. My journey was slowed down by going down the expected path and allowing others’ expectations to filter in. Finding your own identity will make you happier. We are all individuals. No one has the same DNA as you, and so cannot know what is right for you to be successful and happy. Only you can work this out through trial and error and there is unfortunately no quick route to discover this. It comes with age and experience, but by removing the expectation of others, this should speed things up a bit.

How do you describe your job at a dinner party?

This is very dependent on who is at the dinner party. I tend to read the room to work out which hat of mine will connect best with those present. Fundamentally I am a lawyer, but also a freelance business consultant with a focus on digital marketing and building culture, a public speaker, social media and digital content creator as well as a presenter, most recently presenting at the Commonwealth Games, which took place on my doorstep in Birmingham. Almost everything I do is an offshoot of being a lawyer though. My decision to diversity came out of lockdown when my work going online, allowed me the freedom to move abroad. When asked to return to the office mid pandemic, I just couldn’t do it. I enjoyed the remote environment too much; I had experienced the freedom. I see now that private practice was not the best fit for me. Being freelance allows me the freedom to choose my own clients and my own hours. I get to do what I want to do, and the way I want to do it.

If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all your human needs—such as food and water—were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you?

Something to play music on as I love music and would need to get my TikTok fix. I would also choose to have a notebook or camera so that I could diarise my time on the island. This diary would be discovered by the next inhabitant and would be a guide to help them, containing information such as ‘don’t eat this plant, the best water can be found here….etc. If I was able to make content that could be useful for someone else, then that would give me focus when deserted.

If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be and why?

My favourite colour is peach. I use it across all my company branding and often find myself wearing it when presenting. It is part of my identity. I would therefore choose a peach tree. Not only do they smell nice, but they taste good too.

Who are you most looking forward to hearing from at LG?

I’m looking forward to hearing from Joe Wicks as I have never seen him present. I love his energy as he always seems so upbeat and leaves me feeling positive. I understand he is talking about mental health which is such an important subject for our industry. His openness about his mental health is a direct contrast to how people tend to be in the legal sector. It is such a competitive market that often individuals feel like they cannot show vulnerability. Honesty and openness around this topic is a very important message for all.

What song would be your theme tune if you were in a TV programme?

It would have to be Lady Gaga – ‘Just Dance’. Dancing is usually my answer to everything. If I am stressed, then I will go and learn something. I love dancing. Mainly in my kitchen rather than the clubs nowadays, but still so good for the soul, both physically and mentally.