I remember the first time I thought I might become a lawyer. I was thirteen and I had my first class in Year 8 commerce, an elective my high school offered that my mum encouraged me to take, despite my moaning and groaning that it would probably be “boring as.” We started with a unit on “Law and Society” and I remember thinking it was both very interesting, and something that I just seemed to “get.”
As I went through my high school years I considered other career options, from teaching, to journalism, to forensic science. Whilst I have always been great with kids, I could definitely imagine myself front row at fashion week as a Vogue reporter, and I thought Criminal Minds was absolutely fascinating, I always ended up gravitating back to law. So, at 18 I started my law degree at the University of Newcastle.
I also remember the first time I thought I would do family and children’s law. I was part way through my third year of law, trying to find any ounce of energy to care about the required third year subject, Contracts. I remember thinking “there has to be more to law than this, this is not what I signed up for.” I wanted to make a difference and help those most vulnerable in society and I didn’t think I was going to do it by learning the meaning of estoppel (confession – I still don’t really know what it means). It was then that I decided my calling was family and children’s law.
I completed my law degree in November 2013 and since I was admitted to practice in February 2014 I have practiced exclusively in family and children’s law. I am very passionate about helping victims of domestic violence and standing up against child abuse. I am so grateful to able to use my skills to be a voice for those who don’t have their own voice and those who can’t use their own voice. I am so grateful that every day I come to work I get to really make a difference in someone’s life.
I assist people in parenting matters, property settlements, child support matters, spousal maintenance matters, domestic violence matters and care and protection matters. I represent clients at mediations and in Court litigation. In the near future I want to be appointed as an independent children’s lawyer, so every day the children I represent can wake up and know someone is on their side.
In family law often all people need is someone who says “I hear you, and I’m here for you” and that’s how I try to approach every matter. And as catchy as that phrase is, I still think my personal slogan should be “Emily Ostler knows good family law – and isn’t afraid to fight.” Now all I need is this as an advertisement on a bus and this Charlotte in a Miranda job will finally have her Carrie moment!