This month for our Q&A profile we chat with Sophie Paras, the new owner of Baker Robinson Lawyers, Maleny. Sophie has known Steve Robinson for over 20 years and worked closely with Steve to achieve successful outcomes for their mutual clients in legal matters. She continues to bring the same warmth and expertise that the firm's clients have come to expect.
1. Where did you grow up?
I grew up on the Sunshine Coast, attending high school at Noosa District High.
2. What made you choose to base your business in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland?
I have always loved the lifestyle and quality of life offered by living in the hinterland, enjoying my five acres of paradise. In terms of business, I have always found hinterland and rural communities to be very welcoming and supportive, with a great sense of camaraderie and loyalty among the locals. This local support is particularly important for a small business.
3. What does a 'typical' day entail for you?
There really are no typical days in my professional life. I start off by checking my email inbox for anything that has come in and then can prioritise my day with anything urgent that has popped up. I have a daily task/reminder list that will include drafting or reviewing documents for clients, checking in with clients on the progress of their conveyancing contracts, and attending to settlements. No two days are ever the same and one email can throw your plans for the day out of the window.
4. Do you have any funny or fascinating stories/anecdotes to share?
I completed the Bloody Long Walk last year with team mates from my previous work place, 35 km from Coolum to Mooloolaba. I raised over $1,000 for research into Mitochondrial Disease through the walk, and also ended up losing three of my toenails. The camaraderie amongst our group in supporting each other through the walk was amazing.
5. What is the most useful advice you could give someone looking for legal services?
Please make sure you understand exactly what you are signing. If in doubt, ask the question and keep asking until you understand. There are no stupid questions and asking questions won’t get you into trouble – it is generally when you have not asked something that an issue arises.
6. What do you like to do in your spare time?
If I do get spare time I love just being at home – my partner is a very keen gardener and collector of rare plants so he tries to get me outside in the gardens with him. Otherwise I love to read, have taken up crocheting (winning prizes for my entries at the Noosa Show, including a first prize) and am a very keen baker.
7. What do you enjoy the most about the hinterland?
The Sunshine Coast Hinterland in particular is exceptional in the variety and opportunities it offers. You can either join the crowds at the markets, or the bustle of Montville and Maleny during holidays and weekends, or a quick drive to the coast. Most enjoyable though is knowing all of that is a short drive away but you can always escape to the peace and quiet of home. I also believe the people are extremely special – very friendly and welcoming.
8. Do you have a favourite quote which inspires you?
Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.
Baker Robinson Lawyers, 7/43 Maple St, Maleny, 4552 / Phone: (07) 5494 2665 / Website: brlawyers.com.au