Thrive Law – Jodie Hill – S2E23

This week on the Legally Speaking Podcast, our host Rob Hanna is joined by Jodie Hill, Founder & Managing Director & Employment Solicitor at Thrive Law. Jodie’s work to date has led her to number of nominations for various awards including a nomination for Woman Lawyer of the Year and being shortlisted for Gazette Legal Personality of the Year in 2018 at The Law Society Excellence Awards in 2018.

Jodie has also been honoured with a fellowship with the Royal Society for Public Health in recognition of her work surrounding mental health. Thrive Law has also won the Yorkshire Legal Award 2019 for Diversity and Inclusion and a Yorkshire Post Excellence Award in 2019 for Social Mobility. 


Rob Hanna (00:00):

Welcome to the Legally Speaking Podcast powered by Kissoon Carr. I’m your host, Rob Hanna today, I’m delighted to be joined by the amazing Jodie Hill. Jodie is the Founder Managing Director and employment solicitor at Thrive law. Her work to date has led her to a number of nominations for various awards, including nomination, a woman lawyer of the year and being shortlisted as the Gazette legal personality of the year in 2018 at the law society excellence awards in 2018 as well. She has also been honoured with a fellowship with the Royal Society for Public Health in recognition of her work surrounding mental health law has also won Yorkshire legal award 2019 for diversity inclusion and the Yorkshire post excellence awards in 2019 social mobility. So a very big welcome Jodie.

Jodie Hill (00:50):

Oh wow. Thank you.

Rob Hanna (00:52):

That was a mouthful. I’m so glad. How the hell are we going to go through all of this in half an hour and talk through everything you’ve done? And I have no idea, pretty big welcome to the show before we go through all of your amazing work and everything you’ve done. We must start with our customary icebreaker question which you just told me off air you have seen. So on the scale of one to 10, 10 being very real, how real would you rate the TV series Suits in terms of its reality?

Jodie Hill (01:24):

Which one was real, Ten? Do you think Ten is right? Okay. Yes. So one! Do you know what I wish you only had one case where you just, and you had no paperwork and you just stormed around the city in nice suits, but unfortunately that’s not what being a lawyer is like.

Rob Hanna (01:41):

Fair enough. So let’s start at the beginning then. So let’s tell our listeners a bit about your sort of family background and upbringing.

Jodie Hill (01:49):

So I’m actually the first person in my family to go to university or even have a levels or GCSEs, I think. So my granddad was a miner and my grandma was a hairdresser. And when my mum remarried, when I was a baby, we went, we ended up traveling quite a lot around the world with the army. So my stepdad was in the army and I was lucky enough to get a scholarship to a boarding school. Cause obviously we were travelling around loads. And then from there, that’s kind of where I then decided actually I want to be a lawyer. My family were like, you want to be a what?

Jodie Hill (02:21):

Yeah. They were just like, and how are you going to do that? And I was like, I don’t know, I’ll just work it out. So yeah, it was definitely against the grain for the family that I came from and that brought his own challenges really. Cause I didn’t have any, you know, my auntie and uncle, my mum and dad weren’t lawyers that I could go for work experience and no one in my network were lawyers. So I think that in itself proved quite challenging because obviously, you know, a lot of the work experience, it’s less so now, but back when I was first thinking about studying, you know, it was very much like who you knew and, you know, getting work experience was really difficult. So yeah, that kind of upbringing was very different to a lot of my peers. But still I wouldn’t change it though. I think, I think it’s definitely made me super independent. It’s probably why I set my firm up so young.

Rob Hanna (03:06):

And we are definitely going to talk a bit more about that. But so I guess that leads on quite nicely to sort of tell us more a bit about some of your legal experiences and your journey, because I believe you trained as a barrister and then cross qualified to become a solicitor.

Jodie Hill (03:20):

Yeah, sure. So when I talk to you about this, they’re like, well, why did you do that? So first of all, I wanted to be a barrister because I loved the idea of being in court. Ironically, I actually was really scared of public speaking. So it was everyone again just thought I was a bit mad. They were like, what are you doing? You don’t even like public speaking, you can’t even do a presentation. I said, Oh, I just really loved the idea of giving someone a voice in a courtroom where they can’t speak for themselves. And it was just something I was so passionate about from such a young age. So yeah, I did the bar. I became a member of the Inner Temple. I was called down in the Middle Temple Church. It was honestly the most amazing experience. I don’t regret taking that really either.

Jodie Hill (03:59):

I think it’s really given me some skills that the solicitors might not have. And obviously the intensive training for advocacy was amazing, but I did decide to cross qualify mainly because in an employment solicitor’s job, I can actually do the advocacy. You don’t need to be a barrister to do advocacy in an employment tribunal. So being a solicitor allowed me to do all of the client stuff and the more entrepreneurial side of being a lawyer, as well as the advocacy, which is the stuff that I loved about being a, potentially being a barrister. So it, to me, it kind of, it was like two worlds colliding and the more entrepreneurial I was getting, actually I was thinking, this is probably the angle or the route that I wanted to go down. So I cross qualified in 2013, and actually that year, it was the same year I got off a pupillage and anyone that is trying to get at you’ll know that you go through 1,000,001 applications and as just as many interviews, and it’s incredibly difficult.

Jodie Hill (04:57):

So some people were like, well, she’s mad why did she not take that pupillage but it felt right at the time to stay in Leeds, the pupillage was offered to me in London. And I think, you know, there’s a bit of a misconception of, you know, you’ve got to go to London to be a lawyer and barrister or a solicitor and, and actually I trained in Leeds, my, my life was in Leeds, I’ve got a house in Leeds. And I was like, I don’t actually need to be in London to do this. So I took the cross qualification exam and qualified in Leeds and actually I’ve never left, but I did. I said when I was traveling around all the time as a child in the army, I think I kind of wanted a bit of a base and a bit and somewhere to call home. And I do think for me, that is what Leeds is. So I wanted to stay here and moving to London was uprooting again

Rob Hanna (05:44):

Well, listen, I’m a massive fan of Leeds I spent, I studied up in Leeds, so I miss it dearly. So yeah, I know exactly where you’re coming from. It doesn’t always have to be about London and that’s been a recurring theme throughout the seasons, the last couple of seasons on the Legally Speaking Podcast. There is great work outside of London, as well as in London. But talking more about you, then you specialize in employment law. Why did you choose employment law in particular?

Jodie Hill (06:09):

Well, a couple of reasons. First of all that’s where my experience was. So when I did the bar course it was one of my, my chosen electives. So it was company law and employment law were my two go to, they were my two preferred areas. But the more I learnt about employment law and the more I understood about the people’s rights and how complex, actually it is quite a complex area. As, as we know at the moment with lockdown and furlough and all these things is ever changing. And I think for me, the challenge with employment law was all of the legislation, plus all the case law there was just so much. And I quite like how one day is never the same, every day is completely different with employment law and there’s just so much change. So it really does keep me thinking and on your toes as a lawyer, I think as well, everyone can relate to employment law.

Jodie Hill (06:56):

Everyone’s either employed or employs someone pretty much. So I think it’s one of those things that is definitely, it’s always busy and there’s always something that you can be doing. And yeah, I just, I just love helping people. And I think throughout this, this crisis, we’ve, we’ve actually set up a helpline and been helping people for free. And that was something that we could do, obviously, with it being my own firm, I can do that. But also because we do employment law, we were able to help people. There’s just something about giving back with employment law. I don’t know what it is, but yeah, that was, that was the main reason for me.

Rob Hanna (07:30):

Not really well said, let’s move on to that then. So why did you decide to set up, now you’re very much an award-winning firm Thrive law. And interestingly, why did you decide to call it Thrive Law?

Jodie Hill (07:41):

So I set up and so I set up in March, 2018. So just over two years ago. And prior to that in the January, I’d had a mental breakdown and ended up losing my employment and I’m quite open about this cause I think it’s important for people to understand that you can go to a pretty dark place and still come out the other side. And I had that breakdown and I genuinely fell out of love with the law. I didn’t want to be a lawyer. I didn’t like the environment I’d been in. I didn’t, I honestly didn’t have that drive and that buzz and that fire that I used to have. And, and I was just very unwell. I have anxiety, I have PTSD and I found the whole concept of having to run my own cases and be back in a firm. I was just like, I just don’t want to do it.

Jodie Hill (08:29):

So I actually just left my job. And then I kind of realized that I had a mortgage to pay. I was like, Oh no, what have I done!? But no I then decided what I thought the best thing to do to kind of ease back into it was to work as a consultant because I’d been offered some jobs at some pretty big firms. And I was like, what I feel is though is going to happen here. And most people will, who are in the legal profession, will appreciate their says, you know, the targets are high, your hours are long. And if you’ve just had a breakdown and you’re in a new job, it’s almost impossible. You’re kind of setting yourself up to fail. So I felt as though going in as a consultant gave me the opportunity to own my own time, to work from home, to be flexible.

Jodie Hill (09:12):

And what that gave me was then the reality of my new world, which was, was kind of smart working and working around my mental health. And actually it really formed part of my recovery because I then had a sense of purpose because it wasn’t that I didn’t love the law and I didn’t love being a solicitor. It was that the environment was wrong. And so once I kind of curated that a little bit and created my own environment, I literally started to thrive. And then that’s where the name kind of came from because I wanted other people to feel as though they could thrive at work and be their true selves. Sometimes feel like law firms can be a bit factory like. You’re just churning out your hours, churning out your hours. And there’s no sense of purpose. And you can’t really show who you are for fear of retribution or, or, you know, for example, if you have a mental health problem for fear of being seen as weak.

Jodie Hill (10:01):

And so, yeah, it was a pretty bold move, but I was a consultant for the rest of 2017. And then on Christmas Eve, 2017, I got my confirmation from the SRA saying, you miss Hill, you have a law firm, which is pretty cool. So yeah, I did, I did that. And then, and then it took me a couple of moments then, cause I wanted to do the brand and the website and I wanted to obviously create everything and sort my office hours. So that’s why, so I got the authorization over Christmas whilst I was away. And then I sat up in the, in the March and that journey that was like part of the best, the best bit of the journey, creating the brand, understanding how I was going to deliver it. And I mean, I was only 29 at the time, so I’d never actually run a business or been a partner in a firm, which I think a lot of people don’t do. They’re normally at least a partner first. But yeah, so, so the reason why it’s called Thrive is really the core of everything that I do and what my team very much embody is all around diversity, inclusion about being able to be your true self as a lawyer, but also encouraging our clients to really embed that within their own cultures as well. And part of what we do is obviously advising employers. So we advise employees and employers, so we can hopefully help people where they have been discriminated, but also help prevent it by giving some sound advice to obviously businesses.

Rob Hanna (11:22):

Yeah, no, and I love that. Thank you for being so sort of honest and transparent because I think it’s just the way, you know, it’s just going to help so many other people know that, like you say, for your own journey, you know, you can get back and you can kind of thrive. And I just love everything about that and everything about your firm. So moving on to the sort of current day, you know, everyone is saying, Oh, you’re an employment lawyer now you must be very, very busy. Now, is that, is that very much the case? And if so, what type of work is keeping you quite busy now?

Jodie Hill (11:51):

Yes, we are ridiculously busy, but that’s because of the way I am, what I mean by this. So I I’m an entrepreneur through and through and I have a million ideas every single day. So I’m, I’m really big on marketing. I do all my own marketing. I really enjoy being able to convey some of the really complex legal issues in a really simple way to the public. And I think part of what I wanted to do through Thrive was make law more accessible. And so using, you know, as you know, on Instagram, IGTV and YouTube and different forms of communication. So through those different channels, we’ve offered free advice to anyone who is feeling anxious about, or just generally doesn’t know their rights, whether they’re an employee or an employer it’s completely free for anyone who wants to access. And through that, we’ve helped nearly 2000 people. I’ts just kept us really busy, but obviously that was free. So the kind of the paid work has been more around restructures, redundancies and actually looking at furloughing staff and making sure they do it properly and fairly, but the other stuff actually, which I find just so fascinating and that actually makes me really happy is that people are really looking to us to support them with mental health in the workplace. So people are actually saying do you know what, our staff are furloughed or they are they’re homeworking, and we really want to support them. And we want to know how best to do that. Not just because of the fact that, you know, obviously people will be suffering and if someone does have a mental health condition then there are obligations on employers, but more just because of the human element of it, they actually care and they want to support their staff.

Jodie Hill (13:29):

And they’re the kind of clients that we love, obviously love to work with because we can collaborate and be quite creative with them. So it’s the more creative side of law and what we’ve done over, well, through lockdown is actually we’ve developed our own tech. So we’ve just about in fact tomorrow, my trials start. So the launch will be by the end of the month, but basically it’s online mental health training, but with the portal for managers. So really it’s about a one stop shop. Like a go to place for all staff so that they’ve got somewhere to go for information and guides and toolkits and just everything that you need as a manager, but also as an employee, there’s a series of modules for them to complete. And I think from our perspective, we’ve been seeing that that’s something that’s really needed because people are furloughed or homeworking and they need something that’s accessible. So you can do this anywhere, any time. So that for me has been like the most exciting part of like this whole innovative side of lockdown, because it’s given me the opportunity to develop that, which we’ve been doing it since January, but to be able to finalize it this week was just awesome. Really, really awesome.

Rob Hanna (14:32):

Brilliant. And congratulations on that. That sounds like a really, really good initiative. So really excited to see that kind of come into action. So just in terms of you, right. You’re, a busy person, very busy person. So, you know, how do you actually plan your day? You know, what time do your days start? What does a sort of day the life look like for Jodie, are you one of these people that’s up at the crack of dawn? Or are you a night owl? Yeah.

Jodie Hill (14:54):

Yeah. People hate it when I tell this part of my, my day in the life I get up, I get up 5:00 AM and I, I get up, I actually journal and I practice gratitude and I, I literally write down every single morning, the three things I’m grateful for. And then I also set my goals every day. So I have my long-term goals. Like these are the things I want to achieve in the next five years. But then I also set my three goals for that day and I do it all in threes. So you’ve got the three, three, three, and what I find that it only takes me five minutes, but it really focuses my day. And then I, I work for a couple of hours and then from nine till 10 and I then do my exercise. So I basically get my team set up when my team log in at nine. Then I’ve already done all, I’ve already done four hours work. So I’ve done all my bits and then I sat them off and they can then go do, do what they need to do, which allows me to exercise or go walk the dog. And then the rest of the day is just like doing all sorts of stuff from media to podcasts, to lots of webinars at the moment. Lots of people wanting us to talk about furlough that, yeah, it’s pretty, every day is completely different. And I think, you know, as an employment lawyer, I think all of my team would acknowledge that that’s pretty much how it is at Thrive. And I’m sure it is another firms that employment law is so varied. So yeah, but for me, the winning combination is the early rise, the journaling and the exercise. Like you need to have all of those things. Obviously you need to have slept well as well, sleep is super important. As long as we use our brains, like our brain is everything, you know, for, for our, it’s like that’s our tool as it were. So we do have to look after our brains and obviously I’m conscious that mine has been, not damaged, but I’ve been, I’ve been weaker in the past and I’ve not been very well. And that’s, so I have to acknowledge what some of those triggers are and where I am starting to feel a bit tired or a bit anxious, or just generally not myself. Then I have to acknowledge that. And acceptance is a part of that recovery really and trying to understand as part of your own journey where you’re at and being kind to yourself. So yeah, there’s like, I do get up at 5:00 AM now, but it’s taken me a long time to get that routine.

Jodie Hill (17:07):

So I wasn’t always like that. And I was kind of always late nights and early mornings. And, but actually having that consistent routine is really, really helped me through lockdown, especially cause we’re working at home. It’s really hard cause I don’t have my previous routine of, you know, going into the office. So yeah, I would definitely say having something that works for you and like you said before, about like a night owl or early riser. If you’re a night owl, then don’t get up at 5:00 AM because that’s not going to make you feel good. It’s about finding what works for you.

Rob Hanna (17:39):

Yeah, no, absolutely. And you know, we’ve talked a lot around you know, generally your journey and what you’re involved with, but tell us more about your work as a fellow for the Royal Society for Public Health?

Jodie Hill (17:50):

So that actually came about because I was campaigning for a, well, I was originally campaigning for mental health first aiders to become mandatory. And when I set Thrive up, I actually started a national campaign, which ended up on like Sky News and ended up being debated in parliament. And that was really what that recognition was for. And also like the continued support that we have from various organizations, but also, we have continued campaign and that campaign is all about mental health risk assessments. And actually, especially now, if you think about the condition that we’re in or the, you know, the working environments we’re in, we don’t see anyone. So, we don’t know if you know like the behaviours where you could see someone might not be themselves. So what the mental health risk assessments help us do is to assess the wellbeing of individuals and really understand what their needs are rather than just simply assuming that a yoga session might fix everybody’s mental health problems, for example. Don’t get me wrong, I love yoga. That’s not a criticism of yoga! But actually the point of the risk assessments is to really delve a bit deeper and ask the questions like we have a desk assessment. Everybody has a DSC Assessment but does anyone ever ask about your mental health? And the question is generally no. So for me it was all around trying to effect positive change in the workplace and the businesses to put mental health and wellbeing at the top of their agenda rather than it being a nice to have. And I think, you know, from my perspective, Thrive is, is very much for everything we do is focused around mental health. If I have therapy, I tell my staff, you know, I share videos on what my anxiety attacks feel like. And I just think, you know, the positive impact of sharing stories and, and leading through these really difficult times, including asking people through risk assessments about how they feel or what might be causing them stress right now is really, really important.

Jodie Hill (19:45):

And I think, you know, part of that and that’s partly why it was recognized, but also thats pretty much why, why we won the awards last year was not necessarily because, you know, we’re the biggest employment law firm in the country. We’re not, I’ve got a team of like nine, you know, we’re really small. We’re just based in Leeds. We just opened a London office, but it was more around the social impact that we were having. And we weren’t just burying our heads in the sand and just doing our day to day. Every, every opportunity that we get, we try to affect positive change in society rather than just for ourselves and our clients. And I suppose like the next thing that we’re doing, which actually haven’t really spoken to anyone about so only kind of talked about it last week is we’ve just launched a black lives matter support line for people who are suffering from race discrimination at work.

Jodie Hill (20:33):

And again, that line is free. So what we want to do is we have the skills as employment lawyers. And especially we, we obviously specialize in discrimination is we can support those people who are particularly vulnerable or who are targeted because of their race. And I feel like that’s something because we have those skills, we should definitely be at least offering initial support for free so that people can be guided as to what their rights are because often people just don’t know. So yeah, I kind of went on a tangent there, but so we had the initial campaign then the next campaign and we had the free coronavirus work and now we’re obviously still running the other campaign and the coronavirus stuff and the BLM support network. So we just joined with Black Lives Matter in Leeds. So I’m just liaising with them to try and support the community in a much wider sense rather than us just announcing that we’re doing that to really get to those people who need that support. So yeah, I think that’s something where we are slightly different to other firms, which probably are a bit more corporate and we definitely have a bigger social impact at Thrive.

Rob Hanna (21:37):

Yeah. No, and I love that. I’m just sort of going back from there, the mental health risk assessments, you know, I think that really was you know, it reached thousands and you gained so much national exposure As you say, across Sky, BBC The Times, Law Gazette, you know, local Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire Legal, so really, really well done that was cracking you know, work and rightly should have been recognized. And then we’ve touched on it again, but it’s good just to talk through this a little bit more because as you rightly said throughout the pandemic, you have been providing lots of free resources, you know, as you mentioned, which have been well subscribed and I’ve been sharing with my networks as well, particularly the coronavirus updates, which at times a bit of a mine field, let’s be honest, the important topics, of course, furlough schemes is probably one of the most hotly discussed, but you know, is it worth kind of just giving your highlights on that, given that we are a good few weeks down the track on that? Just, just generally talk a bit more about that.

Jodie Hill (22:31):

So on Instagram, on my IGTV, I’ve been sharing short, the me, it was about sharing short snippets and because I find I’m quite a visual person and whilst I obviously can delve into the legal aspects of it and kind of decipher all of the guidance. I think some people just want to want to hear it in a two minute video because sometimes you just want it to talk to someone and they can’t afford to ring a lawyer. So I’ve created a couple of videos on YouTube and on Instagram, just explaining in bite sized chunks. But the key thing really for me, was making sure that everybody knew what, what their rights were. And I think a lot of lawyers have the, I think a lot of lawyers use legal jargon still and say they don’t. So it makes it really difficult to understand. And also the government don’t help cause they, for example, on Friday night they said they were going to release the furlough update. They released the update on the flexible scheme at 9:00 PM across six documents. And I mean, it was just ridiculous. It honestly took me maybe six hours on Saturday to decipher like what had been changed. Cause there’s no track changes. So it was, you know, what’s been changed? How does this affect people? What do people need to know? Which are the most important documents? And so that’s how much time and effort went into that newsletter. So, I know you do you subscribe to our newsletter is that what you were referring to? Yeah, so that was it. So if anyone wants to subscribe, you can just click subscribe through, through our website or DM me your email address. But yeah, there’s quite a lot of time and effort that goes into it.

Jodie Hill (24:03):

But I do think it is very important that we’re sharing accurate information because there’s a lot of fake news out there. There’s a lot of inaccurate information being shared online where everybody’s become an expert overnight. And obviously there are only a few people who are experts and, and actually even some, even some lawyers are getting it wrong. So it is really difficult to see when you see a lot of stuff online and you’re like, Oh, that’s wrong. It’s not correct. You know, everybody just gets to frog and I get that, but equally people are, you know, people are scared as people don’t want to get it wrong. And so if we can try to help people understand what some of their basic rights are right now, not only will they treat people better in that process, hopefully then has a reduced impact on people’s mental health because that’s ultimately what’s happening right now is everybody’s worried. Everybody’s anxious. People are thinking, do I have a job to go back to? And if they are going back, well, do I still have to go to the office? Are they going to practice social distancing? There’s just so much anxiety and so much uncertainty. If we can try to help people in that process, then you know, we’ll continue to do so. So I did actually just release a new one just today on flexible furlough. So just constantly just releasing little snippets. And I think, I think that’s the best way to do it personally because it’s like little and often it’s like consistency rather than just like an end of the month newsletter, which I think a lot of the time gets bypassed. It’s too much information.

Rob Hanna (25:30):

Yeah, no, I love the bite size. I think that’s definitely the way forward and consistency. And then people can kind of keep up to date with you and follow you what you’re doing. So I love all that. And if that wasn’t enough, all of that, you also, I believe are a part time, university lecturer and private tutor. So tell us more about that.

Jodie Hill (25:48):

Oh yeah! Forgot about that. So I actually teach on the LPC I just teach the employment law module at Leeds Beckett, which is really nice cause I went to Leeds Beckett and I actually teach alongside, well, not alongside, but in the same department as some of my old teachers, which is really, really cool slash strange. So yeah, I teach on the LPC and I did the marking for that, which was a real challenge actually because when we went into lockdown and obviously all of our clients were incredibly worried about what the impact of lockdown was and needed loads of support and advice. We also were running a free helpline and we were also managing our own team to work from home. And at the same time I was teaching we were trying to work out, how do we teach at the LPC without, you know, obviously they had their exams coming up, how are we going to complete the module? Cause we were part way through, I think we only had like four or five classes left and obviously we didn’t want people to not have that face to face time. So I was part of that transition with university around online teaching. We made sure that we actually delivered those all virtually. I know of other law schools who didn’t do that. I now tutor some students from other law schools. That’s how I did. And actually that online teaching was just cancelled. And I just think that’s such a shame because I mean, obviously, you know, these, these things happen. It’s very difficult, but you know, one of the things I was conscious of was, you know, they’ve paid their fees. They have an exam coming up, so they need that guidance. But also, you know, the human angle is very, very difficult doing the LPC and to have no guidance on that or face to face time with a tutor I think is really, really difficult.

Jodie Hill (27:21):

So yeah, we made ourselves available to the students and we actually did loads of extra stuff like written feedback on drafting claims. And I actually spent quite a lot of time going through and giving like actual track changes for people that they could really understand how to get like the best marks when they’re like drafting legal documents and stuff. So, so yeah, I do teach on the LPC but it is now finished and we’ve got the, obviously the exams to mark, but it’s only from January to kind of May time. And then the private tutoring is through the London Expert Law Tutors, although I think they’re called Master Tutors now. I can’t remember the name. They keep changing the name. But basically it’s, it’s tutoring students who maybe have had a bit of time out or, or in like this situation where their online tutoring has gone and they don’t have any support, but they still have an exam. So I basically tutor them through Skype. It’s not like when I teach, it’s more tutoring them to, to come up with the answers and thinking in a different way to maybe how they used to think. And it can often be students who have failed exams before because of the way they’ve been taught. So we try to retrain their brain and look at the problems from a different angle. And yeah, they all then pass, which is really good. And hopefully go on to be fantastic lawyers.

Rob Hanna (28:39):

Yeah and maybe who knows work at Thrive Law!

Jodie Hill (28:42):

I know right. Well they’re all London based actually, but we do now have an office in London, so you might see more of us down there.

Rob Hanna (28:48):

Yeah. Good stuff. Good stuff. And look, as we look to wrap up one of the themes that you’re very openly talked about, and it’s something that I’m also passionate about as well as around mental health. And I know you’ve recently become an ambassador for chit-chat Britain and who’s headed up by the amazing Lewis Alexander Baxter, who I’ve had the privilege of knowing some time now, do you want to tell listeners who might be new to that more about chit-chat and why you decided to get involved.

Jodie Hill (29:11):

That was amazing that they asked me to be their first ambassador. And I’m, I’m actually a Law Care Champion as well. Obviously from the lawyers that know Law Care do all the kind of, they support all the legal sector with, with with mental health. But chit-chat is just available to anyone and it’s, you know, you can contact any of the volunteers. They’ve got loads of volunteers now. It’s really about staying connected. And I think now more than ever, we really do need to stay connected because you know, people are super isolated. You know, it’s a very difficult time, especially in lockdown. I know that things have slightly lifted, but I still haven’t really seen anybody. And I think, you know, people need communication. If they’ve got an opportunity to reach out for, on a free chat with someone, then you know, they should definitely take that. If anyone’s struggling right now, just, just look up chit-chat on Twitter or on Instagram and get the details from there or contact me because it’s such an amazing and valuable resource for people to have. For me as well, it’s really unfortunate that it takes entrepreneurial people like Lewis to do that, but equally, you know, we should take advantage of these amazing opportunities that we’re given. And a lot of the issues that we find that kind of give rise to people, trying to take their own lives, are through social isolation. And so actually is a really important factor of, you know, trying to keep people mentally well is keeping them connected. And this is an opportunity to do that.

Rob Hanna (30:35):

Yeah, no, absolutely. And look just from your side, you’ve given some amazing insights and some inspirational stories, but what tips would you offer to your, to your younger self?

Jodie Hill (30:46):

To my younger self? So I think I would, I would definitely say that I shouldn’t care as much. What other people think? I think we place a lot of our, I mean, some people may not, but I definitely cared way too much what everybody else thought of me. And that, that was definitely something that weighed quite heavily. And especially when you’ve got anxiety, you overthink situations. So it’s definitely like trust your gut and don’t think, don’t care too much what everybody else thinks and just go with your gut and if you want to do something, then just do it because you’re, you’re the only one stopping yourself.

Rob Hanna (31:18):

Yeah. I absolutely love that. And for downtime, look, it can’t all be work. I know as an entrepreneur, and we are going through a pandemic and you’re in the busiest side of things, you know, what do you try to do? What do you do get some downtime? What are some of your hobbies or interests?

Jodie Hill (31:33):

So I, I am actually an avid gym goer. And so having the gym’s closed has been a bit of a pain. However, I built a gym at home, so I’ve been loving live, still doing my workouts. And I’ve got my little dog Baxter. So he has, he loves, locked down cause I’m here all the time! So he’s absolutely loving life and we just go walking all the time and I love yoga as well, I do, I haven’t done as much as I would have thought I would have done in lockdown, but I did go to Bali over Christmas and new year. And I love traveling. I love experiencing new cultures. And part of that is just completely immersing myself in cultures like in Bali is going to be like a yoga retreat and just switching off completely. I think as an entrepreneur, that’s something that is so important. And I actually use travel to do that. I think being at home is really difficult for me to switch off because I’m like, Oh, I could just do this. I could just do that. Actually if I’m abroad, I can’t do that. So lockdown is hurting me right now. It’s really hurting me because I normally go away like every couple of months, even if it’s just a long weekend. Cause it allows me that kind of break. So yeah, I’m going into like the six month without a break. Now I’m working like six day weeks has been really tough. So definitely gonna practice what I preach and next week I’m taking two days off!

Rob Hanna (32:47):


Jodie Hill (32:47):

So just, I know! I’m not, I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but I’ll probably go for a really long dog walk or, you know, just do something that’s outside. Hopefully the weather prevails. It’s been a bit nicer recently, so.

Rob Hanna (32:59):

Yeah. Well, if people want to, to follow or get in touch with you about anything that we’ve discussed today, what’s the best way or platform for them to do that, feel free to shout your website or any of your social media, we will also share it on this episode for you.

Jodie Hill (33:13):

Yeah, sure. So the website is and then all of our socials are really easy cause they’re the same. So thrive_law on every platform. And I am Jodie Hill for my personal ones on all platforms. So yeah, just connect with us online and share the content and get involved. There’s loads of stuff that if people are law students and they want support and get into a career in law, then please reach out to me. I’ve got some good tips on my YouTube channel and on my IGTV as well, about how to get work experience, I’m going to start doing some interviews of some of our Junior solicitors but also I’ve got a barrister that I’m going to interview about pupilage interviews. I’ve got quite a lot of things planned for my Instagram to do some live stuff. So yeah, I’m really excited. In fact, I’ve just secured Sally Penny, who’s the founder of Women in Law UK. Yeah, we’ll definitely have some amazing people coming up over the next couple of weeks. So if anyone wants to connect with us make sure you’re already following and stuff so that you don’t miss anything.

Rob Hanna (34:14):

Brilliant. Well, listen, Jodie, thanks a million. It’s been a real pleasure having you on the show. I think your journey and what you’ve been doing and what you’re doing with your current is truly inspiring. So we wish you all involvement. Otherwise law, lots of continued success. No doubt. We’ll see you again, feature on the Legally Speaking Podcast in the future, but for now over and out.

Jodie Hill (34:34):

Awesome. Thank you so much. Bye.


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