How WOLELA Came About
There were 100 delegates who attended Find New Ways in 2015, including delegates from these organisations:
At the closing of the conference a large number of the delegates expressed their desire to be part of an ongoing community of women lawyers focused on personal and professional development. They wanted to harness the support of other women that they had felt that day. As one delegate said afterwards “calling that a ‘conference’ doesn’t really do it justice. It was more of a healing of the legal profession”. There was agreement on the importance for the profession of continuing the conversations begun at the event as there is little space for this currently in SA. This is how WOLELA was born. The Centre for Integrative Law is very grateful to our sponsors who made the inaugural Finding New Ways conference possible, and without which WOLELA would not have come about.
Meet the team
I’m a multi-disciplinary thinker and legal visionary with a diverse background, including attorney, law lecturer, a degree in languages, and two years spent directing a non-profit college for impoverished students. I left law initially because I could not see the possibility of creating a happy, fulfilling and inspiring career when I looked around the large law firm I was in. In 2012, after consulting in corporate leadership development, I created the Centre for Integrative Law. Through the CIL I teach, train and inspire legal professionals in new ways to practise law. I’m deeply committed to facilitating and accelerating the changing consciousness of the legal profession globally.
Sakina GrimwoodIn my eagerness to change the world, studying law was always the obvious choice. After graduating, I worked as a researcher in environmental security and studied languages. I read for a multidisciplinary Masters’ degree. Following this I completed my articles in a big corporate law firm. My adventurous spirit led me to teach English in Taiwan for a year to see if perhaps my true vocation was teaching. On returning to South Africa with a clear knowledge that my journey is within the legal profession, I eagerly agreed to Amanda’s request to assist her with Finding New Ways, 2015.
Leonie EllisMy career brief from my father was that I could do anything I choose, as long as I don’t land up on a park bench. Hence I had carte blanche. I started in the hotel industry, worked in commercial property and two heady years learning the property landscape in London. Returning in 2002 I had a career shift into recruitment as I needed a new challenge using the negotiation and ‘connecting’ skills I had gained in a new sector. I pioneered the legal recruitment desk at Paton Personnel, for 6 years. In 2007 I decided to grow and stretch myself in my own recruitment business.
I am an admitted attorney, of the non-practicing kind. I fell in love with the board instead of the courtroom simply because in the court someone wins and someone loses. On the board the business always wins! I have extensive experience in business at an executive level from managing a casino to managing an HR contract for Kuwait oil company. I am passionate about engaging people and helping them through their growth as a coach. I want to make a difference in people’s lives as a friend, a confidante, a mediator, or a coach.
From law, to presenting and producing TV documentaries, to a stint with Virgin Atlantic, to over 10 years in education, my career path has been adventurous and deeply rewarding. As a mother, coach, transformative guide, speaker and writer I have found a deep sense of purpose. My journey has led me recently to move from the Mother City to the City of Gold where I work with clients globally to build in them the capacity to perceive or SEE the world, ACT in the world, BE in the world, CREATE in the world and LEAD in the world in new, more powerful and more resilient ways.
I am a commercial mediator and trainer and excel at work that engages compassion and brings about significant change. I enjoy working with the voiceless and am inspired to engage with, uplift and empower people, especially vulnerable groups and those in rural communities. My chosen career path is law and I practice as an advocate, but my passion is to resolve conflict peacefully, effectively and through innovative solutions.