Isabella Mosole (2012): Doyle’s Rising Star Award

Since graduating from Santa Maria College, Isabella Mosole (2012) always knew she wanted to make it big.

Whether it was landing a musical theatre role on Broadway, or pursuing a career as a lawyer, she was always destined for success.

Speaking of, Isabella was recently recognised as a Rising Star in Planning & Environmental Law by Doyle’s Guide for 2022!

This is an extremely prestigious title, with only a handful people receiving the award in Western Australia.

We sat down with Isabella, to talk a little bit about her journey to where she is now. Here is what she had to say:

What inspired you to study law? 

My teachers will remember me as the girl who dreamed of being a triple threat. My heart was set on making it big in the musical theatre industry but it was my dad who pointed me towards the world of commerce with sound counsel of career fulfilment, professional longevity and better work/life balance.

I took Business Law as a unit in the first year of my Commerce degree at Notre Dame University; I was originally thinking of majoring in Human Resources. Before then, I struggled to engage with the content of generic first-year business finance units. I ended up topping my class in that Business Law unit; there was something about the considered approach to, and application of the law, that resonated with me … kind of like a dance routine! After six years of study, in 2018 I graduated with a double Bachelor of Laws and Commerce degree.

My first job in practice was with the international law firm Squire Patton Boggs. This is when I realised that I’d made the right choice. The practical side of the law and commercial problem solving entices me and I’ve never looked back.

Could you describe a typical day in the life of Isabella?

I am committed to physical exercise in the AM as once the workday starts, anything could happen! Once I’m online, I have a virtual meeting with my team to discuss work flow for the day (and catch up on whatever Netflix show everyone watched the night before). 

From thereon, my day is a mix of progressing advice on various matters concerning property and planning law. I am currently undertaking the role of instructing solicitor in an application before the Court of Appeal. It’s unusual for a property/planning lawyer to be involved in this kind of intense litigation but it certainly keeps things interesting!

I am also working on a number of liquor applications for new property developments and hotel acquisitions. These are my escape in the sense that it doesn’t feel like work when you are contributing to the social fabric of the city by creating new and exciting places for people to gather.

What has been one of the most rewarding moments in your career so far?

How can I choose just one! I’ve been so fortunate with the opportunities that have been presented to me, but I know that they are also a result of me devoting myself to my career in the formative years of my practice. I’ve been on secondment to a government department to assist with law reform, advised a large Australian hospitality provider in navigating the challenges of the liquor framework in Western Australia to achieve approvals for two big-box liquor stores,  created precedent with an amazing team on an untested area of local government law and most recently, made a decision to leave my initial firm for a new opportunity at a prominent local firm which has reignited my passion for practicing in the area of planning law.

What does being a Planning & Environmental Law Rising Star mean? How do you come about achieving this title?

In the legal profession, receiving a Doyle’s Rising Star Award is an acknowledgement that you have been identified as a future leading lawyer within your field of expertise. Doyle’s Guide is a comprehensive and independent directory that showcases Australia’s best firms and lawyers. Recognitions are based on the findings of extensive surveys and interviews conducted amongst clients, industry peers and relevant industry bodies.

I am beyond proud to have been selected, particularly as the youngest professional in my field. I asked the woman on the phone to confirm if she had the right person three times before requesting that she tell me the surname of the person on the paper in front of her as I was certain she had mistaken me for another Isabella!

To me, it’s recognition of the resilience I’ve developed on this journey, particularly as the youngest professional selected. There have certainly been times where I’ve lacked confidence and direction, leading me to feelings of wanting to walk away, but this industry recognition has reminded me of how far I’ve come and how promising the future is.

What advice would you give girls at Santa Maria wanting to pursue a career in the legal profession?

Embrace every opportunity to develop your skills and talents while at school; public speaking competitions, leadership opportunities, even learning a second language. These are the things that stretch your abilities and increase your confidence.  Also, live out the values instilled in you by the College. Time and time again after leaving school I have gained personal and professional mileage by recalling or practising these Mercy values. My sense of community, compassion, social justice and excellence have greatly informed my life journey and I fondly reflect on my years at Santa Maria where I was taught the true meaning of those values and how they not only benefit our interactions with others but also our relationship with ourselves.

What are your plans for the future?

At this stage, I’m focussing on all the things that make me, me (that is: my health, family, friends and career).  Like most of my colleagues, I’m motivated by the prospect of career advancement: however, I’m equally excited to continue learning from the pre-eminent lawyers in my field and make a positive difference to the landscape of this great city. Over the years, I have greatly benefited from the generous advice and mentorship of leading professionals in various fields; my goal is to pay it forward and become a mentor myself to up and coming young women who aspire to a successful and fulfilling career in law.

Thank you for chatting with us, Isabella!

We look forward to seeing you kick some more career goals in the future.

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