The Journal brings back its popular column, getting up close and personal with well known members of the community. This month it is the turn of Conyers, Dill and Pearman attorney Sara Collins.
What was your ambition, career-wise as a pre-teen and why?
I always wanted to be a lawyer. I grew up believing that lawyers could truly help people and change lives. My childhood heroes, whether real – like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. and John F Kennedy Jr. – or fictional, like Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, all seemed to be lawyers. It is also a very enjoyable way to spend a working day, meeting one intellectual challenge after another.
Who was your greatest influence apart from your family?
It is very difficult to single out one person, especially without the risk of embarrassing them. I have learned the most from a number of senior lawyers I have had the privilege to work with over the years, each of whom had attributes I admire and try to emulate. The three lawyers I have in mind are held in universally high esteem because their personal qualities have driven the development of their careers. I admire their ability to allow their work as lawyers to reflect who they are and what is important to them, so that their careers became a genuine part of their lives and not just paper pushing.
Is there one specific event that you would consider had a profound impact on your life?
Becoming a mum. I don’t think anything has had or could have a more profound impact. One is never the same again
What is your biggest professional achievement to date and why?
Leading my first team as a partner in a law firm was a wonderful professional achievement for me. It is what every lawyer in private practice works for and it was my personal goal to get there by 30, which I did. I worked with some fantastic associates and really enjoyed being involved in the training and development of younger lawyers
How do you like to spend your free time?
There is nothing I would rather do than curl up with a good book.
What are you reading right now?
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.
What is your favourite television programme?
The Daily Show by Jon Stewart is the perfect way to unwind.
Do you enjoy listening to music? If so, what is your favourite type/band/performer?
With five children, I do not often get to choose the music we listen to in the car or at home. However, I do make them listen to Bob Marley from time to time.
What keeps you awake at night and why?
Worrying about the things I can’t change. I have found that the cure is working during the day on changing the things I can!
How would you sum up your attitude to life, in one sentence?
“Be the change you want to see in the world”
It also happens to be the slogan the Estella Scott Roberts Foundation has adopted for our anti-violence campaign this year