You will have seen SA Woman chat with and showcase Maggie Yarak from YLP – Your Legal Partner on our blog and socials before. Maggie is a wonderful advocate and supporter of SA Woman and is currently one of our 2023 Annual Partners. This time, we are sharing more about Maggie’s work as Principal Lawyer and Owner at YLP – Your Legal Partner, South Australia’s only accredited autistic friendly law firm.
In honour of Autism Awareness Month (April), Maggie has kindly shared with us some more background into how she got into the work she does, and why an inclusive law environment is so important to her.
The most important aspect of my life is my children. I have 2 boys 11 and 12 years both diagnosed with Autism. My youngest is non verbal and both have social and communication challenges.
I first became a lawyer to help people and businesses navigate their way through the legal system but this purpose evolved over time once I had my children and learnt of their disability. I realised that what is really important to me is to help those that are most vulnerable and to create awareness of autism to allow my children the opportunity to live in a world that accepts them just as they are.
Supporting the needs of the community is part of our purpose and vision. The approach that we have as a business is very different to many law firms in SA. We have moved away from the traditional firm structure to a more caring and understanding approach, allowing people and businesses to feel more comfortable to work with us. We realised the common conception is that people feel anxious and nervous when engaging a solicitor for the first time and we wanted to change that so that our clients viewed us as their “partner” rather than a solicitor. This is what led to our name change last year to YLP Legal – Your Legal Partner.
We are the only accredited autism friendly law firm in SA through our association with the Autism Friendly Charter and we have a passion to help the vulnerable and adapt our environment to suit their needs. Our office has been decorated minimally to assist with sensory needs of those who attend and we are able to dim lights, provide a breakout room and even have sensory toys and tools that our clients can utilise to ensure they feel safe and secure with us.
Our team members are also educated on all aspects of autism and sensory issues to make sure that our clients feel safe and receive the best service possible.
This initiative is very important to me as a mother of 2 autistic boys. I know first hand how life can be difficult for people when others simply don’t understand them. I ensure that every community member is treated with compassion and respect and made to feel safe.
I do what I do simply to help our community, to empower women and demonstrate to my boys that everyone is to be accepted just as they are. From a business perspective I understand that my children may struggle more than other children to find their ideal career and enter the workforce. As such I need my business to provide them with an income until they find their own unique purpose.
Thanks for sharing your work and dedication to an inclusive corporate environment Maggie!
Maggie is an experienced solicitor of over 19 years and owner of YLP Legal – Your Legal Partner. YLP Legal – Your Legal Partner offers legal advice in commercial law, wills and estates and family law. We are an all female firm with over 60 years of combined experience. We are the only accredited autism friendly firm in SA. Our approach is unlike the traditional law firms and rather we provide a caring approach, honest advice and personalised strategic solutions to legal matters.
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