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Circumstances do not define who you are

Please tell us about yourself? My name is Kim Carlse. I am in a long-term relationship and we have four children, one son and three daughters.

What is your profession? I am an attorney by profession, specialising in criminal law, civil law, including civil suits against the state, and marital law. K Carlse Attorneys offers further services such as conveyancing, RAF (Road Accident Fund) cases, deceased estates and labour.

Tell us about your schooling? I was raised in Atlantis, where my parents had moved to in 1981. I attended Grosvenor Primary and finished high school at Proteus Senior Secondary. I started my tertiary career at the University of the Western Cape and also attended the School for Legal Practice at University of Cape Town, before embarking on my practical career, starting my articles at the Atlantis Court in 2003 for Legal Aid. I was then admitted as an Attorney of the High Court in December 2004.

Why did you pursue a career in law? I always wanted to help people with their problems, especially my community of Atlantis, and thought, what better way to do so than through law?

How long have you been an attorney? I have been an admitted attorney for almost 16 years, and I practised law for many of those years. I have also served as a contract Magistrate on an ad hoc basis, and recently vacated a position as a legal advisor for a municipality, which I filled for more than three years.

Tell us about your involvement in the community? In my previous firm, which has since closed down, I offered free consultations to our community at certain times of the month. I was involved with the initial setting up of the local business chamber. In my free time I also advise community members, free of charge, even when not formally practising as an attorney. This time around I would like to become more involved in community projects, especially projects involving youth, women and children.

What are your hobbies? Reading, I love spending time by myself, and I would like to own my own arts and crafts shop some day.

Do you have any hidden talents? Making something of nothing (crafts).

How do you strike a balance between home and work life? It is not always easy, because your children always need you, and all four of them still live with me. We do create special family time and sometimes shift some of my homework to my elder daughters (how else will they learn?).

What do you do to relax? By creating alone time in the evenings and over weekends, or just breaking away for a weekend with my partner. This relieves my stress.

What is the legacy you want to leave behind? The legacy I want to leave behind is that our local youth become more aware of the opportunities that exist out there, despite your circumstances. That being from Atlantis does not define who you are, nor do your circumstances. All you need is the will to succeed and receive the necessary support, and that you do not have to be rich to reach your goals. I want people to understand, “Your current situation is not your final destination.”

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