You may only be in secondary school and uni seems like it is a long way off, but it is never too early to get an understanding of what different careers are out there.
Being a lawyer seems to be a great profession, especially if you have seen episodes of 'Rake' or any other series about lawyers. On the other hand, not all lawyers end up in court, arguing brilliantly against each other. In fact, there are a number of different things that a lawyer can do.
Lawyer for the prosecution
When someone is accused of a crime, the Director of Public Prosecutions will bring a charge against them and they will have to go to court. There will be a lawyer who will be in charge of the prosecution. It is this person's job to take all the evidence that shows the accused is guilty and to present an argument that tells the court why the accused is guilty of the crime for which they were arrested.
Lawyer for the defence
Everyone who is accused of a crime and goes to court is allowed to present an argument in their defence. The accused does not do this personally, but hires a lawyer to represent them. It is the defence lawyer's job to explain to the court why the accused should not be found guilty of the crime.
Whenever a house or building is bought or sold, there are laws that state that certain things have to be done to make the sale legal. A conveyancing lawyer will make sure that all the forms are filled in, all the correct papers filed and all the costs paid for the whole transaction.
Family court lawyer
Sometimes people go to court, even though they have not been accused of a crime. Often the court they go to is family court because they are getting divorced or have to arrange something about the custody of children. Each person who goes to a family court is allowed to have a lawyer to help them present their case and to guide them through the whole process. Sometimes the lawyers will be able to help the people involved in a legal family matter to resolve their problem without going to court.
Big businesses are involved in doing lots of different transactions and signing contracts for work that they do or have done. Everything must follow the laws of the land, so these firms employ lawyers to make sure that this happens. A corporate lawyer may draw up a contract or may check that someone else's contract is acceptable. They may also be involved in advising people about the best way to reach a legal agreement.
Welcome! My name is Jessica, and I work as a legal aid secretary. I am in awe of the lawyers in my office and the variety of cases they cover. From injury compensation to family court matters, they need to understand the law in a broad range of areas. As a legal secretary, it is often my job to research particular points of law or find certain cases for reference. It is a fascinating job and I work hard to keep up with the constant changes to our laws and legal processes. Friends and family often ask me for direction on legal matters and whilst I explain that I am no expert, I usually manage to provide sound advice. This blog is for people who share my passion for the law or who want to understand more about our legal system. I hope you find it engaging and useful.