Outbacklawyer returns

After a few weeks away, my journal has begun flowing again.

For those of you who never read the original stories, the first post is here in full, followed by the story of why the site has been out of action for a while.

*  *  *  *  *  *

Outback law begins

Tomorrow I begin the first day of my life practising law.

It’s been a difficult road in some respects, from learning the law of property with a six month old on my knee, through to sitting exams in a dingy reception centre in the middle of Brunswick. The vast amounts of coffee consumed were, quite probably, the key to my eventual success. I should name the Pelican Pantry cafe in Hastings as one of the greatest study environments of all time.

Although entitled Outback Law, it is somewhat of an exaggeration to claim that I am truly working in the ouback. My real claim is that the work is more than five hundred kilometres from Melbourne (or any other capital city, for that matter), and so there may be some contrast to the practice of law as it exists in the various chambers and offices which line William Street. I suppose we shall see.

My two children are sick and tonight promises to be difficult, and as to tomorrow, who knows? I hope to report back, in more or less a day’s time, at least something interesting and worthwhile.

For the vision splendid-

The Outback Lawyer

*  *  *  *  *  *

The original site was taken down because of a strong criticism of its content. Because that input came from someone whose experience I respect, I took some time to consider carefully that view.

I have been sharing gritty, real and challenging stories from country towns and courtrooms in rural Australia. I feel that there is real value in these stories being heard. As every journalist knows, writing is risky. The question for me has been: will I retreat into silence because there is some small risk in writing? And the answer I have come to is: I must not.

I think a lot of people struggle to understand the legal system. If they could understand it better, their experience of it might be more positive, and perhaps less painful. Courts are not usually pleasant places for people to be. I think it may be unanswered questions about the legal process which can sometimes cause the greatest difficulty. If this journal can continue to provide some frank insight into the workings of the law, then in my view, it has been worthwhile.

I will continue to be respectful in my writing. I will continue to represent my employers honestly. I will continue to maintain client confidentiality. But most of all, I will try to tell you my stories.

I am now a couple of months into the work here, and it’s going well. Today was a bit quiet; I had to fall back on preparing resource folders and researching obscure legislation to keep myself busy. However, the one client whom I did directly assist was grateful, and that is reward in itself.

Next week we start duty lawyer rosters again, so the quiet times will be no more. Often a lot of our ongoing work flows out of the matters that arise on these days. It’s a bit like the emergency department of a hospital: you never know what’s going to walk through the door! Hopefully there will be some good outcomes from our work.

Enjoy the weekend.

For the vision splendid-

The Outback Lawyer

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One Response to Outbacklawyer returns

  1. Jess says:

    “If they could understand it better, their experience of it might be more positive,”

    That’s exactly what I liked about your blog. You opened up a world that I didnt understand, and consequently was negative about.

    Keep it coming. It helps a lot!! (And its a great read!!)

    PS, can you get the old photo background again? That was fabulous and suited the feel of the site, well, down to the ground! 😉

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