Volunteer Virtual Internship + PLT Placement Mentoring

How do I best deal with what appear to be bleak job prospects + high levels of uncertainty about my future career in the legal profession?

Dealing with Uncertainty

Our advice, if you are apprehensive about the current state of uncertainty in the legal profession job market is to educate yourself about the future.

The future is here now, it is just very unevenly distributed.”  

The more we rely on this quote as a mantra, the more we relinquish our own agency.

It puts us all into the position of living in a future that belongs to someone else and never our own.

The best way to predict the future is to create it!
What does that mean?
The Future… Kind of scary sounding. Full of unknowns. Full of twists and turns. How can you possibly predict it?

The above quote is saying that the best way to know what is coming is to step up to be an active participant in creating the future.

⚖️ Tomorrow's Lawyers

To help you understand what the future of the work in the legal profession might look like we recommend you read Tomorrow’s Lawyers 2nd edition.

➲ The book lists out potential new career paths for lawyers that have not existed previously.

If you would like to seek an independent opinion please read this review of the book.

🔑 Key Takeaways

It is important to understand that lawyers can increasingly operate + practice from anywhere in the world, and across multiple legal jurisdictions.  

Example: Australian lawyer working for Australian law firm from Canada

When it comes to “behind the scenes” legal support and tech development ➲ there are no geographical limitations perhaps other than language + civil law jurisdictions (where you have been trained in a common law jurisdiction).

🥊 Alternative Dispute Resolution

Learn about the global opportunities emerging in Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Example: This organisation we have not dealt with.. explain the growing opportunities in this space, presumably to help sell their ADR training.  

It is still useful to understand the opportunity.

🚀 Space Law

Think about Space Law ➲ any lawyer from any jurisdiction could theoretically practice in this interesting + expanding area of law.  

The same applies for the increased relevance of International Law in increasingly complex global commercial transactions.

🔗 Smart Contracts / Blockchain-related Law

Other areas of growth to look into Smart Contracts, Blockchain related law, etc.

A Smart Contract is a computer program or a transaction protocol which is intended to automatically execute, control or document legally relevant events and actions according to the terms of a contract or an agreement.

🔒 Privacy Law / Digital Life

Some commentators have stated that Privacy can no longer be expected as surveillance is so widespread Privacy no longer exists.

Our view is that the right to + regulation of Privacy has started and will continue to become a larger part of our increasingly Digital Lives.

It is another major growth area with local companies needing to deal with global Privacy regimes such as the GDPR for their dealings with EU Citizens.

💡 Augmented Reality + AI

Augmented reality + AI are other areas to explore.

Further Reading: FAQ: What lies ahead for the future of the legal profession?

Credits:

This FAQ was created by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.

How do I live greatly in the law?

You may wonder at times whether you have chosen the right profession?

Others have wondered the same, and they have gone on to become legends within the legal profession.

Not for the positions they have attained, nor the cases they have won, but for the leadership they have shown [by way of example] in living greatly in the law.

HAL WOOTTEN AC QC* [1922-2021]

#Living Greatly in the Law was both his mantra and the title of the 2008 UNSW Law Journal article which publishing extracts from one of his acknowledgments and one of his speeches within the lecture series he started.

His legacy lives on in those who stand on his shoulders.

The introductory paragraphs of the article partly answer the question posed by this FAQ, in that it affirms that it is possible to live greatly in the law!

Over 60 years ago, as a disenchanted law student wondering whether I had made the right choice, I took comfort from the conviction with which Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes had answered a question he imputed to his audience ofHarvard undergraduates in 1886. The question was: how can the laborious study of a dry and technical system, the greedy watch for clients and practice of shopkeepers’ arts, the mannerless conflicts over often sordid interests, make outa life? – and he answered it with the ringing declaration that he could say and say no longer with any doubt that a man may live greatly in the law as well as elsewhere
However, to me a great charm of the law as a vocation lies in the varieties and combinations of ways it offers to men and women to live greatly – as thinkers, as scholars, as teachers, as counsellors and advisers, as advocates, as judges, as arbitrators, and fact-finders, as people who take their legal training with its skills and values into journalism, politics, business, administration, literature or service of the international community, to name but some of the spheres where we find men and women recognisable as lawyers.

# These are excerpts from two speeches delivered at the University of New South Wales. The first excerpt is taken from Hal Wootten’s acknowledgment of the second Hal Wootten Lecture given by The HonMichael McHugh AC QC on 23 August 2007. The second excerpt is taken from Hal Wootten's speech at a gathering of the University of New South Wales Law School's foundation students on 27 February2008. They have been recorded here for the valuable insight they provide into the role, importance and potential of the law, the legal profession and legal education.

* Emeritus Professor and foundation Dean and professor of the University of New South Wales LawSchool 1969–73. Hal Wootten AC QC [1922-2021] was later a judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales 1973–83 and a Visiting Professor at the Law School.

The following is extracted from the Justice Reform Initiative website:

By Justice Reform Initiative, 3 August 2021
We are saddened to hear of the death of our patron Emeritus Professor Hal Wootten AC QC, who passed away last week.
Professor Wootten was a leading figure in Australian legal circles for decades, serving as founding Dean of the University of NSW’s Faculty of Law & Justice in 1971 before moving to the Supreme Court of New South Wales, where he sat on the bench for a decade.
As one of the Commissioners leading the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody from 1987 to 1991, he made a significant contribution in calling out the egregious wrongs committed on the First Nations peoples of this country.
In addition to his judicial work, he helped to establish and run the first Aboriginal Legal Service, and also served as a Deputy President of the Native Title Tribunal between 1994-97.
He continued to work throughout his life in a diverse range of roles, showing tireless dedication to the cause of justice.
The Justice Reform Initiative’s executive director Dr Mindy Sotiri said Professor Wootten, who would have turned 99 in December, had been an energetic and passionate advocate for the much-needed reform of Australia’s criminal justice system.
“We deeply appreciate Professor Wootten’s support and the remarkable intellect and vigour he brought to our work,” she said. “On behalf of all our patrons, and the many Australians who share his desire to build a different kind of justice system, we send our condolences to Professor Wootten’s family and many friends.”

Credits:

This FAQ was created by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.

What Free Resources + Groups can you recommend for Law Students / Junior Lawyers to expand their perspectives/skillsets?

LinkedIn Groups

The O Shaped Junior Lawyer Group

Slack Groups

Are you familiar with Slack?

Blue Ocean Law Group℠ have a Slack Channel for use by our Volunteer Virtual Interns/PLT Students.

There are many other interesting groups of lawyers + technologists + creatives collaborating using Slack.

Some of the Slack Groups we are a member of are listed here so you can ask him to organise an invite if you are interested:

🔗 Blockchain for Law;

🔗 LegalBlock;

🔗 Kleros;

🔗 Accord Project;

👨‍🎨 Visual Contracts;

👨‍💻 Legal Hackers;

🗺 Legal Transformers.

Subscriptions

⚖️ Lawyers Weekly;

⚖️ Legal Business World;

⚖️ Lexon Risk Updates; Follow Lexon on LinkedIn;

⚖️ LawCover scroll down on home page to “Receive our Communications” to subscribe;

⚖️ Practising Law;

⚖️ Tips for Lawyers; and

⚖️ Reddit r/auslaw ➲ Casual discussions of Australian law + Legal Resources Megathread.

Organisations

⚖️ Australian Computers and the Law (currently free to join);

⚖️ City of Sydney Law Society (if applicable: not sure whether there is a student membership);

⚖️ Digital Law Association (new - under assessment);

⚖️ Law Council of Australia;

⚖️ NSW Young Lawyers Committees (if applicable: Litigation, Animal Law, etc.); and

⚖️ Australian Lawyers’ Alliance.

Note: This FAQ is a work in progress.

Please check back from time to time to review this FAQ for updated information.

We welcome your suggestions for additional useful resources + groups we can recommend to law students / junior lawyers.

Credits:

This FAQ was created by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.

How do I best deal with the challenges of being a lawyer? ➲ Mental Toughness + Looking after Yourself

Personal Wellbeing ➲ Look After Yourself!

Practising the law is an important and rewarding profession, and at the same time it can be very challenging.

Remote Working Survival Guide

➲ The Remote Working Survival Guide.

Law Cover

The Law Cover Risk Management Education Program aims to provide support and guidance in avoiding or managing many of those challenges.

Law Cover's informative and engaging workshops, seminars, roadshows and briefings are available to their insured law practices and their staff.

NSW Law Society

The Law Society of NSW also aims to alleviate these challenges, particularly in the areas of mental health and wellbeing.

It provides access to confidential counselling through the Solicitor Outreach Service (SOS), and a list of resources that can help lawyers easily find the information they need to overcome both their own personal difficulties as well as those faced by their clients.

The Resilient Lawyer

➲ A Manual for Staying Well @ Work (2nd ed. 2020) by Robyn Bradley of RB Counselling & Consultancy Services.

Credits:

This FAQ was created by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.

Will the Virtual Internship transition to the office [post-lockdown] or will it always be online?

We use our Sydney CBD Co-Working Spaces (As Required)

From time to time there may be opportunities for Virtual Interns / PLT Placements to attend our Sydney CBD co-working spaces on an ad-hoc basis.

c/- Work Club, L8, 99 Elizabeth Street (opposite NSW Supreme Court), Sydney

c/- Work Club, Ground Floor, 201 Kent Street (near Barangaroo), Sydney

The reasons for these meetings could be many including the following:

✅ Initial Client Meetings;

✅ Face-to-Face Legal Advice;

✅ VOI - Verification of Identity;

✅ Estate Planning - Executing Wills/Power of Attorney/Health Directions, etc.; and/or

✅ Legal Advice prior to signing a Binding Financial Agreement.

Note: Opportunities to attend our Sydney CBD Co-working spaces will depend entirely on our client's needs + preferences.

Opportunities to meet our interstate clients in our Melbourne + Brisbane CBD Co-working spaces will often coincide with mediation/litigation matters.

Some Clients prefer not to meet in the CBD

I met with a client yesterday who specifically requested not to meet in the city for a Verification of Identity matter …

Due to our unique business model which does not include fixed costs for CBD office rent, we were able to accommodate our client's request and meet in a location more convenient for our client.

This ability to offer market-leading client service focused flexibility combined with our online automated processes lead to a 10/10 Client Review.

Florence Guild Events + Team Social

In addition to the above ad-hoc opportunities, there are regular Florence Guild events which are held at Work Club which I recommend Virtual Interns / PLT Placements attend as we can combine a team social before or after the event.

Credits:

This FAQ was created by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This FAQ is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.