Monthly Archives: May 2014

Why I’m a Lawyer

Recently on twitter a topic has been circulating with the hashtag #whyimalawyer.* For those unfamiliar with hashtags (and indeed twitter) the point of such a hashtag is that people looking for what tweets are being said by all different people about particular topics can find them by a search.

There have been many tweets about it by a variety of lawyers in the last few days.  Repeated word for word below these include:

  • Because I like working long hours and getting panicked phone calls at the last minute
  • Because why wouldn’t you want to be one (people listen to what you say), plus it was the vibe.
  • Because I find phrases like ‘incorporeal’ hereditament amusing
  • Because words all day
  • Because DRAMA (aka fun)
  • Because I like to argue about the correct definition of a word or meaning of a sentence
  • I love wearing a wig
  • Because sometimes people can’t resolve conflicts on their own
  • Because finishing a good cross examination feels wonderful
  • Because I wasn’t allowed to do medicine for work experience, and instead read Justinian and had lobster lunches for a week
  • Because you can’t really make money from history
  • knowing sharks won’t attack you in the ocean due to professional courtesy
  • I became a lawyer by accident.  I choose to stay in the hope that I can help families through their toughest times
  • Because I like wearing suits and pulling a trolley full of papers, folders and books
  • Because I love reasoning and argument.  I am a reasoner myself, and hence, law is the perfect match for me.
  • There was a cohort whom would answer “LA Law” to#WhyImALawyer but they were shallow.  And they went into merchant banking
  • Because I love being at the centre of policy making – that feeling when you see a provision you influenced come into existence! 🙂
  • Being a lawyer challenges me, has opened many doors & given me many different opportunities
  • Because I got the marks to study law and I liked debating at school and archeology was hot and dusty
  • because at the age of 10 I thought it would be cool. As I got older, it became about ensuring change in the world
  • I get paid to say “Objection Your Honour”
  • Because a youth worker mocked me in HS when I said my dream was to be a QC…there’s that…
  • Because I love all stationery, particularly fountain pens, highlighters, post-it notes and flags
  • Because when things go pear shaped clients go “ohshit better call isobelle” & because I get to say “don’t panic” a lot
  • I like to explain complicated legal terms using words my clients can explain
  • And Rumpole, and Kylie Tennant’s biography of Evatt, and David Marr’s Barwick
  • Because a small laugh from a judge to a perfectly timed witticism is golden
  • The anxiety you get at 4.55 when a client walks in and tells you they have a hearing at 9.30 tomorrow morning
  • Why has no-one mentioned Perry Mason and his amazing ability to get people to confess
  • Because carrying around large files and books is a great upper body workout
  • In honesty – words, arguing & enforcing rights & speaking truth to power.  And Atticus Finch, of course.
  • Because I like working long hours and getting panicked phone calls at the last minute
  • I love being at social functions and betting on how long it takes for someone to ask “can I ask you a quick question”
  • I’m waiting for someone to say its because they read a lot of John Grisham novels
  • I want to make a difference.  Esp for victims of #domestic violence
  • Because of Welcher & Welcher**, the most realistic TV depiction of small practice I’ve ever seen.



My own reasons for Why I’m a Lawyer? Co-incidentally I was recently interviewed and asked that very question – and a few more – by New Lawyer Language.  So my own more extended answer to #WhyImALawyer is to be found at their blog:


* After writing this blog, I found out that the #WhyImALawyer hashtag arose as a result of a NSW Young Lawyers Law Week Twitter campaign in May 2014. This initiative was coordinated by NSW Young Lawyers Executive Councillor, David Porter. The NSW Young Lawyers Debrief newsletter included a brief article on this campaign, which can be viewed at:

If you would like to see who posted all the tweets mentioned above, just go into twitter on the internet and search #WhyImALawyer.


**I was delighted to see someone mentioned Welcher & Welcher.  This sitcom with Shaun Micallef is the funniest show about lawyers I have ever seen.  Mind you, almost anything with Shaun is funny…