Lawyers in Australia: 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Lawyers in Australia

2nd Edition

By Ainslie Lamb, John Littrich, Karina Murray

© 2012 – Federation Press

400 pages

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Lawyers in Australia is a wide-ranging and detailed examination of the legal profession. It contextualises the role, responsibilities and ethics of lawyers in contemporary Australian society and discusses recent trends and issues.

This 2nd edition updates the text with:

  • information about the National Legal Profession Project and a review of key provisions of the proposed National Laws and Rules
  • reference to relevant caselaw since the publication of the 1st edition
  • updated statistical information relating to lawyers and the legal profession in Australia
  • reference to recent studies and commentary in relation to lawyers and the legal profession in Australia revised discussion and research questions relating to each chapter.


Review of previous editions:

Students completing their bachelor of laws in jurisdictions where the study of ethics is compulsory (this is not the case in WA), and all graduates completing admissions courses, will find the section on ethics a very useful summary. It deals with ethical codes, the client-lawyer relationship and the lawyer’s duty to the court, to other members of the profession and third parties. The client-lawyer relationship incorporates detailed analysis of the retainer, the duty to advise, the duty of competence and care and the duty of loyalty. This section is also a primer for lawyers who wish to enlarge their understanding of the law underpinning professional conduct rules and the law relating to professional privilege and lawyer liability.

The sociological context covers the definition of a lawyer and legal work, the development of the Australian profession and professional institutions like law societies, fidelity funds and public purposes funds. There is a broader discussion about the role of the judiciary, the legal culture, the costs and delivery of legal services and access to justice that is general background for any lawyer or student preparing to undertake specific law reform analysis. To a certain extent the authors create for law students a tempered but nevertheless heroic context for their future practice of the law, emphasising what the law can do. The book would be a useful addition to a firm library, particularly if that firm engages winter and summer clerks and articled clerks and graduate trainees.

Law Society Journal of Western Australia, Vol 34 (10) November 2007

Table of Contents

Part I - The Sociological Context 1. Lawyers 2. Legal Education in Australia

3. The Development of the Legal Profession in Australia 4. Legal Culture

5. The Judiciary 6. The Delivery Of Legal Services 7. Access to Justice: Meeting the Costs 8. Access to Justice: Equality Before the Law 9. Access to Justice: Indigenous Australians Part II - The Ethical Context 9. Ethics, Values and Professional Responsibility 10. Conduct, Complaints and Discipline 11. The Lawyer-Client 12. Relationship: The Retainer and the Duty of Representation 13. The Lawyer-Client Relationship: The Duty to Advise 14. The Lawyer-Client Relationship: Duty of Competence 15. The Lawyer-Client Relationship: The Duty of Loyalty 16. The Lawyer's Duty to the Court and the Proper Administration of Justice 17. The Lawyer's Duty to Other Members of the Profession and to Third Parties.

About the Authors

Ainslie Lamb AM

Ainslie holds a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to the legal profession, legal education in relation to cross-cultural and indigenous issues, and community education.

Ainslie practised as a solicitor in Victoria for 25 years. In 1994 she joined the Faculty of Law at the University of Wollongong, as the Foundation Director of the Practical Legal Training Course. She was appointed as an Honorary Professorial Fellow of the Faculty of Law in 2004.

John Littrich

John Littrich practised as a solicitor in the Illawarra area of New South Wales for 13 and was an accredited specialist in Family Law. He joined the Faculty of Law at the University of Wollongong as a leturer in the Practical Legal Training (PLT) Course in 2002.

During his years of practice he was also a regular volunteer with the Illawarra Community Legal Centre and is now a member of the Centre’s Management Board. He also worked for a year as an employer industrial advocate.

Now a senior lecturer, in his time with the Faculty of Law he has taught in the LLB Lawyers and Australian Society subject and, for several years, has co-ordinated and taught in the LLB Family Law subjects, in addition to his PLT commitments. He also co-ordinates the Faculty’s Legal Internship Program.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology