find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Regional lawyers feel like 'failed lawyers'

Regional lawyers feel like 'failed lawyers'

Following the release of the Law Council of Australia's rural, regional and remote areas lawyers survey, The New Lawyer speaks to lawyers about their experiences working in regional Australia

Following the release of the Law Council of Australia and Law Institute of Victoria's rural, regional and remote areas lawyers survey, The New Lawyer speaks to lawyers about their experiences working in regional Australia. In the first of a two part series, reporter Olivia Collings speaks to veteran lawyer Paul Boylan.



City lawyers have no idea about country lawyers' work, according to regional lawyer Paul Boylan. 


“Contemporaries (city lawyers) just have no idea.” 


Boylan, who is principal of South Australian firm Boylan and Co (soon to be Boylan Lawyers), in Port Pirie, said a lot of city lawyers look down at country lawyers, which ultimately results in lawyers leaving for the city lights. 


“Contemporaries look down their nose at them. One bloke said to me ‘people look at me as if I’m a failed lawyer’, but most of them don’t have any understanding of what we do.” 


Working in a regional area, lawyers work across a breadth of practice areas and because of shortages, often get to do more interesting work earlier in their career said Boylan. “I had a second year bloke working on a murder trial.” 


During his 25 years as principal of the firm, Boylan said staff leave for a variety of reason, often lasting between two and three years.


Like others he has tried a number of policies to attract and maintain staff, such as extra holidays, higher rates of pay, but with some staff, their reasons for leaving are beyond his control. 


“I think the last guy left to look for a lady.” 


He said the key to attracting the lawyers, serious about working in the country, was to entice them with something tangible.


“There is a bit of a move, by the Law Council Regional, Rural and Remote Working Group, to see if we can get a rebait on the HECS fees, that young lawyers have when they first come out to work, you need something that will stimulate interest, you can’t just tell them it will be great.” 


In the next few months Boylan will be adding two new staff to his team, a young graduate who grew up in the town and a lawyer who has previously worked in remote areas before returning to the city, and has decided its time to go rural again. 


“There are three types of lawyers that get targeted for regional areas. Born and bred – people who come from there and want to return. Second career lawyers, people who have done time in regional areas previously in another capacity- don’t have the fear of coming out of a metro area, lady that is joining us in October is like that- and adventure lawyers, those looking to drop the suit and tie.” 


Boylan said if city lawyers really knew what it was like in a regional practice they might be more willing to consider it. 


“We try to make sure our offices are really comfortable and make sure that our equipment is up to date. We have laptops so that people can access remotely- all connected to the server. We pay extra and hope the lifestyle is attractive to them.” 

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Regional lawyers feel like 'failed lawyers'
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
microphone
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
protest
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Blocked
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...