find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
The lawyers are alright

The lawyers are alright

A major legal body will use social media to refute negative and stereotypical perceptions of lawyers.

The Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) launched its Reputation Project today (12 April).

The project is the result of three years of research, which found that lawyers as a group are not held in high regard.

“The perception of lawyers was largely shaped by stereotypes we are getting out of the media, movies and TV, with a lot of it coming out of the US,” said Michael Brett Young (pictured), the CEO of the LIV, when speaking to Lawyers Weekly prior to the launch. “There was a feeling that ‘my lawyer is OK, but other lawyers aren’t’.”

The LIV’s research included analysing social media channels, looking at the reputation campaigns of other professions, and speaking to senior and junior lawyers.

In an attempt to enhance the community perception of lawyers in Victoria, the LIV has created a YouTube channel, launched a blogger outreach program and redeveloped community pages on its website to promote the good works of lawyers in Victoria.

“It is about telling another story, telling the good things they [lawyers] actually do,” said Brett Young, a former managing partner of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers. “We know lawyers do a lot of good things in the community, and it is just getting that message across.”

The LIV has nominated wills and estates, property law, criminal law and family law as its main areas of focus.

“That is where we think people have the most interaction with lawyers,” said Brett Young about the four nominated practice areas, rejecting the notion that they were chosen because they were the areas where lawyers are most in need of an image makeover.  “What we are doing is just starting with that, and we will probably move into other areas over time.”

The LIV said it decided to use social media because it is the best way it can reach and engage with a large audience. As part of the program, lawyers in Victoria will also be able to undertake social media training.

The good, not the bad or the ugly
Brett Young defended the decision of the LIV to use the Reputation Project to share good stories only, saying it was not the role of the LIV to warn the community about legal practitioners behaving badly.

“There are always plenty of people putting stories out there, often misinformed stories, about lawyers, and what we are doing is putting the other side to it,” he said.  “We want to make sure there is a balanced point of view put, and the balance for us is to put the other side of the equation.”

In particular, the LIV will use its YouTube channel to profile lawyers and use human interest stories to profile areas where lawyers play a key role in “creating positive outcomes for Victorian communities”.

Brett Young said these feature interviews would often feature suburban and country lawyers, and said he is confident the Reputation Project will enhance the image of lawyers in Victoria.

“I hope they [the community] would be saying ‘oh, there are lawyers doing some really good and interesting things in the community and we really like the things that lawyers do’.”


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

The lawyers are alright
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Young humanitarian lawyer California-bound
A young Australian lawyer will be travelling to the US next year for a prestigious nine-month study ...
Jackie Rhodes
Dec 12 2017
Report sheds light on LGBTQI inclusion in law firms
A recent report has revealed the varying perceptions on LGBTQI diversity and inclusion in the Austra...
Women in business
Dec 12 2017
Annabel Crabb headlines Women in Business Forum
Political journalist Annabel Crabb has appeared at the Coleman Greig Lawyers Women in Business Forum...
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'...
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...
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 & ...