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
Changing Channels: Lawyers who switched from the top tier to television

Changing Channels: Lawyers who switched from the top tier to television

Comparisons between the courtroom and the stage have often been made: spellbinding oratory, dramatic entrances, intricate stories and memorable characters - not to mention wigs and props. But…

Comparisons between the courtroom and the stage have often been made: spellbinding oratory, dramatic entrances, intricate stories and memorable characters - not to mention wigs and props. But despite the similarities, leaving a career in law for more creative pursuits is no small feat. Stephanie Quine asks three ex-lawyers, now soliciting laughs and penning on-screen drama, about their journey out of the courtroom and into the limelight.

It is often said that people are either analytical or creative creatures and not much common ground can be found between the two. But it seems that the analytical lawyer and the creative entertainer do indeed share something: an appetite for words and a desire to persuade.

This is certainly the case for James O'Loghlin whose roles -- as a corporate hot shot at Blake Dawson, a criminal lawyer at Legal Aid, a stand-up comedian and as a television and radio host -- have certainly taught him a thing or two about playing to an audience.

His ability to have people laughing one minute and thinking critically the next has made him a popular corporate performer and host of television and radio shows across Australia. In his live comedy show Lawyer Lawyer, O'Loghlin reflected on his eight-year journey "stumbling through the system" of corporate and criminal law until finally finding the right place.

For Andrew O'Keefe, the son of former Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales Barry O'Keefe and brother of well-known international lawyer Roger O'Keefe, his decision to abandon the legal profession might have been considered an unusual one.

But the entertainer, best known for hosting the hit game show Deal or No Deal, followed his instincts and left legal logic behind for showbiz. Formerly an intellectual property lawyer at Allens Arthur Robinson, O'Keefe remembers fondly the camaraderie of law firms and still actively advocates for causes such as the elimination of violence against women.

Fifteen years ago, Jane Allen's life as a lawyer at Slater & Gordon was very different to the one she has now. Her desire to pursue a career as a screenwriter has taken her all to the way to the writers' department of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in Los Angeles, where she worked with a former FBI serial killer profiler and was taught to shoot a handgun by a retired CSI investigator. Her new career now boasts production credits in Blue Heelers, Stingers, The Secret Life of Us, MDA, McLeod's Daughters, Neighbours and Home and Away.

For O'Loghlin, O'Keefe and Allen, leaving the law behind has been both a challenge and a reward.

Click on the images below to find out why some Australia's most noted entertainers took the leap from law to the land of showbiz:


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

Changing Channels: Lawyers who switched from the top tier to television
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
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...
Dec 11 2017
Warm welcome for new district court judges
Three practitioners who were appointed as district court judges in WA have been congratulated by ...
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 & ...