I work for a small country law firm an hour out of the Adelaide CBD. We don’t specialise in one particular area of law. To survive in a country town there is a need to dabble in a variety of legal areas such as family law, criminal law, wills and estates, personal injury, taxation and property law.
As a graduate there is an expectation that you’ll start slowly and building up your knowledge in one particular area of law. In my firm I have hit the ground running and have been working on matters in criminal, family and estate law.
Although not for everyone, there are advantages to working in a general legal practice. These include:
Exposure to a diverse variety of work
Becoming an encyclopedia of law
Networking with lawyers in different fields.
If I’m dealing with an unfamiliar legal area I know I can always ask my boss and other local lawyers for guidance. I don’t take files that I do not feel I can adequately provide advice on, and I tend to refer clients to other law firms who have more knowledge in that particular field. There is more learning to do but I find the skills and knowledge I learn in one area can often be applied in other types of matters.
I love the stimulation of general legal practice. The diversity of work keeps me interested and continues my love of the law. It’s definitely worth a try!
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