Hearsay ... the Journal of the Bar Association of Queensland
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Book Review: Lawyers in Australia, 2nd Edition Print E-mail

book_lawyers_in_aus.jpgAuthors: Ainslie Lamb, LLB, MEd and John Littrich, BA, LLB

Publisher: The Federation Press

Reviewed by Alexis N. Gage

“Knowledge is Power!” – Auntie Mame 1

This textbook is an enjoyable read. The authors divide Lawyers in Australia into a sociological perspective and an ethics section.

I found the part on the sociological context particularly interesting. The authors provide a historical and comparative understanding of the legal profession in the Australian, United Kingdom, Canadian, and the United States jurisdictions. They discuss the proper use of the term “lawyer” and the very important historical distinction of “barrister” and “solicitor” as well as the educational requirements and standards needed for entering our profession. This makes Lawyers in Australia a recommended read for law students wanting to know what the legal profession is about other than getting a set of letters (i.e. LLB) behind one’s name.

In the latter section, the authors address the ethical context of our profession. This section is broken down into general ethics and values of professional responsibilities of lawyers (i.e. barristers and solicitors). Lawyers in Australia provides several insights into the duties owed to clients by lawyers, the duty owed to the court by officers of the court (i.e. barrister and solicitors and not police officers), and other duties applicable to members of our profession. The conduct, complaints, and discipline of lawyers are explored and explained.

The one concern that I had involves possible errors found in the citation of references. I believe in proper citation of references. I found some of the references made by the authors to be questionable. References to website links were not always accessible. References to specific members of our profession were not written accurately; therefore, misleading readers. This is a second edition and one might have hoped that any errors made in the first edition would have been corrected in this edition.

I would recommend reading this textbook for the social and historical perspective of our profession. However, I would definitely check the references if one were planning to use this textbook as a possible research tool for papers.


  1. Patrick Dennis (novel), Betty Comden and Adolph Green (Screen play). Auntie Mame, 1958.

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