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Law Council of Australia


John Hammond

What support is there for lawyers relocating to RRR areas?

I am unaware of any support unless it is offered by the prospective employer.

What experiences will I gain from working in RRR areas?

You are likely to become what is known as a generalist and have a good understanding of many areas of law.

How will working in RRR areas elevate my career?

You are likely to land in the “deep end” in terms of court appearances, problem solving and face to face contact with clients. There is much experience and satisfaction to be gained from this process.

In which RRR area do you currently work, and how long have you been there?

Albany Western Australia, for approximately eight months.

In which area of law do you practice and what elements of your practice do you think are unique to being in a RRR area?

All areas except taxation and superannuation law. Elements that are unique to RRR are clients will drop in without announcement (“walk-ins”), and everyone knows each other in a RRR community.

What does a typical day in your practice look like?

Many personal attendances, high volume of domestic violence matters, high volume of farming issues (compared to city practice) and face to face interaction is generally the only way a client will proceed and or gain confidence.

If you have previously worked in metropolitan areas – what are the main differences working in RRR areas?

Travel is easy (five minutes walk), accessibility to courts is easy (five minutes away), and the RRR context is arguably friendlier and more “human.”

What is your favourite thing about working in a RRR area?

Lifestyle is more relaxed, and there is a more co-operative working culture as opposed to competitive.

What is the most challenging thing about working in a RRR area?

Gaining acceptance in a RRR area – often clients have their long terms lawyers from whom they will never change. Once you gain acceptance then the work will flow more readily.

What opportunities are there in your RRR area to undertake pro bono work or give back to the community as a lawyer?

Numerous opportunities – my firm did this with it’s first client. Many clients simply do not have the resources, or any resources, to fund private lawyers.

What three pieces of advice would you give to someone considering working in a RRR area?

Get to know everyone in town, join the local sporting clubs, be sociable.