Why I’m a Lawyer

by Samantha Marks QC

why im a lawyer

Recently on twitter a topic has been circulating with the hashtag #whyimalawyer. For those unfamiliar with hashtags (and indeed twitter) the point of such a hashtag is that people looking for what tweets are being said by all different people about particular topics can find them by a search.

There have been many tweets about it by a variety of lawyers in the last few days.  Repeated word for word below* these include:

  • Because I like working long hours and getting panicked phone calls at the last minute
  • Because why wouldn’t you want to be one (people listen to what you say), plus it was the vibe.
  • Because I find phrases like ‘incorporeal’ hereditament amusing
  • Because words all day
  • Because DRAMA (aka fun)
  • Because I like to argue about the correct definition of a word or meaning of a sentence
  • I love wearing a wig
  • Because sometimes people can’t resolve conflicts on their own
  • Because finishing a good cross examination feels wonderful
  • Because I wasn’t allowed to do medicine for work experience, and instead read Justinian and had lobster lunches for a week
  • Because you can’t really make money from history
  • knowing sharks won’t attack you in the ocean due to professional courtesy
  • I became a lawyer by accident.  I choose to stay in the hope that I can help families through their toughest times
  • Because I like wearing suits and pulling a trolley full of papers, folders and books
  • Because I love reasoning and argument.  I am a reasoner myself, and hence, law is the perfect match for me.
  • There was a cohort whom would answer “LA Law” to#WhyImALawyer but they were shallow.  And they went into merchant banking
  • Because I love being at the centre of policy making – that feeling when you see a provision you influenced come into existence! 🙂
  • Being a lawyer challenges me, has opened many doors & given me many different opportunities
  • Because I got the marks to study law and I liked debating at school and archeology was hot and dusty
  • because at the age of 10 I thought it would be cool. As I got older, it became about ensuring change in the world
  • I get paid to say “Objection Your Honour”
  • Because a youth worker mocked me in HS when I said my dream was to be a QC…there’s that…
  • Because I love all stationery, particularly fountain pens, highlighters, post-it notes and flags
  • Because when things go pear shaped clients go “ohshit better call isobelle” & because I get to say “don’t panic” a lot
  • I like to explain complicated legal terms using words my clients can explain
  • And Rumpole, and Kylie Tennant’s biography of Evatt, and David Marr’s Barwick
  • Because a small laugh from a judge to a perfectly timed witticism is golden
  • The anxiety you get at 4.55 when a client walks in and tells you they have a hearing at 9.30 tomorrow morning
  • Why has no-one mentioned Perry Mason and his amazing ability to get people to confess
  • Because carrying around large files and books is a great upper body workout
  • In honesty – words, arguing & enforcing rights & speaking truth to power.  And Atticus Finch, of course.
  • Because I like working long hours and getting panicked phone calls at the last minute
  • I love being at social functions and betting on how long it takes for someone to ask “can I ask you a quick question”
  • I’m waiting for someone to say its because they read a lot of John Grisham novels
  • I want to make a difference.  Esp for victims of #domestic violence
  • Because of Welcher & Welcher*, the most realistic TV depiction of small practice I’ve ever seen.


Co-incidentally I was recently interviewed and asked that very question – and a few more – by newlawyerlanguage. So my own more extended answer to #WhyImALawyer is to be found here: Interview with Samantha Marks QC 

*If you would like to see who posted all the tweets mentioned above, just go into twitter on the internet and search #WhyImALawyer

**I was delighted to see someone mentioned Welcher & Welcher. This sitcom with Shaun Micallef is the funniest show about lawyers I have ever seen. Mind you, almost anything with Shaun is funny…

This piece is republished with the generous permission of Samantha Marks QC. It was first published on 20 May 2014, on her own blog: SamanthaMarksSC.com

One thought on “Why I’m a Lawyer

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