Lithgow Mercury

The image of Lady JusticeAdvertising Feature

The image of Lady Justice

NSW Law Week is a time to pause and reflect on everything you do automatically, like hiring staff, negotiating deals, or signing contracts.

But it never hurts to have sound advice from an impartial observer.

Do you ever wonder where that impartiality arose and where the image of the balanced scales of Lady Justice came from?

Most commonly portrayed in the US as a blindfolded woman carrying a sword and a set of scales, she symbolises the fair and equal administration of the law without corruption, greed, prejudice, or favour.

The depiction of a woman portraying justice dates back to ancient Greece and Rome. Themis, the Greek goddess of justice and law, is commonly known for her clear-sightedness.

When people need a lawyer often they don't know where to begin.

- President of the Law Society of NSW, Joanne van der Plaat

Justice, prudence, fortitude, and temperance are the four virtues, and for President of the Law Society of NSW, Joanne van der Plaat, they are front and centre of her daily work with the law.

"In so many situations - buying a house, getting a divorce, dealing with a tense situation with a neighbour - people need a lawyer, but often they don't know where to begin. So, the first place most people turn to these days is the internet," she says.

"As we all know, trying to access the right information on the internet can feel like 'falling down a rabbit hole'."

The Law Society of NSW has launched a new website that connects members of the public with the right solicitor for their legal needs.

"Rather than randomly googling 'where can I find a lawyer', Lawfully Explained connects the public with the information they need to access the most appropriate legal assistance.

"Ultimately, we want to help people, particularly the more vulnerable members of our community, to look for legal advice in all the right places," Ms van der Plaat says.

Lawfully Explained features articles, podcasts and videos answering questions about:

  • Problems with neighbours
  • My rights when getting arrested
  • How much does a lawyer cost?
  • Why do I need a lawyer?
  • Preparing for court
  • 10 questions to ask a lawyer.

It also includes a new customised Find a Lawyer tool.

The Pro Bono Scheme

THE Pro Bono Scheme can provide legal assistance in-house for eligible applicants. To be eligible for assistance, applicants must have applied for and been refused Legal Aid assistance for their legal matter (proof of this is required); satisfy the means assessment applied by the scheme; have a matter that has merit and/or reasonable prospects of success; and have a type of matter covered by the scheme.

On the job for jobs

Employment lawyers are keen for employers to know their obligations about staff wages and entitlements and OHS laws, as it is one of the most important jobs you have if you run a business.

Many innocent and costly mistakes can be avoided if you have a good understanding of the basic rules, and getting it right at the start can prevent both staff and your business from being hurt.

Family law resources

Legal practitioners may encounter domestic and family violence in a diverse range of matters, particularly in family law and apprehended domestic violence order matters, but also in areas such as criminal law, child protection, immigration, housing and tenancy, consumer credit disputes, partnership disputes, wills, estate planning and elder law.

There is a new resource that can be used.