Why work as a privacy and defamation lawyer?

Juliet Caragianis 8 Nov 2021

A blank page and a 404 error. Those are two things that really excite me these days.

As a privacy and defamation lawyer, most of my work never sees the light of day. At least, that’s the aim. At Schillings, we work with clients to protect their privacy, whether that’s keeping their children out of the press or keeping their financial information secure. Everyone has a right to a private life and in the age of social media, anyone can be a publisher or the paparazzi. We also work to protect clients’ reputations, ensuring that defamatory statements don’t make it to print or are removed post-publication.

My most exciting days end when I refresh a page and see nothing because we successfully prevented publication, or I refresh an article and see the flashing ‘404 page error’ because an article was removed. That’s a good day as a lawyer and a good day for the client.

I found defamation and privacy law when I was training as a family lawyer. I went into family law because I wanted to work with people, and as a bright-eyed recent graduate in political science looking for a training contract with no actual exposure to the law, I figured I had two options: work in corporate law or work in family law. The former brought images of tax filings and shareholder agreements and offshore structures to mind, where I envisioned a life in a small dark cubicle with minimal human interaction. The latter brought images of meeting clients every day, connecting with them, and helping make a hard part of their life a little bit better. I really thought those were my only two possibilities in law, so I chose the latter.

During my training contract, my firm created a defamation and privacy department and I was lucky enough to get a six month seat there. I was mentored by a really incredible female partner who opened my eyes to a new area of law, one which still gave me the human interaction I craved while removing the hardest part (in my opinion) of family law – splitting children between parents.

Media law allowed me to be involved in family cases but meant I approached the issues from a different angle. And on top of that, I got to branch out to learn and do even more. I now find myself dealing with tax filings, shareholder agreements and offshore structures every week. I still get to speak to clients and don’t have to do it from a small dark cubicle. The work means I get to engage with all sorts of media publishers and broadcasters, helping clients with their matters across television, radio, newspapers, magazines and social media. Every day, it’s a new type of issue and every day it’s exciting.

If you’re looking to work in a people-focused career in law that deals with every type of matter at once, we look forward to hearing from you and potentially welcoming you to our diverse and growing team!

Take a look at our current opportunities at Schillings.