The Analog Lawyers living in a Digital World

Submitted into Contest #184 in response to: Write about someone who has chosen to disconnect and live an analog life.... view prompt


Drama Inspirational Fiction

Jamie once had it all. The high life, the fast life. She moved in all the right circles. With her first class honours in Business Law from Melbourne University, she was on the fast track. Nothing was too hard for her, nothing too extreme. Jamie had grown up in the leafy suburb of Eltham, working hard all her life, helping out at home.

She had taken a bus, then a train to get into school every day for her five years of high school, yes you read that correctly, Jamie had been accelerated. Her intellect saw her get top grades in Mathematics, Chemistry, English, French, Physics and Art. At 6 foot exactly, with her flowing auburn hair and piercing green eyes, Jamie was destined for greatness.

Her first year out of University saw her slaving away at one of Melbourne’s most prestigious criminal law firms Emma Turnbull Lawyers, where her inspiration for choosing criminal law, the partner herself Emma Turnbull worked.

Jamie put in the hours, 80 hour weeks, power lunches, billable hours, everything came back to billable hours. If you weren’t billing your clients you were sleeping and if you were sleeping you may not have a job to come back to at the end of your first associate year. Jamie had quickly worked out who to avoid and who to become close with, her goal, to be a joint Partner of the firm within 10 years.

But eventually, cracks started to form, on a particularly gruelling case, that had even the most hard hearted lawyers retching, the firm made her put in the overtime and she slipped. Just once, but once was all it took.

Jamie had met Alex in her first month at the firm, they hit it off over their mutual love of hard work, art, music and kinky sex. Jamie had always known from a young age that she wasn’t attracted to men, Alex similarly had chosen to spurn all things male, thus the friendship started.

After one particularly long week, Alex took Jamie out to unwind and unwind they did. Even with their entry salaries they could afford to party hard. Alex hired out a whole suite at Crown, bought classy and expensive champagne, mountains of cocaine, pills, the works. Their joint bender ended up lasting 4 days and costing $12,752.

The firm was not impressed, a meeting was had and Alex and Jamie were both fired for bringing the firms’ name into disrepair, no more dreams of being a partner, or even a lawyer, it was over.

Her parents were devastated, her father disowned her, but her mother quietly set her up with a small trust to help her move into the next phase of her life. So Jamie and Alex moved to Wandiligong in country Victoria and aimed to go off the grid completely, no internet, no phones, no fax, nothing.

The result? Pure happiness. Jamie and Alex started a farm, with some sheep, pigs, cows, horses, chickens, they planted all their own vegetables, every so often they would make the trip to Bright to buy things they couldn’t grow or raise themselves.

But how did they make any money or receive any income? Well Jamie, the incredibly smart and talented young women that she was realised very quickly, she could offer all kinds of layperson legal advice around Wandiligong and in adjacent towns. Rapidly all the residents of the surrounding areas were coming over for some quick legal advice, be it wills, tax, criminal you name it.

Alex basically ran the farm with some help from a group of local teenagers who needed the work, while Jamie ran her very analog, very informal law office out of their sprawling property. Things were going smoothly, until one winter some hot shot Melbourne barrister who was passing through for the ski season up at Mount Hotham, overheard her conversation with one of her “clients” in a coffee shop in Bright and thought to investigate.

A quick search of the bar register in Melbourne came up blank, this high profile, heavy drinking, drug using Melbourne barrister decided to dig deeper, asked a couple of polite questions around town about who he might go and see for some cheap legal advice. He was quickly and quietly pointed in the direction of Jamie Thurston and Alex Haymaker’s farm, he had what he wanted.

Upon arriving back in Melbourne, he made a few quick calls and rapidly discovered the truth behind the sham law practice that Jamie had quietly and efficiently set up in Wandiligong. He also happened to be bitter rivals with Alex’s father, another high profile barrister in Melbourne, and thought what better way to ruin Gordan’s day then by outing his lesbian daughter and her lover and their secret little law practice in the country.

However, what Francis Harold Weathermaker III had not counted on, was how well liked and accepted Jamie and Alex had become in their community. As soon as he left Bright that wintery Sunday afternoon, Jamie became aware within the hour that the walls might come crashing down. So she did what any self-respecting charlatan would do, she got on the front foot and made sure all her records were in order and that nothing she had done over the last 7 years could be considered to be illegal.

Alex and Jamie spent the next night in a frenzy of lovemaking, as if it were to be there last night together. The sun rose, the police hadn’t been called, the walls were not crashing down and they methodically started organising their “law office” records.

As a layperson, Jamie was perfectly within the law to offer legal advice that was non-binding and couldn’t be used in a court of law. The best thing about living in country Victoria, at least as far as Jamie and Alex were concerned, was that the vast majority didn’t care that you were not a registered lawyer, they just wanted some good old fashioned advice.

So later that month when Francis Harold Weathermaker III tried to bring down his wrath, fury and outrage on the poor young girls was sorely disappointed. For as far as he could determine Jamie was illegally practicing law without a licence to do so and charging money for her services. What he hadn’t counted on was their individual brilliance.

You see as far as all her “clients” records showed, no legal services had been rendered, just some friendly chats, words of advice and hints about what to do next with whatever the situation demanded. Furthermore, no one from any of the surrounding towns would come forwarded to support his misogynistic claims of opportunism and praying on the uneducated swill of country Victoria. All his allegations achieved was a galvanising of the surrounding areas against big shot Melbourne barristers and the legal profession as a whole.

The highlight though for Jamie was that Alex had found some old polaroid photos of Francis snorting lines of cocaine off strippers breasts in swanky apartment hotel rooms in Melbourne. So when the story hit the papers in Melbourne about this ex-hot shot almost lawyer practicing law illegally in country Victoria, the headline a week later included the aforementioned photos and a litany of drug and alcohol fuelled parties that Francis had attended and participated in while still a barrister.

Jamie and Alex read the headline from the Herald Sun in Bright on a sunny spring day in October: “Disgraced former criminal barrister Francis Harold Weathermaker III in legal trouble over party days”, chuckled to themselves, kissed, got up and quietly left to continue doing what they did best, living an analogue existence in a digital world.

February 08, 2023 10:54

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Wendy Kaminski
00:27 Feb 14, 2023

I love a good comeuppance. :) Interesting story of "downgrading" your life and ending up with something even better. Thanks for the tale, and welcome to Reedsy!


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Larry Kaye
18:56 Feb 16, 2023

Greetings from a fellow newcomer! I enjoyed your story, particularly Jamie's clever escape from the dastardly villain. The plot moved along smoothly, and I felt enough for the Jamie character that I was pleased to see her come out on top, so to speak. You might want to consider adding a bit of dialogue and "scene" (as opposed to "summary"). There are a number of spots where you could get more oomph into the story in that way. For example, I might like to hear Jamie and Alex discussing their dilemma toward the end. Likewise, Jamie's paren...


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Jack Kimball
23:16 Feb 15, 2023

Yup. Karma at work.


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