November 2021 | Sharon Lacy | Foley’s List


November 2021 | Sharon Lacy | Barrister, Foley's List


My favourite part of joining the bar...

Was becoming my own master and agent of my own future.

In the beginning I enjoyed flying around the metropolitan and regional Magistrates’ courts, swapping ideas and sharing information with other lawyers I ran into. More recently I have taken pleasure in mentoring young women solicitors and barristers, talking about their case strategies, ethical problems and career plans.

I have always appreciated the diversity of people I meet through working as a criminal law advocate.  I have a special interest in theatre and find my clients are often extraordinarily rich characters, living lives that I would never otherwise have had a window into.  It is a privilege to represent someone in their darkest hour.

I am most proud of...

- The times that I felt like I really stuck up for someone who wasn’t equipped to stick up for themselves;

- Re-invigorating my career after I had time out to have kids and study theatre; and

- Finding ways to manage the unpleasant parts of the job (and in criminal law there is a few).

My tips to those wanting to enhance their advocacy skills are...
- Talk less and listen more. This applies in court - to the way you ask questions, and make submissions.  Be pithy and pointed and avoid pompous reverential phrases.  It also applies out of court – in negotiations, client conferences and in conversations with colleagues.  You learn a lot more by listening to the thoughts of others than you do by regaling them with your own wisdom.

- Practise in your mind how things might play out in court. The more prepared you are for any eventuality, the more agile you will be.

- Be aware of everything going on in the courtroom. It is a stage and the judge and jury can see everything.  Cases can be won and lost on subtle nuances.  You are at a disadvantage if you are not aware of what influences might be affecting the decision-maker.

My favourite fictional character is...

June Osborne from The Handmaid’s Tale.  She is so tough, but also tender.  She is brave, but flawed.