Frequently Asked Questions
Answers, quick tips and the help you need, all in one place.
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By Lawyers is an online publishing company providing everyday support to all those engaged in legal practice with commentary, precedents, and matter plans.
By Lawyers was born out of the desire to make the practice of law easier, safer and more profitable for small law firms. We are now Australia’s leading publisher of practical legal guides, written by lawyers, for lawyers.
There are many publications about the law, but many of them are written by academics with little practical day-to-day application. By Lawyers publications are written to assist lawyers with their day-to-day practice by guiding them through matters from the start to the finish.
Every piece of By Lawyers content is written or reviewed by a solicitor or barrister with experience in that area of law.
Our publications include over 15,000 precedents, 140 end-to-end matter guides and 13 reference manuals.
For more information view the About Us page.
By Lawyers publications are made up of three components:
The commentaries provide all your research needs at your fingertips within the matter itself, giving fast, precise, and practical answers including links to relevant legislation and case law.
The matter plans organise precedents and commentaries into a logical start-to-finish progression that guides legal professionals through complex matters as efficiently as possible.
A comprehensive library of precedents that includes all the everyday letters, detailed precedents from retainer instructions and costs agreement to file closing, and all the necessary forms relevant to the matter type.
By Lawyers matter plans are an organisation system that arranges precedents and commentaries into a logical order from start to finish. They act as roadmaps, detailing every step and consideration of the matter in sequential order. By Lawyers matter plans have proved to be a valuable tool assisting firms to increase productivity, minimise risk, and make practice easier and more enjoyable.
The matter plan system is designed to increase the productivity of a team by organising the information in an intuitive and easy-to-use format. It is also designed to minimise risk by ensuring every step of the matter is considered, and that every member of the team is following best practice and has ready access to the resources they need to complete a matter successfully.
A commentary is a detailed, practical explanation of how to effectively conduct a matter in a particular area of law. They are written by experienced practitioners – solicitors, barristers, and licensed conveyancers – fully conversant with how to properly conduct a client matter. All commentaries are regularly updated to reflect developments in practice, legislation, and case law.
There is a link to the Full Commentary at the top of the Matter Plan in each By Lawyers Guide. There are also links throughout the Matter Plan to each relevant commentary section for each stage of the matter.
By Lawyers library of precedents contain everything needed to complete a matter from start to finish. From everyday letters to complex agreements and even libraries of less common forms and precedents for those occasions when the matter requires something beyond the usual steps.
The precedents are reviewed and amended as legislation and practice change, so they are current.
By Lawyers precedents also include clever matter management tools such as retainer instruction sheets. The retainer instructions are genius in their simplicity, clearly laying out every piece of information needed and every question to be asked of a client during their initial consultation.
All By Lawyers matter plans, commentary, precedents, and reference materials are written or reviewed by a practitioner with experience in the relevant area of law and the applicable jurisdiction. Our authors and editorial team continually monitor all our publications and keep content up to date to reflect changes in the law and practice. We subscribe to multiple legislation tracking and case reporting services, as well as various journals, which are reviewed and actioned daily. We are constantly adding new precedents and commentary to enrich our publications so you can remain confident that you are working with the latest information.
To see recent publication updates, please visit our News & Updates page which provides a summary of important upcoming changes in the law. Please subscribe to our mailing list to receive weekly updates in the areas relevant to your practice.
Our News & Updates page is the news, legal and publication updates platform for the By Lawyers community. When By Lawyers publications are updated to reflect changes in the law or practice, a post is added to News & Updates. Subscribers can review updates on News & Updates or register to receive an email with posts in relevant areas of law and practice on a weekly basis.
Everyone in the office can use the By Lawyers publications, from the principal and partners to the conveyancers and the paralegals. By Lawyers publications help practices better manage their files, starting every matter properly, ensuring every step of a typical matter is considered, and every matter is finalised and billed, with strong client communications throughout the process.
Support staff find the publications useful with principals and partners able to delegate work efficiently. Staff can quickly and easily see what they need to do.
Inexperienced staff find the By Lawyers publications very practical and informative whether they are new to the law, new to the type of matter, or have infrequently managed such a matter.
Law students love By Lawyers as the publications provide in plain English practical explanations of law and practice as contrasted with theoretical textbooks.
Lastly, administration and accounting staff find the Practice Management publication invaluable, as it contains many support materials from accounting to human resources to a comprehensive staff handbook and more.
Practice management and risk management have never been so easy.
The precedents and forms are accessed through the matter plan of each publication:
Sign in to the website.
Select My Library on the top right.
Select the publication.
Select the relevant matter plan from within that publication.
Then either search for the precedent or navigate to where you would expect to locate it.
Click on the precedent and a word version of the precedent will download on your computer.
Yes, if you subscribe to LEAP Legal Software. Through an exclusive integration with LEAP, By Lawyers precedents and forms are auto-filled from data entered once and retained for multiple uses. Client details, law firms, councils, and any other person or organisation need only be entered into the data file once and then will autofill forever. This saves firms significant time against entering data manually. To find out more, please visit LEAP.
Please be aware that some statutory and court forms may not be available via the website, and you will be redirected to the primary source.
The By Lawyers precedents use a plain language drafting style and take an even-handed approach. The use of catch-all drafting is intentional as it is difficult to provide for the many variables possible in each scenario. Practitioners can draft the specific documents they require through the use of our extensive clause libraries and schedules.
By Lawyers is an online legal publication subscription service. We are unable to offer any legal advice.