Back to overview

LCN Says

The Law in 60 Seconds: A Pocket Guide to Your Rights

updated on 25 January 2022

Reading time: four minutes

Hello LawCareers.Net reader. Although I have never met you, we probably share a lot in common. You, like I once was, are probably a loyal LawCareers.Net reader, keen to stay up to date on legal opportunities. Perhaps you are a law student or maybe a recent law graduate.

If you fall into any of these categories, you will be familiar with the following message: “Hey, long time no speak … I wondered if you could help me with a quick legal query?” (Which is followed by a legal query that never actually is quick …)                                        

Speaking frankly, though – one of the earliest realisations law students have, second to questioning how they are supposed to survive the workload, is that pretty much nobody around them actually knows their legal rights.

Embarking on legal study provides you with a lot of information relevant to your everyday life; and even when legal issues arise that you haven’t been taught about, by virtue of your general legal knowledge, you develop a ‘sense’ of how the law is likely to operate in the situation – perhaps having an appreciation that principles relating to ‘reasonableness’ are likely to be at play.

It’s easy to take our legal knowledge and our legal ‘sense’ for granted. Take a moment to imagine if you didn’t have this privilege. Imagine if, for the following three questions, you had absolutely no clue where to start.

  • Your landlord, out of the blue, has changed your locks and you can no longer access your home – what can you do?
  • Your younger brother has just called you in a state of shock from a police station having been arrested. He wants to know his rights. What are they?
  • You see bailiffs walking up your drive with the intention of taking your belongings. How, legally, can you respond?

These are pretty big situations, right? But the reality for, frankly, most of the population is that they would have no clue what to do in such situations. Dangerously, this forces them to rely on the goodwill of those exerting their power over them, whether that be the landlord, police officer or bailiff.

A person not knowing the law might not always be the end of the world – perhaps it just means they lose £10 because they don’t challenge the person at customer services who says they are not entitled to a refund. But those small instances add up. They build a world where an individual is not really in control. A world where they are not really sure of their rights or our protections.

Just imagine if there was a resource out there that could assist.

A resource saving you from the 2:00am drunken message from ‘Kevin’ querying the legal ramifications of his most recent drunk antic.

A resource that means you no longer need burst the oracle-like illusion your peers have of you in saying: “Just because I study law doesn’t mean I know every law.”

That resource exists. It’s a book I recently wrote. A book called The Law in 60 Seconds: A Pocket Guide to Your Rights. A book that the Secret Barrister says is “an indispensable guide to the law and your rights” and “gives you a lawyer in your pocket”.

It’s not a bog-standard legal book; most evident by the fact it is small enough to be squeezed into your coat pocket or stuffed into the glove compartment of your car.

It is a book that draws on my knowledge as a barrister working with some of society’s most vulnerable, but also the ‘real world’ knowledge and experiences I have acquired as a 27-year old from Nottingham.

You, or a friend, can use it to obtain clarity on matters too embarrassing or worrying to search via the Internet – such as the legal protections existing if you are in a domestically violent relationship.

It offers legal, practical and completely unjudgmental clarity on matters ranging from standing up to dodgy landlords, going to a protest and sexual consent, right through to matters relating to alcohol, drugs or sending an explicit image to your partner.

In a nutshell, no matter your age or background, The Law in 60 Seconds: A Pocket Guide to Your Rights will enable you and your loved ones to sidestep the daily legal stresses that cause untold amounts of despair to so many. But, perhaps most importantly, as a semblance of normality returns following the pandemic and we enter 2022 with the intention of rebuilding our lives – this book will help you claim your rightful space in the world. It’s a perfect treat to yourself or a loved one.

Christian Weaver is a barrister at Garden Court North Chambers and author of The Law in 60 Seconds: A Pocket Guide to Your Rights.