Lawyers are advisors, representatives and helpers in all legal matters. Among all legal consultants they possess the most comprehensive powers of representation. Currently, around 6,100 lawyers are admitted to a bar in Austria and the number of trainee lawyers is around 2,100.
The professional duties of a lawyer are regulated by law in the Austrian Lawyers' Code (Rechtsanwaltsordnung/RAO). Section 8 (1) RAO reads as follows: "A lawyer is authorised to represent parties before all courts and public authorities of the Republic of Austria, including the authority to represent parties in all public and private matters in and out of court in accordance with the rules governing the profession."
Exclusively committed to the client
As lawyers belong to a liberal and independent profession, they may, if need be, also represent their clients vis-à-vis government authorities and other powerful institutions, if necessary. Like no other occupation, a lawyer is exclusively liable regarding the interests of his clients.
A lawyer may give advice, e.g. in drafting contracts or last wills and testaments, or he may represent his client before courts, public authorities, vis-à-vis individuals or other entities. His procedural experience also allows him to prevent disputes. His particularly sophisticated training guarantees a high level of knowledge and expertise and thereby safeguards the interests of citizens seeking legal protection.