Young Lawyers

2017/18 Annual Report

The Law Society’s Young Lawyers Committee (YLC) is dedicated to providing key support to new members of the profession.

During the year the Law Society through the YLC provided a range of events focused on the young and emerging segment of membership including:

  • social events to promote collegiality, such as the Welcome to the Profession breakfast and inter-firm sporting events (volleyball and netball);
  • the Western Australian Golden Gavel Competition, which was held as an evening event instead of a breakfast event for the second time in 2017 and was a highlight of the social calendar;
  • the Practical Advocacy Weekend, including a preparatory seminar as well as a weekend of coaching sessions by judges and other senior members of the profession, which was held in the Children’s Court in Perth for the first time in 2017 instead of in Mandurah, in order to make the event more accessible for practitioners;
  • raising awareness about social justice issues through a panel discussion during Law Week 2018 on the topic of access to justice for Indigenous Peoples, chaired by Michael Lundberg, Quinn Emanuel Urqhart & Sullivan and attended by a panel comprised of the Hon John Quigley MLA, Attorney General of Western Australia, the Hon Justice Robert Mazza, Supreme Court of Western Australia, Peter Collins, Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia and Tammy Solonec, Amnesty International;
  • informing junior lawyers about alternative career paths, with a focus on social justice and community legal centres, at the Social Justice Opportunities Evening;
  • mental health and wellbeing initiatives, including a Geoffrey Robertson QC-style mental health hypothetical panel discussion;
  • informal networking opportunities for lawyers in small to mid-sized firms through the Small Firms Network; and
  • the annual Law Student Mentoring Programme, which in 2018 included law students from all Western Australian law faculties for the first time and which continues to increase in numbers – from 50 students in 2017 to 76 students in 2018.

In recognition of the changing legal landscape, the YLC has maintained its focus on giving junior lawyers the opportunity to build their professional networks with young professional bodies from other industries, including accounting, consulting and engineering. This includes meeting with various young professional bodies, promoting their events and holding regular Inter Profession Networking events. In 2018, the Committee hosted a Speed Networking event, which gave young professionals the opportunity to develop “soft” skills and network with professionals from other industries.

In addition to these initiatives, the YLC also:

  • introduced a new agony aunt column, Aunt Prudence Juris, and interviews with members of the profession who have had diverse and interesting career paths, in the Brief journal;
  • continued to arrange monthly case notes and provide various articles for Brief;
  • conducted a survey of junior lawyers seeking feedback on issues facing junior lawyers and on the Committee’s activities;
  • continued to connect with the five Western Australian Law Student Faculty Societies and the Australian Young Lawyers Committee; and
  • continued to welcome observers at Committee meetings.

Role of the Law Society’s Young Lawyers Committee

The Law Society’s Young Lawyers Committee works to deliver key support for new members of the profession, including:

  • Networking and collegiality opportunities through social and sporting events
  • Career support with a job register for graduates, mentoring scheme, CPD events, LawCare WA, Vacation Clerk Recruitment Dates
  • Keep informed with newsletters, Facebook, LinkedIn
  • Representation of Young Lawyers: your issues and concerns discussed at a state and national level

‘Young lawyers’ are members who are under 35 years old and/or have less than five years of practice.

Please see our Young Lawyers legal circles page for more information, or read the YLC Strategic Plan 2015-18 for more information.

Initiatives

YLC Law Student Mentoring Programme

The YLC Law Student Mentoring Programme pairs emerging practitioners with current law students to provide guidance and support to the transition from student to law graduate and then to lawyer.

The Programme runs from May to November, commencing with a launch event and will wrap up with an end of programme event for all participants, as well as various touch points throughout the course of the Programme.

For students: This is your opportunity to gain insight into the profession, invaluable advice, skills and support during your studies.

For current practitioners: As former law students, we all know the importance of guidance and a helping hand from an experienced mentor. This is your chance to share your experiences from your first few years of practice and develop your mentoring skills. Students from all WA universities are invited to participate in the Programme so we need a strong uptake from mentors.

To participate you must be a current member of the Law Society.

Please note that applications for the 2019 Programme have closed.

If you would like to learn more about the programme, please email younglawyers@lawsocietywa.asn.au.

Advice for Students

Watch our video of our members sharing their insights and stories into the different areas of law and their advice on navigating life at university.

Events

The Law Society’s Young Lawyers Committee hosts a wide array of social, sporting and educational events throughout the year for young lawyers, graduates, law students and the legal profession.

Our events include: Golden Gavel, Welcome to the Profession Breakfast, Inter-profession Networking Events, Mixed Netball Competition, Beach Volleyball, Law Week Events, Small Firms Network Drinks, CPD Seminars, Practical Advocacy Weekend, Social Justice Career Opportunity Evening, Careers Uncut and other ad hoc events to encourage collegiality, information sharing and support in the profession.

Visit our Events page to find out more or email membership@lawsocietywa.asn.au to find out what is coming up.

Focus Areas

The Young Lawyers Committee has a number of focus areas, which organise many of its initiatives.

Social & Sport

The group focuses on bringing events to young lawyers that encourage networking and socialising across the profession.

We ensure the young lawyers that work within small firms have the opportunity to participate in group social and sporting events. These activities also encourage young lawyers to build networks and friendships in order to work towards better mental health and a sense of belonging.

Education and Careers

The group contributes to the development and co-ordination of the YLC Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme.

Community Engagement and Social Justice

This group raises awareness and instigates debate about important human rights and social justice issues relevant to the profession. Its work demonstrates to young lawyers why engaging in human rights and social justice issues is valuable to the profession.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Join the Committee

Membership of the Young Lawyers Committee is limited to members of the Law Society. To express an interest in joining the Committee, please contact the Committee Secretary on (08) 9324 8600 or email younglawyers@lawsocietywa.asn.au.

Committee Members

The Young Lawyers Committee is composed of members appointed by the Law Society. The Committee also includes representatives of the Law Society’s Council and is represented on the Australian Young Lawyers Committee of the Law Council of Australia. The current Committee members are:

Jack Carroll
Convenor
Kott Gunning Lawyers

Haley Graydon
Deputy Convenor
DLA Piper

Chris Burch
Deputy Convenor
Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Hague Skinner
Deputy Convenor
DLA Piper

Lucy Clark
Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Olivia Doray
Australian Government Solicitor

Sean Gomes
Leaker Partners

Angela Hayes
Kim Wilson & Co

alyce-lynch

Alyce Lynch
Clayton Utz

Aleksandra Miller
State Solicitor’s Office

Alexander Noonan

Alex Ward-Noonan
Wotton + Kearney