Young Lawyers

Young Lawyers Committee

2015/16 Annual Report

The Young Lawyers Committee is representative of practitioners with less than five years’ post admission experience or less than 35 years of age, whichever is the later. This demographic encompasses a large proportion of the profession. The Committee includes practitioners from big, small and midsized firms, as well as government lawyers from offices in the CBD, suburban and regional locations.

The Committee hosts and assists the Law Society in coordinating a significant number of events and initiatives through each calendar year. A number of these are annual occurrences, including:

  • inter-firm sporting events (Volleyball and Netball);
  • the advocacy programme, which includes preparatory seminars as well as the practical weekend of coaching sessions;
  • awareness raising about social justice issues through public debates including Law Week panel discussion and fundraising for the Chief Justice’s Law Week Youth Appeal;
  • wellbeing initiatives including a Geoffrey Robertson QC – style mental health hypothetical;
  • small firm networking evenings; and
  • the Law Student Mentoring Programme.

In 2015/16, the Committee renewed its focus on giving young members of the legal profession the ability to develop longstanding networks among their peers and members of other peak industry bodies. This included a number of new initiatives such as

  • the introduction of the Inter Profession Networking seminars which combines young lawyers, accountants and other young professionals and gives them an opportunity to learn important soft skills, the series comprised of two seminars at EY and will be expanding in 2016/17;
  • the inaugural YLC Assembly, which was a forum held at the Law Society and open to all young lawyers with the intent on having an open discussion of issues facing young legal professionals; and
  • for the first time, the Committee also opened its doors to any Law Society members (who fall under the young lawyers definition) to attend its monthly meetings.

In addition to these new initiatives the Committee also:

  • completed submissions relating to the expunging of homosexual criminal convictions;
  • continued to arrange monthly case notes and provide various articles for Brief journal;
  • continued to considering the Australian Young Lawyers Report in to workplace standards; and
  • continued to connect with the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation, the five West Australian Law Student Faculty Societies and the Australian Young Lawyers Committee.

For more information about this committee please email

Role of the Young Lawyers Committee

The 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, specific 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

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


YLC Law Student Mentoring Programme

The YLC Law Student Mentoring Programme provides students with a contact in the legal profession prior to joining it themselves to bring some guidance to the transition from student to law graduate and then to lawyer. The programme typically runs from March to November each year. If you would like to learn more about the programme, please email

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.

The Law Guide 2017-18 is published by GradAustralia in partnership with the Law Society of New South Wales. The guide is the first of its kind and is a comprehensive look at the different options people have with a law degree in Australia– including delving into the separate practice areas in private practice and into the other areas of law including criminal law, academia, family law, public policy, human rights and much more.


The Young Lawyers Committee, in conjunction with the Law Society, hosts a wide array of events throughout the year.

Focus Areas

The Young Lawyers Committee has a number of focus areas, which organise many of its initiatives. Each focus area is chaired by a member of the Committee.

Social & Sport – Co-Chairs Brooke Sojan and Alison Cooper

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 & Careers – Chair Alex Noonan

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

Human Rights & Social Justice – Chair Nicola Ashford

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 & Wellbeing – Chair Alyce Lynch

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

Committee Members

The Young Lawyers Committee is composed of 15 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 Young Lawyer Committee members are:

Sarah O'Brien-Smith

Sarah O’Brien-Smith
Hunt & Humphry

Alexander Noonan

Alexander Noonan
Deputy Convenor
Macdonald Rudder


Nicola Ashford
Deputy Convenor
Kim Wilson & Co


Alyce Lynch
Deputy Convenor
Federal Court of Australia

Jack Carroll
Park Legal Solutions


Alison Cooper
Murcia Pestell Hillard


Nic Coveney
Paterson & Dowding

Catherine Graville

Cathy Graville
King & Wood Mallesons

James Marzec

James Marzec
Wilson & Atkinson

Marc McCaughey

Sarah Ozanne

Sarah Ozanne
Butcher Paull & Calder

Fiona Poh
Tottle Partners

Hague Skinner
Bennett + Co

Brooke Sojan

Brooke Sojan
Legal Aid

Michelle Taylor

Michelle Taylor
Solomon Brothers