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Editor's pick: Law Week events you can't afford to miss
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Editor's pick: Law Week events you can't afford to miss

Law Week

The countdown is on for our favourite week of the year and to celebrate, Lawyers Weekly has curated a list of our top must-see 2018 events around the country. 

With only three more sleeps until #LawWeek (14–20 May), we share our favourite events from the east to the west.

New South Wales

Sydney – City of Sydney Law Week breakfast with Justice Rothman AM

Where: Royal Automobile Club of Australia, 89 Macquarie St, Sydney

When: Tuesday, 15 May, 7.30am

Join NSW Supreme Court Justice Rothman AM for a bit of mid-week brekkie and some wisdom from the bench.

Justice Rothman chairs the Ngara Yura Committee of the NSW Judicial Commission, which liaises with the Aboriginal community and seeks to educate judicial officers about issues particularly affecting the community.

He also sits in the Common Law Division of the NSW Supreme Court and as a judge of the Court of Criminal Appeal, so we reckon His Honour will have some very interesting insights to share.

Tickets are $45 for CSLS members and $55 for non-members.

Sydney — “Coming to the Bar” career planning and networking evening

Where: 7 Wentworth Selborne Chambers, 7th Floor, 180 Phillip St

When: Wednesday, 16 May, 5.30pm

Are you an advocate wannabe or do you fancy yourself someone suited to life at the bar? A seriously impressive line-up of speakers will gather in Sydney to talk about making the transition from solicitor to barrister.

Justice Ruth McColl AO and Justice Jacqueline Gleeson, from the Supreme Court of NSW and Federal Court of Australia respectively, will be speaking on the night. Joining them will be 7 Wentworth Selborne Chambers barristers Nuala Simpson and Corrina Novak.

The event is being hosted by the Women Lawyers Association of NSW in conjunction with 7 Wentworth Selbourne Chambers, who have put out an open invitation to all lawyers and law students.

If want to attend, register online via the Women Lawyers Association of NSW website.

Sydney – “Enjoy a side of LOLs with your breakfast” at the Golden Gavel Competition

Where: The Westin Sydney, No. 1 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000

When: Friday 18 May, 7.30am

Few folks know how to laugh at themselves as much as young lawyers in NSW. The state normally hosts the final of its Golden Gavel competition as one of the flagship events in Law Week.

On Friday, 10 young lawyers will be vying for comedic kudos from their peers at a breakfast function sponsored by Sparke Helmore Lawyers and Unisearch Expert Opinion Services. Patron of NSW Young Lawyers, Justice Fabian Gleeson, will be one of the guest judges to cast a deciding vote for the morning’s winner.

Chuckle, cheer and cast a live vote for the People’s Choice Award at this fun showcase event.

Tickets to this event sell out fast – they are $75 per person and can be purchased online from the Law Society of NSW.

Victoria

Whittlesea – Expresso Legal Launch

Where: Mernda Central P-12 College, 70 Breadalbane Avenue, Mernda VIC 3754

When: Monday 14 May, 9.00am

Apparently Victorians can’t do Law Week without a good brew — and who are we to argue?

The Expresso Legal coffee trailer, complete with a barista (that’s the one who makes the coffee, not the one making fine arguments before the court) and a team of lawyers, will be providing a winning combination of free coffee and information to help people understand the legal system.

Expresso Legal will visit new developments and isolated communities living in the urban rural fringes of the City of Whittlesea throughout 2018.

Melbourne – Facing the law: wigs and robs today

Where: Peter O'Callaghan QC Gallery, Owen Dixon Chambers, 205 William Street

When: Tuesday, 15 May, 6.00pm

When we think of Melbourne, we think style, and this exhibition will show that style isn’t confined to the city’s hipsters.

Come along to view a display of portrait paintings of barristers at the Peter O'Callaghan QC Gallery. Featuring portraits of members of the bar from the past and present, many of the subjects are shown wearing wigs and robes.

The settle in for a panel discussion that will explore the history of court dress in Australia.

Bendigo – Talking justice tackles #MeToo

Where: Bendigo Town Hall 189-193 Hargreaves Street

When: Thursday, 17 May, 5.30pm

The #MeToo movement has acted as a powerful force of change, making women feel more safe to speak out about incidents of sexual discrimination. But as perpetrators are being brought to account for their past indiscretions, others are asking what the #MeToo movement means for important legal principles such as due process and an accused’s presumption of innocence.

This panel will explore whether the concerns regarding due process and presumption of innocence valid. It will also consider how the rights of an accused can be balanced with accountability, change and the need to create a safe environment for women to share their stories.

The #MeToo event kicks off a Talking Justice series of public conversations involving diverse perspectives on what we mean by ‘justice’ in modern Australian society.

The event is presented by the Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre and the Goldfields Library Corporation.

Northern Territory

Darwin –  The Northern Territory Law Week lunch

Where: Hilton - 32 Mitchell Street, Darwin City

When: Thursday, 17 May 2018, 12pm–3pm

The NT’s Law Week will include a lunch featuring a special guest speaker.

For $126 lawyers of the region can nab a ticket for canapés, a two course feast and drinks — as well as an opportunity to hear from Jonathon Hunyor, CEO of Public Interest Advisory Centre.

Mr Hunyor commenced his head role in August 2016 following a six-year period spent working as the principal legal officer at the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency. Prior to this, he was the director of legal services at the Australian Human Rights Commission.

A fellow at Charles Darwin University, Mr Hunyor is sure to bring his local knowledge to entertain the crowd with a worthy presentation.

If you’re interested in attending, register your interest via the Law Week Northern Territory website.

Darwin –  Achieving justice trivia night

Where: The Waratah Cricket Club, 58/62 Gilruth Ave, The Gardens

When: Saturday, 19 May, 7:00pm

The NT Law Society will host its Trivia Night at the Waratah Cricket Club.

The friendly-friendly event has numerous prizes up for grabs. There is also a buffet dinner and cash bar available.

Gather up a team of 5–6 people to test your knowledge on a range of topics.

ACT

Canberra – “Bar Breakfast”

Where: Level 5 NICTA Building B, 7 London Circuit, Canberra City

When: Thursday, 17 May, 7:45am

“Is there a role for mediation in criminal law?” — That is the question that will be asked at the ACT Bar Association’s Law Week breakfast event.

Held at the King & Wood Mallesons Canberra premises, the event will discuss what has become of booming area of the law.

The crowd will hear from Ken Archer, president of the ACT Bar Association, who will offer up his perspective on its place in the court system.

The cost per person, including breakfast, is set at $40.

To register your interest, contact the ACT Law Society by 13 May.

Canberra – Bring your friends and family to the ACT Supreme Court

Where: ACT Supreme Court, 6 Knowles Place, Canberra City

When: Monday, 14 May, 11am

This free event will see the ACT Supreme Court open its doors for a public tour.

Gather your friends and family and bring them along to this rare opportunity, which will enable them to visit the historical court building while learning about some of the ACT’s architectural and judicial history.

The public tour will run for approximately 20 minutes and be followed by a live court sitting.

Bookings are essential so contact the sheriff’s office if you’re interested.

Queensland:

Brisbane - Queensland Law Society Mental Health Breakfast

Where: Law Society House, 179 Ann St, Brisbane

When: Thursday, 17 May, 8:00am-9:10am

Come along to listen to QLS’ esteemed panel discuss perspectives and stories about how individuals and organisations can promote a culture of “do no harm”, in particular at the organisational level. This panel discussion will continue to discuss the themes that arose from the National Wellness for Law Forum “Do No Harm” at Bond University earlier this year.

To learn more, visit the QLS website.

Brisbane — Design for Justice

Where: River City Labs, 315 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

When: Wednesday, 16 May, 8:30-10:00am

Design and law do not typically meet, but they are also perfect for each other, QLS says. This event will discuss the pitfalls of the justice system, how it can be redesigned, and outline a series of recommendations for overall improvements to the system to better serve the community.

Coffee and a light breakfast will be provided. RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Queensland Legal Walk (Brisbane, Townsville, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Cairns, Toowoomba)

Where: See QLD Dept of Justice website for specific locations

When: See QLD Dept of Justice website for specific dates and times

Legal communities across the Sunshine State will be walking together to support access to justice and raise funds for LawRight and the Disbursement Fund. The walks will commence simultaneously at 7:00am at all locations and be led by prominent legal professionals in each venue.

To learn more about the Legal Walk near you, visit the QLS website.

Western Australia:

Perth — Wills Day

Where: 12 St Georges Terrace, Perth

When: Tuesday, 15 May, 9:00am-4:00pm

FourLion Legal is offering free standard wills for low-income pensioners over the age of 65. The will can be prepared and ready for signature within 1–2 hours, depending on your time of arrival and attendance. While the wills prepared at Wills Day will be standard in nature and thus not allow, for, as an example, any special gifts, this is still a fantastic opportunity for those who have otherwise been unable to get their affairs in order.

To register, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Albany — Pop Up Hub

Where: Town Square (outside of Library, York St), Albany

When: Wednesday, 16 May, 10:00am-2:00pm

This event is one that Law Society of Western Australia president Hayley Cormann is particularly excited about. In smaller towns across the expansive western state, pop-up information booths promoting public understanding and awareness of local legal services, firms and organisations will be made available. For those in the southernmost tip of WA, this pop-up in Albany is for you!

It is available to the general public, and for those wishing to host a booth, register your interest by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling (08) 9841 7833.

Perth — Panel Discussion: My Culture, My Story - Aboriginal Women Leaders in Law

Where: Old Court House Law Museum, Stirling Gardens, Cnr Barrack Street

When: Friday 18 May, 11:00am–12:30pm

A panel discussion led by Deanne Fitzgerald (senior Aboriginal and Torres Strait advisor at the Western Australian Museum) will explore the life experiences of the panelists: Kelsi Forrest (Roe Legal; inaugural winner of the Aboriginal Women’s Legal Education Trust Scholarship in 2012), Ashleigh Lindsay (Herbert Smith Freehills; recipient, Aboriginal Women’s Legal Education Trust Scholarship), Kate George (first Aboriginal person to study law at the University of Western Australia, first Aboriginal graduate from the Australian National University, and first Aboriginal woman admitted to practice law in WA), and Sue Gordon (Order of Australia medal winner, Defence Service medal winner, Women Lawyers of WA senior woman lawyer of the year winner in 2014).

Other topics discussed will include the impact of the law, contribution to community issues and inspiration and importance for education for young people.
To register for this free event, visit the Law Society of WA website to sign up via Eventbrite.

South Australia has advised it is not participating in Law Week in 2018. Tasmania is also believed to not be participating.

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