Speaking about the events run so far, Law Society of WA president and Clayton Utz senior associate Hayley Cormann said she was thrilled with how well-received the events had been so far.
“I am excited to note continuing and growing engagement within the profession in Law Week generally and each of our activities directed towards reaching out to the community, but also the many stories of personal commitments by lawyers and firms in WA to bettering access to justice, including by raising funds for vital community legal services, or offering significant pro bono hours every year on a huge scale,” she told Lawyers Weekly.
This is particularly important, Ms Cormann noted, in the current climate of state and federal politics, given the budgetary constraints governments are facing.
“The sector is not well-enough funded and relies heavily on the contributions of lawyers and firms, as well as private fundraising initiatives, and so the long-term and continuing generosity of our profession is fantastic,” she said.
One event highlight thus far has been the Law Week Breakfast at the Parmelia Hilton in Perth, where over 130 “keen and early risers” heard from Attorney General The Hon. John Quigley MLA about the state’s “significant law reform agenda”, with a particular focus on initiatives and reform directed towards improving access to justice.
This included a commitment on the funding and sustainability of vital community legal centre services which, as Ms Cormann noted above, currently rely on the goodwill of lawyers in practice.
“It was great to experience the energy in the room at the Monday morning breakfast, which I hadn’t been expecting,” she reflected.
“I have received positive feedback about the level and substance of information shared by the AG, as well as the quality of the event overall and caliber of the candidates insofar as the Community Service Law Awards go.”
WA Law Week’s early activities also saw the hosting of the Youth Civics Leadership Day, a one-day course designed to enhance the leadership skills and civic awareness that year 10 students had already displayed within their schools and communities.
“They were an interested and engaged bunch who, in their schools and communities, had already shown leadership qualities and highly-engaged community and outwardly-looking attitudes. It was great to see them,” Ms Cormann said.