The top 10 news updates for new lawyers

The top 10 news updates for new lawyers

18 October 2021 By Naomi Neilson
The top 10 news updates for new lawyers

In this fortnightly wrap-up, Protégé brings law students, graduates and new lawyers the top 10 updates from the legal profession. This time, it includes a significant update on Bernard Collaery’s prosecution and an honest look at the way the profession has let down its graduates with ongoing mistreatment.

1: The legal profession is letting down its graduates

Starting this list off with an open and important conversation about how the legal profession has and continues to let down its graduates. Our regular contributor Stefanie Costi shared how long hours, demanding workloads, and allegations of bullying and harassment are driving up-and-coming lawyers away from the industry.

2: ‘Landmark win’: Human rights lawyer responds to Collaery’s victory

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ICYMI this major news update, Bernard Collaery has won an appeal to have parts of his prosecution opened to the public – this is a big win for Mr Collaery and for public confidence in the legal system. In this update, the Human Rights Law Council (HRLC) explored why this is such a monumental win and what happens next.

3: Finalists revealed for 2021 Women in Law Awards

We’re thrilled to confirm the finalists for this years’ Women in Law Awards, including some of the profession’s brightest new lawyers and law students. The awards program is now in its 10th year and has spent each and every one of those celebrating the wonderful women in law who have set a high benchmark for excellence.

4: High Court ruling on relationship between judge and barrister may have major repercussions on judicial wellbeing

In another major update this fortnight (almost) on par with Mr Collaery, the High Court awarded an appeal after finding that a personal relationship between a trial judge and a barrister was “particularly troubling”. This relationship consisted of a number of in-person meetings, phone calls and text messages – which were not disclosed until “gossip” came to the opposing solicitor’s attention.

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5: Lawyer X: Special investigator to examine criminal conduct, discipline

Former High Court judge Geoffrey Nettle has been given new powers to examine the potential criminal conduct and disciplinary matters revealed in the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants, including major findings against several Victorian Police officers and commissioners and former barrister Nicola Gobbo. This is a big return to the Lawyer X inquiry, and we’re excited to find out more.

6: WA Law Society names new president

The Law Society of Western Australia has elected new president Rebecca Lee. Ms Lee has spent many years already working with the Law Society, including as senior vice president, treasurer, and councillor. Prior to her work at the Law Society, Ms Lee spent some time on the Western Australian Bar Association’s council.

7: The duty of emerging leaders to improve lawyers’ wellbeing

Younger legal professionals have “access to a subset of experiences that are often not directly communicated to their leaders” and as such, can and should be at the forefront in ensuring optimal wellness levels for lawyers in a post-pandemic world.

8: Work-life balance identified as challenge to lawyers’ wellbeing

While we’re on the topic of wellbeing, more than half of Victorian lawyers indicated that sustaining a work-life balance has been the most challenging aspect in achieving positive wellbeing. The Law Institute of Victoria shared its new data on wellbeing and explored what new programs they can implement to assist.

9: ‘Pawternity leave’ introduced at Hive Legal

In big (and super cute) news, Hive Legal has unveiled a new workplace policy that will allow its staff members to access leave when their pets require medical assistance or have, very sadly, passed away. While our hearts go out to these poor furry friends, we’re thrilled that Hive Legal recognises how important this leave is.

10: The career highlights, successes and ambitions behind The New Liberals leaders’ switch from law to politics

In this feature article, Lawyers Weekly spoke with The New Liberals leader Victor Kline who started out first as Sydney’s youngest barrister, then as founder of The Refugee Law Project and now, as a rising political front-runner. He has had a very interesting career and has some great advice for lawyers considering politics.

The top 10 news updates for new lawyers
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