Many Australian managing partners are not impressed with the performance of the Law Council of Australia, the Lawyers Weekly Managing Partner Survey 2013 has revealed.
The survey asked 20 managing partners to rate the general performance of the LCA.
All but one responded to the question: five per cent said it’s doing a great job; 47 per cent said it’s doing an okay job; 16 per cent said it could be doing more, while 32 per cent said it’s not doing nearly enough to help the profession.
LCA president Joseph Catanzariti welcomed the feedback from the profession and highlighted that the majority of those surveyed thought the LCA was doing an okay-to-great job.
“In 2013, I have made it a priority of my tenure as Law Council president to see the organisation work harder to demonstrate its relevance to all legal practitioners, irrespective of where they practise or the type of practice in which they operate,” he said in a statement to Lawyers Weekly.
Catanzariti urged members of the profession to understand how the role of the LCA differs from that of the state and territory law societies and Bar associations.
“The LCA exists to represent the legal profession at the national level, to speak on behalf of its constituent bodies on national issues, and to promote the administration of justice, access to justice and general improvement of the law,” he said, adding that the LCA advises governments, courts and federal agencies on ways in which the law and the justice system can be improved for the benefit of the community.
“In 2012 alone the Law Council produced 198 submissions to government and regulatory bodies across a wide range of national legal areas and law reform matters.”
Catanzariti went on to list some programs and initiatives that the LCA is developing with the aim of improving the profession in Australia.
Among them is the National Attrition and Re-engagement Study (NARS), which will launch this year with the aim of producing a report outlining practical measures to re-engage women lawyers who have left the profession.
Last year, the LCA helped launch the Centre for Asian Pacific Pro Bono, which now administers a clearing house that coordinates requests for pro bono legal assistance from the Asia-Pacific region to Australia.
With the assistance of its constituent bodies and sections, it presents and organises events like the upcoming National Access to Justice and Pro-bono Conference, seminars, workshops and conferences on a variety of legal issues.
“The Law Council of Australia welcomes feedback from all members of the legal profession. Our consistent aim is to … represent these members on a national level,” said Catanzariti.