COMMUNICATING GENERATION Y concerns to the wider profession will be one important aim of Will Hammond’s new role as vice-president of the Law Institute of Victoria Young Lawyers.
“It seems at the moment, the profession, and also young lawyers, are tending to change somewhat their attitudes to professional life,” Hammond said.
Today’s Gen Y lawyers are “looking for, not just a professional life that delivers certain goals career-wise, but also looking at different issues such as human rights and the environment”.
Hammond, in his role as vice-president, will be seeking to engage law firms and explain the differing motivations their newest lawyers hold dear.
“Young Lawyers is particularly interested in making sure that we can provide the tools for firms, and also the communication avenues for young lawyers, so they can both interact to ensure that the profession going forward can take heed of Generation Y and the different trends,” he said.
Part of that message will be that fast-paced career advancement is not the all-consuming ambition it once was. Other, broader factors are at play as well.
“Work conditions will not be the sole driving factor for employees in the next generation,” he said. “I think they are probably interested in not just achieving their career goals, but also just having a broader focus on outside work activities, and activities that affect not just their local environment — being the street they work on — but also the world they live in.”
The new role will last for the remainder of 2007, with an automatic appointment to the position of president in 2008.
A graduate of La Trobe and Monash University, Hammond began his association with Young Lawyers as a student. Being a representative on university committees provided social networking opportunities with the organisation, which continued into his career. He spent a year in a boutique firm before moving to TressCox, where he has been working for a further year.
The role of vice-president will greatly expand Hammond’s participative role in Young Lawyers.
“I was participative in the sub-levels, with social and also professional development type functions, whereas this takes upon a more overarching role in assisting all the subcommittees to develop an agenda and to also challenge certain issues that are coming up for Young Lawyers in the profession generally,” he said.
It will mean a lot of after hours work, but TressCox is supportive of Hammond, as it has been with Scott Alden, president of the NSW Young Lawyers, and Ron Heinrich, a senior representative with the Law Council of Australia (LCA).
Like some previous Young Lawyers members, Hammond will one day consider applying “all the experiences that I gain in this role and take them forward to the LCA level”.