find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Changing the system from within

Changing the system from within

Christine Covington has left her mark on Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

The winner of the Jacinta Fish Legal Mentor Award at the inaugural Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards has used her position as a senior partner in the firm to be an advocate for change.

The Sydney-based planning and environment lawyer has been the long-standing chair of the firm’s Diversity Council, which she founded in 2006, and she was a key figure in Corrs becoming the first law firm to launch an ASX-compliant diversity policy in February.

Under that policy, Corrs hopes to increase its percentage of female partners from its present level of 22 per cent to at least 35 per cent. Covington was also instrumental in helping bring about the decision to increase Corrs’ parental leave entitlement from 14 weeks to 18 weeks early last year.

“I can remember thinking that, as a young lawyer, the practice of law made me very tired but there’s nothing like the tiredness that confronts you when you become a mother, and when you’ve got to do the two together, you wonder where you’ll find the energy,” said Covington (pictured), commenting on the challenges women face in returning to the profession after childbirth.

In addition to being the driving force behind major macro changes at the firm, Covington has individually served as a role model and mentor to countless numbers of male and female lawyers.

“Christine is a champion of diversity in the legal industry,” said one of her referees, Cindy Carpenter, the director of Cast Professional Services. “Through her passion, grace and dynamism, she has successfully implemented innovative initiatives to retain female talent and remove barriers in their careers.”

Carpenter adds that Covington’s abilities as a mentor are “grounded in her innate ability to be a great listener and draw people together to work as a team”.

Louse Camenzuli, now a partner, first joined Corrs in the planning, environment and local government group that Covington heads. When an opportunity arose at short notice for the young lawyer to go on a study trip to South America with the chief justice of the NSW Land and Environment Court, Covington facilitated a scholarship from the firm to help ensure she could attend.

“Christine has spent many hours of many weeks over the past 18 months working on my development plan for partnership and the preparation of my business case,” said Camenzuli.

Covington has initiated executive coaching for female partners to assist women to maximise their career potential and included gender diversity in succession planning.

Covington has fundamentally changed the way one of Australia’s oldest and most prestigious law firm’s views diversity and has helped it to retain and attract a significant number of female lawyers.

 

This article forst appeared in Lawyers Weekly

Like this story? Read more:

Book commemorates diamond milestone for WA law society

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

Changing the system from within
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Dec 18 2017
Summer in the city
Across Australia, a number of law students have kicked off their commercial law aspirations with the...
microscope
Dec 18 2017
‘Exorbitant legal fees’ under government microscope
With the growing number of class action proceedings in Australia, the government is looking at how ...
Funds, money, cash
Dec 18 2017
Law Access WA receives welcome funding
Law Access Western Australia has received a grant from the state government to fund its pro bono leg...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...