find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (1-3 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Sydney NSW 2000
· Join a dynamic Firm · Excellent career growth opportunity
View details
In-house lawyer 1-4 PAE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Leading Brand · Report to a Dynamic Legal Counsel
View details
ABL first to act for reconciliation

ABL first to act for reconciliation

ARNOLD BLOCH Leibler has become the first law firm to launch a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) under a program co-ordinated by Reconciliation Australia.The firm’s RAP was formally unveiled by…

ARNOLD BLOCH Leibler has become the first law firm to launch a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) under a program co-ordinated by Reconciliation Australia.

The firm’s RAP was formally unveiled by Jenny Macklin, the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs in a ceremony held at the firm last week.

Guests included Galarrwuy Yunupingu, the former chairman of the Northern Land Council and Australian of the Year 1978, as well as a number of noted Aboriginal elders.

The firm’s senior partner, Mark Leibler, explained that the aim of the RAP program is to help build positive relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and specifically, to work towards closing the 17-year life expectancy gap that currently exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children. Organisations involved in the program range from large corporations to government agencies and community groups. Each organisationprepares an individual RAP in which it commits to undertaking specific projects and activities with measureable, realistic targets, to help achieve reconciliation.

“The difference between the RAP program and what has gone before is, to put it colloquially, the principal that it’s not enough just to talk the talk — you’ve also got to walk the walk,” Leibler said.

“The focus in the past has been about business organisations, companies and professional services firms making the right noises, saying the right things and being respectful, but it is also incredibly important that there are actually practical steps taken which are measurable and to which organisations can hold themselves accountable,” he said.

Leibler explained that the firm has a RAP working group, made up of both legal and non-legal staff within the firm, which has spent the last several months developing the RAP.

“All staff are represented and we feel that we’re able to create bridges not only in the area of law. We also have, for example, marketing, human resources and IT divisions - areas where we can also make a contribution,” Leibler said.

Among the targets included in the plan, the firm has committed to establishing a minimum of six mentoring relationships which will involve partnering Indigenous tertiary students with employees of the firm. Legal staff and staff from other departments in the firm — including marketing, human resources, IT and business administration — are involved in the program.

The firm has also committed to offering a tertiary scholarship, at least one seasonal clerkship and one cadetship to indigenous students every year, and to contributing at least $5,000 per year for a minimum of five years to the cause of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

“We’re very serious about our commitments and it’s something that has been considered at length at the partnership level. We hope that it will provide an example which will be acted on not only by other law firms but also professional services firms generally,” Leibler said.

“We think that’s very important because professional services organisations have got the potential to contribute a lot in this area.”

Like this story? Read more:

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

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

ABL first to act for reconciliation
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Unite
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
Scales of Justice, Victorian County Court, retiring judges
Aug 21 2017
Replacements named for retired Vic judges
Two new judicial officers have been appointed in the Victorian County Court, following the retire...
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 & ...