Legal practice is set to change more in the next ten years than it has in the last 200 years, according to the newly appointed president of the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV).
Family lawyer Caroline Counsel, who will be president of the LIV for 2011, said evolution will occur in areas such as technology, use of social media, how lawyers work and communicate with clients, how they practice law and the way in which firms are organised.
"The future will shift the emphasis further from litigation and even closer towards alternative dispute resolution," Counsel said, adding that because of the emergence of a national profession, clients will require lawyers to perform differently on both the national and the international stage.
"It is the pace of change that lawyers will have to grapple with if we are to remain relevant to the community and our clients," she said.
Counsel was endorsed as president at last night's (17 November) Annual General Meeting and will take up her position on 1 January 2011.
Counsel, who said her ambition as LIV president is primarily to "leave no lawyer behind", has been on the LIV Council since 2006 and is currently president-elect.
She has over 25 years experience in family law and is a collaborative practitioner with her own practice, Caroline Counsel Family Lawyers.
LIV CEO Michael Brett Young thanked outgoing president Steven Stevens for his efforts over the past year, particularly in progressing national profession reforms and lobbying for increased legal aid funding from both State and Federal Governments.