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Lawyers can change negative perceptions

Lawyers can change negative perceptions

Watch the LW Video

Watch the LW Video on the highlights of the Law Expo
Law Week is an opportunity for lawyers to shake-off bad press and educate the public about the good things of which they are capable, the NSW Attorney-General has said.

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly at today's (16 May) Law Expo in Sydney, NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith said Law Week is all about educating the public and changing negative perceptions.

"Law Week is all about the fact that the legal profession and ancillary services, such as the police and victims groups, are there serving the community," he said.

"The legal profession sometimes gets some bad press, like a lot of the institutions in this country, but in my opinion they do a great deal to assist the community and they don't deserve that publicity. So this is a good way of letting the public know what help they can get."

This year Law Week has gone national, with law associations and partner groups taking to the streets in cities and towns around the country.

Smith said that while events like Law Week are important, lawyers could still be doing more to bring their role and capabilities into the limelight.

"I don't think the public knows enough [about access to justice]. The problem is that there is so much information around that people suffer from overload. [Lawyers] need to work with the chambers of commerce, various associations and grassroots organisations to let them know of the services that are available, and to get the word out that way," said Smith.

"There are many opportunities for lawyers to get out there."

At today's Law Expo in Sydney's Martin Place, members of the public had the opportunity to talk face-to-face with major legal providers. Stall holders include Courts and Tribunal Services, NSW Police, Fair Trading, Legal Aid NSW, NSW Public Trustee and Guardian, LawAccess and Community Justice Centres.

Law Week was established in New South Wales to promote greater understanding within the community of the law, the legal system and the legal profession.

Other events being staged as part of Law Week include activities for school students; the Young Lawyers Golden Gavel competition; court open days; legal information forums at public libraries and community activities.

Claire Chaffey

Watch our video report of some of the highlights of Monday's Law Expo, featuring the extra-curricular talents of some of the profession's finest, as they danced, sang and entertained the morning crowds in Martin Place:

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