QUEENSLAND LAW Society members have won a coup with the appointment of Megan Mahon as president late last week. She has listed members’ and regional lawyers’ needs as a top priority for the coming year.
“Ensuring our members’ needs are taken care of should be an ongoing strategy. But with legal reform taking much of our attention in the past years, now that we have had our most recent legislation enacted we can get back to the nuts and bolts of what really matters to our members,” she told Lawyers Weekly.
The society should represent the members in lobbying the government and provide continuing legal education, which is compulsory for solicitors, she said.
Regional lawyers, who are easily forgotten by big city lawyers and legal representative bodies, are another group likely to benefit from the new appointment.
It is important that the society gets out and meet members, especially regional lawyers, the Toowoomba-based Mahon said. “Being a regional practitioner myself, I understand some of the issues that face lawyers not working in Brisbane. There are diverse interests in how the law and the changes affect them. At the end of the day, we try and be representative of all solicitors of Queensland, whether they are in Brisbane or far out in outback Queensland,” she said.
Mahon argued that she is well aware of some of the issues that regional lawyers face, and believes that getting out there and meeting with them personally will make a big difference. “When we have travelled in the past they know that they are not forgotten.”
A primary concern for regional lawyers is staff, including attracting and retaining both lawyers and support staff. The society should deliver professional development and help them deal with those distance issues they face, she said.
See a full interview with Megan Mahon, Queensland Law Society’s youngest-ever president at the age of 37, next week in Lawyers Weekly.