Mentoring and Blackburn Lecture

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26 July 2019

What can you do for your Law Society?
Recently the very active and capable Young Lawyers Committee held their bi-annual mentoring event at which Peter Garrisson SC the ACT Solicitor-General spoke in rousing and interesting terms about the importance of having mentoring in early years, and his own early years as an articled clerk in a private firm.
Offering to mentor a young lawyer can be very little effort for the mentor, but be of great assistance for the mentee. I have for years mentored employees, former employees, relatives and friends in their early legal careers. I expect that most practitioners do the same. Legal practice can be a very lonely place for some, and a word of advice or encouragement from an experienced practitioner can be invaluable. Please consider sharing your experience and signing up for the current Young Lawyers mentor program.
You will, no doubt, be aware that the Society runs a very important pro-bono program, the Pro Bono Clearing House. Applicants have to pass a means test, and have a worthy case to argue. When approved, the Society matches that applicant with a solicitor or firm on our pro-bono list. This list is currently very short, so if you would like to offer assistance, please contact Nicole Crossley on
Please also read in the current issue of Ethos the excellent speech given by retired Magistrate Karen Fryar at the annual Blackburn Lecture, where she outlines the need for lawyers to assist the under-privileged in their difficulties in the legal world.
Also, the time has come to nominate for a position on the Law Society Council or Executive. Council meetings are one Monday evening per month, with a large amount of preliminary reading available on the prior Friday to make the weekend pass more quickly. You don’t have to have any particular skills or expertise to nominate, just an interest in Law Society affairs and the willingness to do some careful thinking and reading. Visit the website (you will need to log in) for more information.
Chris Donohue President, ACT Law Society