Queensland Law Society

President's Update

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Last Thursday I attended the second lecture in the 2017 Modern Advocate Lecture Series, delivered by the former President of the Court of Appeal, the Honourable Margaret McMurdo. On behalf of the Society, I would like to thank her for an entertaining and informative address which included many practical tips for advocacy both in and out of the courts.

It is very pleasing to note that this series continues to be well attended and it was wonderful to see junior members of both halves of the legal profession enjoying the collegial atmosphere of the lecture and the networking opportunity which followed.

On Friday, I congratulated new magistrates Catherine Benson, Michelle Dooley and James Morton at a swearing-in ceremony at the Brisbane Magistrates Court. As solicitors, Magistrates Benson and Dooley have held specialist accreditation in family law and mediation, respectively. The skills they have gained in practising as accredited specialists will certainly stand them in good stead for their careers on the bench.

On Saturday I began a four-day visit to Cairns, kicking off with the Carbolic Smoke Ball, which was a great night. As well as catching up with QLS members and the DLAs, I attended a community forum on better regulation.

Another highlight on this trip was joining colleagues yesterday on a beautiful Cairns morning for the local Queensland Legal Walk, a key event in the Law Week calendar.

There are more Law Week events on today, and I’m looking forward to meeting members at the professional development events featured in our QLS Open Day, as well as presenting this year’s QLS Equity and Diversity Awards later this afternoon.

Tonight I am honoured to be speaking on domestic violence legal practice at an event in the Banco Court, while tomorrow morning I will be welcoming attendees to our Leading Wellbeing in the Legal Profession breakfast event.

Also as part of Law Week, I was grateful to be invited to participate in the Department of Justice and Attorney-General’s Justice Journeys project, which provides opportunities for students to experience the justice process at first-hand. It also allows a number of experienced practitioners to describe their own Justice Journeys, and how they came to be where they are today. This year, these include Public Trustee Peter Carne, Magistrate Cathy McLennan and myself.

Christine Smyth

QLS president