18 October 2017
As all members will now be aware, the 2017 election has been decided and those who will guide the Society for the next two years have been elected. I congratulate them all and wish them well for their coming terms.
I am now entering the fourth quarter of my time as President – the ‘championship quarter’ as so many sports coaches like to call it.
During this vital period I will continue to focus on the Society’s core mission of supporting good law, good lawyers for the public good, and the values of our profession – fidelity, service and courage. The ethical bar is set deliberately high for solicitors, because of the privileged position we hold, both in our clients’ trust and within the justice system itself; if we fail that standard the system itself fails and society suffers.
We are the face of the legal system for most laypeople, and the way we conduct ourselves – both in practice and in our other endeavours – informs their confidence in the justice system. This is crucial, as Australia has a collaborative system of justice – that is, our system works because we can rely on most people to do the right thing most of the time – whether or not anyone is watching.
Courtesy, collegiality, respect; fidelity, service, courage – simple but powerful words, and ones all solicitors are obliged to take to heart.