Queensland Law Society

President's Update

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End of year celebrations are on us, rolling in like a good surf break. Wave after wave of celebratory events jolly us to the end of the year tempting us to down tools. But there is still so much to be done before we turn off the office lights.

On 17 November we launched the Society’s Solicitor Advocate course. It was like planning a party. You are excited, you have sent out the invitations, you hope everyone turns up and has a blast.  And so it was with hopeful anticipation that I awaited the verdict of the participants. The Society and I have been overwhelmed by the incredibly positive response from those who undertook the course. A big thumbs up. All participants thoroughly enjoyed themselves and have asked to be put on the list for the next one. I was particularly chuffed that our course presenters were equally impressed with our members’ performance and enthusiasm. Thank you to our presenters for your excellent guidance.

We are not ones to rest on our laurels and even though we got rave reviews we have identified some possible areas where we can value add to the experience. So we will be analysing the feedback and using it to roll out some preparatory workshops for members in order to refresh some of their skills and knowledge to enhance their experience at the main event. Some areas covered in the preparatory workshops will be the practical use of evidence during examination and cross-examination, and the drafting of effective pleadings. It just goes to show that it is worth filling out those evaluation sheets – we actually do read them!

I see great benefit to the workshop format, not just because of the fact that it is very practical, but also because it brings us together as a profession. We can never underestimate the value of the collegial bonds formed at workshops like this, and for that matter the Modern Advocate Lecture Series. There is so much benefit from meeting colleagues face-to-face and forming the professional friendships that will sustain our practices.

I am sure that this is why these initiatives – the ones that bring us together – are so popular. We are, at our heart, a collegial profession; one that benefits more than most from chatting about what we do with people who understand what it is really like. The bottom line of course, is that if you want to attend the Solicitor Advocate course or an instalment of the Modern Advocate Lecture Series, you need to get in early; places fill fast!

And on that note, one of the reasons that attending QLS events in person is so pleasant is the stellar performance of our hard-working events team. If you have been to a QLS event, you will have noted the way everything runs smoothly and on-time. Actually, you may not have noticed, since it is so seamless. I have been involved with QLS as a committee member, presenter, Councillor, Deputy President and of course President, for many years, and the great work of Jae Spann and her superb team has been a hallmark of our interaction with members. I take the opportunity to thank them for their efforts and I look forward to working with them in my role as Immediate Past President; they are champions!

I’ll have plenty more to talk about in the next Update. In the meantime, I encourage you to keep up to date with all things QLS via this weekly newsletter, our monthly magazine Proctor or via social media. The Society is on FacebookLinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, and I am personally on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Christine Smyth

QLS president