Queensland Law Society (QLS) Senior Counsellors are experienced practitioners who are available to provide guidance to a practitioner on any professional or ethical problem. The service should be seen by practitioners as “calling a professional friend”.
Some of the areas where a QLS Senior Counsellor may be able to assist include:
- guidance on a professional or ethical problem
- career advice on options such as employment, partnership offers etc.
- whether to report a particular situation to QLS or the Legal Services Commission
- whether a notification should be made to a professional indemnity insurer
- acting as an intermediary between QLS and a practitioner wishing to remain anonymous
It is not part of a QLS Senior Counsellors' function to provide a second legal opinion for the benefit of a practitioner's client on a matter being handled by a practitioner.
Communication between a practitioner and a QLS Senior Counsellor is confidential. Practitioners seeking guidance from a QLS Senior Counsellor should provide full information to enable a correct assessment of the situation. They should be frank in responding to the QLS Senior Counsellor in relation to any questions or with requests to provide further information.
A QLS Senior Counsellor who is consulted by a practitioner may act for that practitioner in any subsequent proceedings relating to the practitioner's conduct about which the QLS Senior Counsellor was consulted, but the QLS Senior Counsellor cannot act for any client of the practitioner, other than with the consent of the practitioner.
It is obviously important for practitioners, once they have determined that they should obtain guidance from a QLS Senior Counsellor, not to delay contacting a QLS Senior Counsellor. Early contact to seek guidance may alleviate the practitioner's stress caused by not knowing how to approach or resolve the problem and enable the QLS Senior Counsellor to provide a wider range of options to resolve the problem.
The role of QLS Senior Counsellors should be distinguished from LawCare, the specialised counselling service provided by QLS. Through confidential counselling from specialist professional counsellors, LawCare can assist practitioners, their immediate families and trainee solicitors in relation to emotional and stress related problems caused by, for example, family or mental problems, drug or alcohol dependency, financial concerns or practice pressures.
QLS Senior Counsellors are appointed by QLS Council for a term of three years. The appointment can be renewed for a further three years.
Find a QLS Senior Counsellor