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Sunday, 1 December 2019

Obiter Dictum, Summer 2019

On Saturday 7 September 2019, I attended the Law Council of Australia’s Young Lawyers Committee meeting in Darwin. I also had the pleasure of attending the National Golden Gavel while I was there and I was very proud of our ACT competitor, Maclaren Wall, who presented on the topic “Overachievers and other workplace hazards”.

At the Law Council Young Lawyers Committee meeting we discussed ways to address the underpayment of early career lawyers. Options for further consideration were proposed, including the possibility of an award to create a safety net, to create more transparency, and to assist with pay negotiations. It was noted that lawyers with 0–3 years post admission experience are the most vulnerable, as they may not feel that they are in a position to negotiate their salaries. There was also a discussion of the Priestly 11 and how to ensure that the academic requirements for admission are suitably equipping new lawyers. These matters will be considered further in 2020.

The Touch Football event on 11 October 2019 was a great success. Congratulations to Meyer Vandenberg and Chamberlains for coming first and second respectively!

Our Spring Wine Tasting event on 12 October 2019 was a lot of fun. As part of the wine tour, attendees visited Clonakilla and Shaw wineries. We then enjoyed lunch at Four Winds. On the way back to Canberra, we stopped in at Robyn Rowe Chocolates. The chocolates were delicious. I also had a look at their guest book and enjoyed this review: “I had the hot chocolate and it was yummy in my tummy”. Preach.

We had a very entertaining bus driver — he’d compiled a glorious playlist which resulted in the whole bus singing all the way home. I am pregnant, so I obviously was not able to drink but I still had the best time. I am proof that our events are for everyone — if you’re a non-drinker, don’t be afraid to come along to these types of events — I can assure you that you won’t feel left out. Thank you to our sponsors, TIMG, for supporting such a fun event.

I look forward to seeing you all at our Christmas Garden Party on 22 November 2019, which is sponsored by HAYS. We will be holding this event at the Old Parliament House Rose Gardens. There will be delicious pizza, drinks, and lawn games! We will also be presenting our charity, Hands Across Canberra with the funds we have raised during 2019.

The New Lawyers Workshop is on 29 November 2019 at the ANU School of Music. This workshop is aimed at recently admitted lawyers, law graduates and law students close to graduating. We have a very exciting line up of speakers this year: Rob Reis, Professional Standards Manager at the ACT Law Society, Linda McGregor, Head of Family Litigation Practice at Legal Aid ACT, Senior Deputy Registrar Grant Kennealy of the ACT Supreme Court, and Acting Registrar Jayne Reece of the ACT Magistrates Court.

I also hope to see you at our End of Mentor Program and Networking Drinks event on 13 December 2019 at the Street Theatre. We will be celebrating the success of the second intake of our 2019 mentor program.

If you have any ideas for how we can better support young lawyers in our community in 2020, please feel free to email me your suggestions.

We would love to hear from you!

Rebecca Wheeler
Chair, Young Lawyers Committee