NSW Young Lawyers was established in 1963 as a Committee of the Law Society of NSW.
The then Law Society President, Barry McDonald, was keen to involve young solicitors in the Law Society’s activities and encourage their involvement in the legal profession. He believed that a Young Lawyers Committee would have benefits for both the profession and the broader community.
The new Committee saw the immediate need for greater communication between its members, establishing a number of initiatives aimed at creating new networks for early career lawyers including sporting competitions and social events such as the Annual Law Term Opening Dinner.
During these early years, the Committee provided valuable input on a range of decisions the Law Society was called upon to make. By the mid to late seventies, the NSW Young Lawyers Committee had become more active in professional and community issues, playing a significant role in a number of initiatives during this time, including:
- The establishment of community-based Legal Advice and Referral Centres.
- The Government's proposals for reform of Mental Health Legislation.
- Development of a scheme to provide immediate legal advice for victims of disasters (Disaster Assistance Scheme).
- A conference of employers and solicitors to consider issues related to the employment prospects and conditions of solicitors (The Legal Labour Market).
- Preparation of major reports and working papers on issues including reciprocity, and requirements for the retention of legal documents and restrictions relating to advertising.
- Staging a regular programme of lunchtime CLE lectures.
- Proposals and projects in relation to the provision of both legal information and career advice for high school students.
The Young Lawyers Committee continued to go from strength to strength and on December 18, 1980, the Law Society Council resolved to constitute a Young Lawyers Section, with its own Constitution, rules and by-laws.
Today, NSW Young Lawyers is a Committee of the Law Society of NSW and is led by the Leadership Team and Executive Council.
There are 15 sub-committees each dedicated to a substantive area of law, regional early career lawyers from 29 regions across the State, and law student society presidents from NSW Universities.
The Assembly is responsible for managing the affairs of NSW Young Lawyers and setting its policy direction. The Assembly meets twice a year (the “Mid-Year” and “Annual” Assemblies), usually in June and November.
These assemblies present an opportunity for early career lawyers from across NSW to come together for a weekend of professional development and networking. This is also where elections to be on the NSW Young Lawyers Committee are held.
The Executive Council (the NSW Young Lawyers Committee) is responsible for the management and implementation of Young Lawyers projects, activities and Assembly resolutions. It is the most senior decision-making body within the organisation between Assemblies.
The Executive Council meets once a month and is comprised of the Leadership Team and Executive Councillors elected by the Assembly. The Executive Council assists in the day-to-day management of Young Lawyers but does not have the power to rescind Assembly Resolutions.
Read profiles on the current Leadership Team.
Read profiles on the current Executive Councillors.
The Sub-Committees are the foundation on which NSW Young Lawyers is built, providing early career lawyers with opportunities for professional development and social networking, and a platform from which they can initiate community projects, participate in and shape law reform.
Each Sub-Committee has a Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary, each of whom is elected by the Sub-Committee subscribers.
Read more about our Sub-Committees.