NSW Young Lawyers

History and Role

History

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 young 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 a 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 lunch-time 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.

Organisation

NSW Young Lawyers has its own Constitution, Assembly, Office Bearers, Executive Council and administration team.

However, the majority of our projects, activities and events are coordinated by 16 Committees, each representing different aspects of the law.

Assembly

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 May and November.

The Annual Assembly is similar to the Annual General Meeting of other organisations; elections are held for the positions of Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary of NSW Young Lawyers, as well as for Executive Councillors.

Delegates to the Assembly are appointed under the Constitution and include representatives from each of the committees, regional law societies, professional and student associations and “General Delegates”, appointed by the President in consultation with the Office Bearers.

Executive Council

The Executive Council 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 comprises the Office Bearers plus 10 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 Office Bearers.

Read profiles on the current Executive Councillors.

Committees

The Committees are the foundation on which NSW Young Lawyers is built, providing members 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 committee has a Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary, each of whom is elected by the members of the Committee.

Read more about our committees.