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LSB April 2018_Web

THE LAW SOCIETY: WORKING

THE LAW SOCIETY: WORKING FOR YOU Membership Benefits for Sole & Small Firm Practitioners MICHELLE KING, MANAGER, MEMBER SERVICES Sole and small practices represent 90% of practices in South Australia. Nearly one in three practitioners in South Australia work in a sole or small practice. The Society and the Small Practice Committee are committed to providing valuable benefits to Members running or working in these practices to support them throughout their career. NETWORKING NETWORKING NETWORKING A key focus of the Small Practice Committee is providing strong networking opportunities. Networking is important for all professionals but if you work in a small business (or on your own) it is extremely important! It involves meeting and getting to know people who you can assist, and who can potentially help you in return. Discussing common challenges opens the door to valuable ideas and guidance. Networking is a great opportunity to exchange knowledge and stay up-to-date with the latest industry developments. Regular networking helps to keep you top of mind when opportunities such as referrals come up. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, networking gets you out of the office and talking to people, which is vital for your mental health and wellbeing. The Small Practice Committee hosts a number of networking events for Members: • The Small Practice CPD & Networking events in the city, northern, southern, eastern and western suburbs as well as the Adelaide Hills. These events are free for Members to attend (sponsored by LEAP). A member of the Ethics & Practice team presents for half an hour (0.5 CPD Ethics unit) followed by the President talking to Members about current news and issues in the profession. Then it’s time for networking! • The annual Small Practice Conference in March each year is a great opportunity to get your CPD units followed by some great networking. The 2018 conference was held at the Glenelg Golf Club. • The monthly Coffee Breaks (first Wednesday of the month) in the city, northern and western suburbs as well as the Adelaide Hills provides another opportunity to network in an informal and relaxed setting. • The Small Practice End of Financial Year Lunch and Christmas Networking events are always enjoyable occasions to network. Check out InBrief each week for more information about these events. Small Practice Committee member David Barnfield puts together a Small Practice Newsletter once or twice per year. It is always enjoyed by the Members – check out the website for past editions. If you are setting up your own practice or running a practice, or are considering doing so, visit the Society’s website for resources such as the Small Practice Kit and Practice Management Directory. The Society is in the process of upgrading the Locum Service database. Keep an eye out in InBrief for further updates. Don’t forget, Members can use a meeting room at the Society for up to an hour for free! Give us a call if you need to meet a client in the city and we will help you out (subject to availability). Support Services are available to all Members. Don’t hesitate to use the Society’s services if you are needing some support. All details are on the website (and see page 8 for more details). Committee Members and the Society’s Ethics & Practice team are always happy to hear from any Members of the Society who have any questions or need guidance. Details are again on the website. B MEMBERS ON THE MOVE SAMUEL PITMAN Commercial & Legal are proud to announce two recent promotions for their senior staff, Samuel Pitman and Cianan Hehir. Playing a significant role within C&L’s growing Property Team, both Sam and Cianan have been promoted to the role of Senior Associate, giving CIANAN HEHIR the firm a further boost of seniority in its property expertise. Sam brings to his role property related banking and finance, construction, hotels, commercial drafting, and litigation advisory. Cianan brings experience on property sales and acquisition, due diligence, leasing and related advisory. Principal Partner, Elias Farah, said he expects these new found achievements and responsibilities to further bolster the Property Team at C&L in its continued growth. 18 THE BULLETIN April 2018

Depression and anxiety – a bio-psychosocial problem WELLBEING AND RESILIENCE COMMITTEE In 2017, the World Health Organisation declared depression as the leading cause of disability worldwide. We know depression and anxiety is a major issue in the Australian legal profession. According to WHO 1 : • Depression is a common mental disorder which results from a complex interaction of social, psychological and biological factors. • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. • More women are affected by depression than men. • At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. • There are effective treatments for depression. • Effective community prevention programmes have been shown to reduce depression. Research points to psychological and social factors as playing a significant role in mental health and wellbeing, in addition to biological causes. There is a natural and basic need to feel that you belong and are connected to others. Factors include whether you have a community, meaningful values and meaningful work, and whether you feel that you are respected and have a secure future. Consider these factors in the context of our legal community. It becomes readily apparent why some of these factors are likely to have a material impact on the current state of wellbeing of so many lawyers. First, underlying the potential for isolation and disconnection is about three quarters of the lawyers practising in this State are either sole practitioners or at firms with less than five lawyers. Second, the volume and nature of legal work available must play a significant role - constant worry of what’s in the “pipeline” of work flow; the tensions between aspirations as to the type of lawyer you wanted to be and the reality of the legal work available to you. These issues apply across the spectrum of legal practices, big and small. It is in this context that the Wellbeing and Resilience Committee of the Law Society is effectively mandated to search for ways to reduce and prevent the prevalence of depression and anxiety in the legal profession in South Australia. Inroads have been made. There does seem to be, at least, broad acknowledgment within the legal profession of an unacceptably high prevalence of depression and anxiety. The courage and dignity of some lawyers and members of the judiciary in speaking out about their personal mental health issues has advanced the cause significantly. But this is not enough, nor can a small group of lawyers and a dedicated HR professional on a Committee address all of the psychosocial factors in play in our legal community on their own. The stigma is ever present, as is the fear of damaging future career prospects by disclosing mental health issues. Real and sustainable change requires effective community programmes. The problem and the commitment to change must be owned by all members of the legal community. Over the next month, the Committee will be finalising some key objectives, initiatives and desired outcomes for the next 12 months. You are invited to contribute to this process by emailing your thoughts and ideas to the Committee CRP at Gianna.DiStefano@lawsocietysa.asn.au by 30 April 2018. Endnotes 1 Depression Fact Sheet Updated February 2017, http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/ fs369/en/ thorough analysis, impartiality, quality assurance The scientific examination of handwriting, documents and fingerprints Phone: +61 2 9453 3033 examined@forensicdocument.com.au www.forensicdocument.com.au SINCE 1984