9 months ago

LSB April 2018_Web


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Opening the lines of communication with Members TIM MELLOR, PRESIDENT This edition of the Bulletin sets out something of what the Law Society endeavours to provide for its membership. The regulatory roles with which the Society has been invested under the Legal Practitioners Act tend to frame any of the interactions with its membership. In looking at the direct benefits and services provided as a part of your membership we want to inform you of another aspect of that relationship. A first step in considering those services is to seek information from our members as to their views, experiences and expectations. This has involved, in part, the Membership Satisfaction Survey Report undertaken last year, and which is considered in some detail in this edition. As an elected officer of the Society, I want personally to offer the possibility for Members to let me know their concerns. I would hope that members would already feel that they could contact me by telephone or email in any event. However I want actively to enable that sort of discussion. To that end I have set aside time on a regular basis to meet personally with members, either individually or as a group, at the Society to discuss any 4 THE BULLETIN April 2018 issue relating to their practice or their membership in relation to which the Society may be able to assist. This is not a replacement for the usual and established program of meetings with committee chairs and members, and the suburban, regional and country practitioners. The meetings will be on an individual basis at the Society. I would want to do this with a minimum of structure. It would involve an initial contact with the Executive Officer Rosemary Pridmore (Rosemary.Pridmore@lawsocietysa.asn. au, telephone 8229 0240) to arrange the appointment and, ideally (but not necessarily) a brief indication of the topic for discussion. This will allow me to give some preliminary thought to the issues. Obviously, the meeting and discussion would be on a confidential basis. The Society already provides substantial avenues for advice and support through various groups including: • Women Lawyers’ Mentoring Scheme • Lawyers Support Group • Young Lawyers Support Group • Complaint Companion Service • Law Care. My intention would be to supplement those services. As an elected officer of the Society, I want personally to offer the possibility for Members to let me know their concerns. In the meantime the published results of the Members’ Survey carry a number of salutary messages which, I can assure you, are being carefully considered. The issue of increasing the relevance and value of membership of the Society is a primary objective. At this time we are also in the throes of a change of government. I would like to note the completion of term in the office of Attorney-General of the Hon John Rau SC MP. The timing of the elections has meant that our dealings have been limited. Nonetheless, I would extend to him the best wishes of the Society, and wish him well in his future roles and endeavours. We also welcome the historic appointment of our new Attorney- General, the Hon Vickie Chapman MP – the State’s first female chief law officer and Deputy Premier. The Attorney was an active member of the Society from the time of her admission to practice, including service on the Family Law Committee and Professional Development Committee, prior to her election to Parliament in 2002. We were very pleased that she re-joined the Society in 2014 On behalf of the Society I extend our warmest congratulations and best wishes. I have written earlier about the vital interaction between the Attorney-General and the Society. I look forward to what I am sure will be a positive and productive relationship. B

FROM THE EDITOR Society launches ‘See a Lawyer’ Campaign MICHAEL ESPOSITO, EDITOR Law Society President Tim Mellor recently went on ABC Radio to explain the vexed issue of parents financially helping their adult children purchase their first property, whether it be via a loan, a gift, or as guarantor. Taking questions from callers about various conundrums – including a dispute over a loan following a verbal agreement, the breakdown of a mother/ son relationship, and the concern of benevolent parents about what happens to their loan if their child’s marriage dissolves – Tim kept coming back to the same point: If only you had received legal advice at the outset, you wouldn’t have had these complex problems now. That’s one of the key messages of the Law Society’s new “See a Lawyer” campaign, which launched on 26 March and encourages people to see a lawyer for assistance with matters such as wills and estates, family law, personal injury, selling and buying franchises, and aged care services. The campaign features adverts which will air on radio station FiveAA over a three-month period and postcards being distributed to government agencies, community centres and high-volume traffic areas. The campaign will promote MAJOR SPONSOR, the new portal for the Society’s Referral Service which assists members of the public to find lawyers who can assist with their particular problems or enquiries. The campaign also more broadly encourages the seeking of legal advice and services. The key message of the campaign is “Seeing a lawyer at the start can end up costing you a lot less time, stress and finances, in the long run. Can you afford not to see a lawyer?” With the rise of “do it yourself ” law and other professions encroaching on traditional legal work, it is more important than ever to educate people on the risks of not engaging legal assistance early and the importance of getting tailored legal advice that addresses your specific needs. This exciting campaign feeds into the Society’s broader advocacy work on behalf of the profession. Readers will learn more about our advocacy activities in this edition of The Bulletin, which aims to inform the profession about the many services the Society provides to practitioners. The Society is a multi-faceted association with numerous roles and responsibilities, and we have found that a number of our Members, and the broader profession, understandably do not realise the breadth of support we provide to the profession. CONFERENCE SERIES SPONSOR What will that DIY contract end up costing your business? A sample of some of the “See a Lawyer” post cards being distributed throughout SA. I encourage you to read this edition and consider if there are any services and benefits that you are not currently taking advantage of that could be of value to you. I also welcome any suggestions about how the Society can better serve the profession. B LAWCARE SPONSOR What will that verbal agreement really end up costing? What will that DIY will really end up costing? SMALL PRACTICE NETWORKING SERIES SPONSOR TRUST ACCOUNTING ONLINE SPONSOR YOUNG LAWYERS COMMITTEE SPONSOR SPONSORS AND PREFERRED SUPPLIERS April 2018 THE BULLETIN 5