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Young lawyers lap up a lively week

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Cite as: (2006) 80(12) LIJ, p. 26


The tough tasks of being a young lawyer were interrupted with an array of networking events during the LIV’s Regional and Suburban Young Lawyers Week.

Whether they were having a punt on the gee-gees, dining with judges, or taking part in a trivia night, Victorian lawyers deemed the third Regional and Suburban Young Lawyers Week a huge success.

More than 180 young lawyers attended 12 networking events across the state from 7-13 October.

Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) Young Lawyers manager Susan Ng said extensive preparation work for the week designed to celebrate and recognise young lawyers had paid dividends.

“Young lawyers in suburban and regional areas can tend to feel a little isolated, because it’s not like the CBD where there are hundreds of firms close to each other,” Ms Ng said.

“The week is about showing young lawyers there are support networks for them, and everyone made the most of the networking opportunities.”

Gippsland Law Association young lawyer representative Belinda Wilson said 15 people went to the Sale Races on 8 October.

“It was fantastic to see people outside the work environment and all dressed up. It was a relaxing place to be,” Ms Wilson said.

Despite the week’s success, suburban and, particularly, country lawyers continue to face challenges, including perceptions they are not as successful as city lawyers, Ms Wilson said.

“People think you’re a second-class citizen if you work in the country, but I have my own case load, I am on the same level as the partners, and I have international clients,” the Sullivan Braham solicitor said.

Geelong Law Association young lawyers representative Bridgette Kelly said almost 40 people attended the Dining with the Bar event at Riviera on Yarra.

She said 10 barristers had the crowd in hysterics when talking about embarrassing and memorable moments in their careers.

“It was a great way to allow local young lawyers to meet and mingle with barristers who work in, live in or have a special con-nection with Geelong,” Ms Kelly said.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Warren, Chief Magistrate Ian Gray, former Family Court Justice John Wilczek, LIV CEO Michael Brett Young, LIV Councillors and Victorian Bar representatives were among those who attended the week’s events.

Harriet Morley

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