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LIV update: CLAC & SLAC

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Cite as: July 2014 88 (07) LIJ, p.86

Northern Suburbs Law Association

In the late 1960s the Association BACCHUS (Brunswick and Coburg Confraternity Unassociated Solicitors) was formed by Maurice Brophy and Brian Flynn. BACCHUS held bimonthly meetings open only to principals at that time. Laurie Penttila became involved and the Northern Suburbs Law Association (NSLA) was formed by the LIV in the 1990s, opening the meetings to all practitioners.

I became involved with the association as its president in 2010 when I opened my practice in the northern suburbs in that same year. The last four years have been the most rewarding of my professional career.

We continue to hold bi-monthly meetings which reach 150 people. We have raised the profile of the NSLA, increasing the attendance rates at the meetings and increasing the number of students, graduates and young lawyers at our meetings. We held our first successful international conference in Tuscany in 2013 and aim to hold a second international conference in Spain in 2015. We participate in a yearly combined conference in Queensland with the Southern Solicitor’s Group.

Before receiving notice of a meeting to be held in August of 2010, I was not aware of the existence of law associations. Becoming a suburban practitioner and participating in the meetings has changed my understanding of the issues and problems faced by suburban lawyers. I have also become aware of the stresses and issues facing graduates, trainees and young lawyers. Unfortunately, we have found that some suburban practitioners feel isolated, undervalued, and believe they lack the allure to draw young lawyers to their practices. We believe that the ongoing support of the NSLA helps to bridge the gap between the city practices and the suburban practices for young lawyers.

The Northern Suburbs Law Association is an energetic, vibrant and vital association. We are constantly raising the profile of suburban practitioners and the great work they do. We have recently established a panel of suburban practitioners willing to take on students/graduates and trainees undertaking the practical legal training course. This has been rewarding and successful. Outside of this panel, many of our group take on students/graduates and trainees over many years and many others are mentors to young lawyers.

We constantly find ways to be relevant and assist the community of practitioners and the community as a whole.

ANTONELLA TERRANOVA is the NSLA president and LIV suburban lawyer of the year 2014.


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