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Take a moment

Every Issue

Cite as: July 2014 88 (07) LIJ, p.83

Council milestone

"Saving a young Chinese woman from deportation and many nights staying up late drafting security documents for a bank advancing funds to Christopher Skase to purchase a television station in Queensland were certainly two highlights of a long career as a lawyer which began in 1973.

However, in my mind I count as my most memorable moment my election to the LIV Council in November 2005. It came at a propitious time as I was still recovering from the sudden death of my daughter in October. Sitting on the Council and on numerous committees from January 2006 to my retirement seven years later at the end of 2012 helped me overcome the depression that enveloped me following my daughter’s death for it diverted my mind to the positive things in life. Being part of the Council was a wonderful experience and helped me appreciate the work undertaken, not only by the members of the Council but also the hundreds of lawyers who make up the various sections and committees, who give freely of their time in an effort to contribute to the development of our profession and maintain its place as a legitimate stakeholder in a rapidly changing world.

Another memorable moment during the time on the Council, following the proud tradition of previous members of the Council, was my appointment by the Chief Justice to the Board of Examiners.

It is sad to say but law students are not immune from the temptation to act dishonestly in dealing with authorities such as Centrelink and to commit plagiarism at university or in a practical training course. Lawyers are required to be honest and act with integrity and candour when dealing with the court and colleagues. Students who disclose incidents that might be interpreted as not making them a fit and proper person to be admitted are invariably, by pointed exposition by members of the Board and often intensive cross-examination, made aware of their professional responsibilities.

As much as any of the subjects now required to be studied in their degree, I believe the Board’s counselling and guidance of students forms part of these wayward students’ education. Helping the Board put students on the right path by having them acknowledge their mistakes and encouraging them to show remorse equips them for a lifetime of responsible practice of the law and, in the closing years of my legal career, gives me a great deal of satisfaction."

Bruce Pippett is a solicitor, former LIV Council member and a board member of the Council of Legal Education.


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