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It’s not reigning men: YLS president

Briefs

Cite as: (2004) 78(3) LIJ, p. 14

New Law Institute Young Lawyers’ Section president Iresha Herath has called on more young male lawyers to rise to the highest positions within the Section.

In a twist to the existence of the normally anti-female “glass ceiling”, Ms Herath said it was her priority this year to get more young male lawyers onto the Section’s executive committee.

This year there are only two males on the 25-person executive committee and the last male pres ident was Richard Kervin in 2000.

Ms Herath said it was important for the Section to represent all lawyers.

She said the reason for the lack of male representation may be due to different priorities.

“I think generally men at our seniority level are focused more on their career and getting their career ahead.

“Women are as well, but they probably empathise a little more on issues and have other focuses.”

Ms Herath, who is a commercial property lawyer at Mallesons Stephen Jaques, said she would also like to see the Section make more public comments on legal issues, as well as concentrating on issues affecting young lawyers.

These include the high attrition rate of young women lawyers, mentoring, and the role the Section plays in helping indigenous law students into the legal profession.

While the membership of the Young Lawyers’ Section has increased rapidly to 3500 over the past few years, Ms Herath said she would like an extra 1000 members to join during her presidential year.

“I would like to say a couple of things at the end of this year – that I have increased membership, that I have made people feel that there is something we have to offer them that we haven’t had before, that we are a strong advocate group.

“And to say at the end of the year that I have taken the Section forward.”

For more information on the Young Lawyers’ Section, either contact Young Lawyers’ Section manager Susan Ng on tel 9607 9379 or go to http://www.liv.asn.au/sections/younglawyers.

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