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LIV update

Every Issue

Cite as: November 2011 85(11) LIJ, p.88

LIV Council

The LIV Council meets each month to debate and decide issues of importance to members, the overall legal profession and the community.

Topics discussed at the 22 September meeting included the LIV strategy to increase recruitment and retention of law graduates and lawyers experiencing disability in the legal sector and the LIV Diversity Taskforce.

The meeting was held at Sydenham Catholic Regional College in keeping with the LIV Council’s commitment to hold meetings in suburbs of Melbourne and regional areas of Victoria.

Special guests at the meeting were Western Suburbs Law Association retiring president John Verry and other representatives of the WSLA.

Lawyers with disAbilities Committee

During the 22 September meeting, the LIV Council approved the Strategy to Increase Recruitment and Retention of Law Graduates and Lawyers Experiencing Disability in the Legal Sector.

The Lawyers with disAbilities Committee was established in early 2010 to consider how to retain, enhance and develop existing lawyer employees who experience or acquire a disability during their career.

The Council heard that it has become clear that the LIV can play an important role in facilitating the recruitment and retention of law graduates and lawyers with disabilities through its position as the peak body for the legal profession, through its relationships with key stakeholders, and its ability to link the profession with candidates and resources.

The Council discussed the barriers faced by lawyers and law students in employment and progression in the legal profession, and what initiatives the LIV could undertake to positively promote equal opportunity.

The LIV has recently finalised a Disability Action Plan (DAP), which aims to ensure that LIV services, products and facilities are accessible for all our members and other LIV customers in the legal profession and general community.

The LIV DAP aims to provide a model for “best practice” across the legal profession and will provide a platform for the LIV to encourage law firms to consider barriers to services and employment in their own businesses.

The LIV believes that the representation of people who experience disability in the legal profession is vital for the profession to truly represent the diverse community it serves.

The Committee identified early on that for law graduates who experience disability, ongoing and meaningful employment following university is a priority issue.

In response, and in implementing the DAP, the LIV developed a recruitment and retention strategy. The strategy will assist the LIV to further develop a long-term plan to reduce barriers to employment in the legal profession in general, including working with legal employers to improve disability confidence and promote diversity in the workplace (see “Disability planning” on page 16).

LIV Diversity Taskforce

The Council was provided an update on four key initiatives of the LIV Diversity Taskforce: the Re-Launch your Career – Towards Success in the Law CPD Education Conference (see “Lawyers at crossroads given direction” on page 22); a series of upcoming events; the LIV Diversity LinkedIn Group; and the LIV Diversity Policy.

The LIV Diversity Taskforce was set up in late 2010 as a specialist committee to address the issues surrounding the retention of women in the legal profession; flexible workplace practices; lawyers with disAbilities; and Indigenous under-representation in the legal profession.

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