this product is unavailable for purchase using a firm account, please log in with a personal account to make this purchase.

LIV President's Blog 2012

Back To List

The real reason you became a lawyer

The real reason you became a lawyer

A few weeks ago during an interview for a Young Lawyer’s blog, the LIV President Reynah Tang told me that the most rewarding thing about being a lawyer is being able to make a difference in people's lives. What he said could not have rung any more true with me.  It's why most of us became interested in a career in law in the first place right? As Anthony Robbins says:

“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.” ~ Anthony Robbins
 
As lawyers we hold a privileged and trusted position in society with the opportunity to contribute to the community in so many positive ways. There are so many great initiatives available to lawyers; all you have to do is choose one, get out there and just do it.
 
For example, many young lawyers participate in pro bona legal assistance schemes such as PILCH (‘the public interest law clearing house’). 
 
Think outside the box
If you began your career in law with the vision of having the ability to make a difference in peoples lives, then here's your chance. It doesn’t even have to be law related - a colleague of mine volunteers for Youth Generation Against Poverty (or YGAP). They are currently running a campaign to collect 5 cent coins – you may have seen some of the promotional billboards.  There are 150 million dollars’ worth of 5 cent coins in circulation across Australia even though they are no longer accepted in parking meters or vending machines.  Imagine how much YGAP can raise for their project partners to make a tangible change in the community.
 
Food for thought
One of those project partners is Second Bite – a charity re-distributing food to people in need. A few weeks ago Second Bite partnered with my own firm to hold a cooking competition called KWM Masterchef.  Each team had 20 minutes to prepare a dish from a ‘mystery box’ of ingredients just like those provided by Second Bite to hundreds of community centres across Australia.  The event drew a huge audience and no doubt raised substantial funding for Second Bite’s great work.  It was inspiring to see such a novel and innovative idea successfully implemented to positively contribute to a charitable organisation.
 
Every contribution is valuable
Early on in my career I did some pro-bono work for VICSEG, an organisation assisting refugees to integrate into Australian society.  Organising deductible gift recipient status for them did not take up a lot of my time – but the CEO later said it more than doubled the money they were able to raise for their work. It was a timely reminder of our ability to make a valuable contribution even though the extent of that contribution may not be apparent to us at the time.
 
If you’d like to get involved in volunteer and community work – consider joining the Young Lawyers Community Issues Committee which aims to promote social justice awareness and tolerance in the community. They organise many great fundraisers such as the Lawn Bowls Fundraiser BBQ, held in February where $720 was raised for the Stride Foundation. 
 
The future of the community
We also have a Young Lawyers Law Reform Committee where you can get involved in drafting submissions on legislative changes and contentious social issues affecting the community.

How can we increase the number of young lawyers engaging in Pro Bono or volunteer work for community organisations?
 
Cameron Forbes is the YLS President and a lawyer at King & Wood Mallesons. He can be contacted at younglaw@liv.asn.au or 'followed' on twitter by searching @CamForbes_

 
Back To List

Comments

Comments

Views expressed on liv.asn.au (Website) are not necessarily endorsed by the Law Institute of Victoria Ltd (LIV).

The information, including statements, opinions, documents and materials contained on the Website (Website Content) is for general information purposes only. The Website Content does not take into account your specific needs, objectives or circumstances, and it is not legal advice or services. Any reliance you place on the Website Content is at your own risk.

To the maximum extent permitted by law, the LIV excludes all liability for any loss or damage of any kind (including special, indirect or consequential loss and including loss of business profits) arising out of or in connection with the Website Content and the use or performance of the Website except to the extent that the loss or damage is directly caused by the LIV’s fraud or wilful misconduct.

Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.
Leave comment



 Security code