The Law Society is not currently accepting applications for committee membership. The next application round will be held in October 2022, when expressions of interest will be accepted from members interested in joining committees for a two-year term of appointment.
- Joining a Special Interest Committee — not currently taking applications.
- Joining the Professional Standards Committee — not currently taking applications.
- Joining the Young Lawyers Committee — not currently taking applications.
The Special Interest Committees are not currently taking applications for membership.
Committee members are appointed on a two-year basis, commencing 1 January. From 2021, the Law Society introduced a biennial application process that opens in early October and closes in late November. Successful applicants will be notified in December, ahead of the following two-year term.
Each committee includes a Committee Chair and general members. Some committees also include guests from relevant stakeholder organisations who attend as observers.
What special interest committees do
The workload of committees varies. It can depend on the current law reform agenda of governments and the level of change in a particular area of practice in any given year, that might in turn require contributions to submissions, development of information resources, or professional development opportunities for members.
Most committees meet between 5 and 10 times per year and may involve work between meetings, including providing input on consultations with a short lead time, working on information resources or working with Law Society staff on professional development and networking events.
Committees can be involved in the following:
- Providing advice to the Society on significant changes to the legal landscape, within their area of expertise.
- Providing input to government and stakeholder consultations on proposed law reform and legal policy.
- Developing guidance for the profession and information resources for the public.
- Contributing articles on relevant legal issues to Law Society publications.
- Proposing ideas and speakers for CPD sessions and networking events.
Role of committee members
Committee members are expected to:
- Contribute time and expertise to the work of the committee, including actively participating in regularly scheduled meetings and between meetings.
- Assist in developing the Committee’s terms of reference for the coming year.
- Identify emerging issues in the relevant area of practice, to support the committee to work proactively.
- Provide comment on draft bills and other law reform or legal policy proposals, often with limited turnaround times.
- Contribute to the development of guidance notes, information resources and articles for Law Society publications.
- Respond to member enquiries, where relevant.
- Suggest guest-speakers and topics for CPD and other events.
Committee Chairs have additional responsibilities that include:
- Chair committee meetings and support committee members to participate and contribute, including between meetings.
- Work with the Policy or Research Officer to set meeting agendas, approve minutes and review action items after each meeting.
- At the start of each year, consult with the committee on a terms of reference for the coming year.
- In consultation with the CEO and committee members, identify research and written tasks for the Policy or Research Officer to support the committee.
- Where requested by the President and CEO, represent the Society with third parties.
- Review committee content for the Society’s annual report.
Who should apply?
Both prospective applicants and current members seeking to continue their involvement should complete the application form below.
Applicants should have skills, interest and expertise in the relevant area of law of the committee. They should be able to work alongside other committee members to reach an agreed position, have the time and energy to commit to the role, and be of good standing in the profession.
Applicants for chair roles must have significant legal expertise and experience in the subject area of the committee, should be well regarded in the legal community and ideally have prior experience as a committee member. They should also have the capacity to take on the additional time commitment expected of chairs outside of meetings, including being available to Law Society staff in relation to advocacy matters, CPD and events, publications and media, and committee administration and research.
How do I apply?
The Special Interest Committees are not currently taking applications for membership. To enquire about vacancies, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Professional Standards Committee is not currently taking applications for membership.
The Professional Standards Committee operates under its own Committee Charter, meets every fortnight, and members have important regulatory responsibilities delegated by the Law Society Council.
Professional Standards Committee members are appointed on a two-year basis. From 2021, the Law Society is introducing a biennial application and review process for committee members that will open in early October and close in late November. Successful applicants will be notified in December, ahead of the following two-year term.
Workload and responsibility
The Professional Standards Committee is delegated by the Law Society Council with significant powers under the Legal Profession Act 2006 in relation to the handling of complaints and disciplining of legal practitioners in the ACT. This places it in a unique position to other committees of the Society. Those powers include the investigation of complaints, dismissal of complaints under section 399 and section 412 of the Act, and the appropriate facilitation of mediation between parties to a complaint.
Membership of the committee is a voluntary and honorary role. The membership of the committee should represent a balance of experienced practitioners from the profession capable of discharging the responsibilities of the committee.
The Professional Standards Committee meets on a fortnightly basis. Committee members are expected to:
- contribute their time and expertise to the work of the committee, including actively participating in fortnightly meetings and between meetings;
- report and make recommendations to the committee about complaints;
- consider matters that are highly confidential and sometimes sensitive.
The committee Chair has additional responsibilities, playing an essential role in ensuring meetings run smoothly and efficiently, directing follow up action from each meeting, participating in recruitment of committee vacancies, and liaising effectively with Society staff between meetings. The committee Chair is also responsible for reviewing the committee’s content for the Society’s annual report.
Who should apply?
Both prospective applicants and current members of the Professional Standards Committee seeking to continue their involvement should complete the application form below.
Applicants should have the skills, knowledge and experience to support the committee’s role. They should be able to work alongside other committee members to reach an agreed position, have the time and energy to commit to the role, and importantly they must be of good standing in the profession.
How do I apply?
The Professional Standards Committee is not currently taking applications for membership. To enquire about vacancies, please contact email@example.com.
The Young Lawyers Committee is not currently taking applications for membership. To enquire about vacancies, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Young Lawyers Committee operates under its own Committee Charter, and members are appointed for a one-year term.