Friday, 30 July 2021
Call for nominations for Council of the Law Society
Members of the ACT Law Society are invited and encouraged to nominate for election to the ACT Law Society Council for 2021-22.
Nominations close at 5pm on Friday 13 August 2021. Voting will be held between 27 August and 17 September, and the new Council will be declared at the AGM on Thursday 23 September 2021.
The Council of the Society consists of:
- Two Vice-Presidents
- Immediate Past President
- 10 general Council members
The current composition of Council includes members from all parts of private practice (sole practice, small firm, medium firm and large firm), from the community legal sector, from both levels of Government and from in-house practice. The current Councillors can be viewed on our website.
What we are looking for
Councillors should be upstanding members of the profession, who bring an appropriate level of experience and commitment to the role, and whose values align with the important duties that Councillors perform as both administrative decision-makers for our regulatory processes and governing board members. Councillors should understand the different roles that the Society performs and be committed to the Society’s objects (as set out in our Constitution).
It is important that Council is both representative of the Society’s membership, and includes appropriately experienced members who can contribute to the Society’s strategy and governance, as well as to high standards of administrative decision-making on regulatory matters.
Council members are expected to contribute to robust discussion on matters that may be sensitive, and to maintain the strictest confidentiality about Council deliberations on regulatory matters.
At our planning day last year, we asked Councillors to tell us what they valued about serving on Council. Here are some of the keywords:
Role and responsibilities
The Society has several purposes – as a peak professional body, a licensing body, and as regulator of the legal profession in the ACT. The functions of the Council are prescribed in the Society’s Constitution and in the legislative framework set out in the Legal Profession Act 2006, Legal Profession Regulation 2007 and the ACT Legal Profession (Solicitors) Conduct Rules 2015.
The Council serves as both a governing board for the Society as well as the administrative decision-making body in relation to complaints and discipline matters under the Legal Profession Act 2006. Regulatory matters are considered every month and form the bulk of the commitment for this role. Strategy and governance matters are generally considered on a quarterly basis.
The Executive Committee is a subcommittee of the Council, with delegated powers to consider certain matters between Council meetings. This includes licensing matters.
Councillors serve a term of one year.
Expected time commitment
The Council meets monthly, currently on the third Monday of every month at 5pm and out of session as required. Meetings are generally 2–3 hours in length. Meetings are held face-to-face at the Society office four times per year, with the remainder of meetings held via Zoom.
Papers for Council are generally distributed on the Thursday prior to each Monday meeting. The papers can be extensive, and it is critical to the administrative decision-making role of Council that prospective Councillors are able to commit the required time to prepare ahead of a meeting. Typically, Councillors might commit around 2 hours of preparation time in advance of each meeting. Councillors who are less familiar with the relevant legislation, regulation and rules may need to commit additional time to preparing for a meeting until more familiarity is built up.
Council Members are also encouraged to attend Society events to engage with members.
The Executive Committee of Council currently meets fortnightly on a Wednesday at 4.30pm, and also regularly meets out-of-session between these fortnightly meetings. This commitment is in addition to attendance at and participation in Council meetings.
Executive members also take on additional responsibilities according to their role. Interested members are welcome to contact the CEO to discuss these additional responsibilities.
The Society conducts induction training for all Councillors, with particular attention provided to the administrative decision-making responsibilities of Council. In 2021, this training will be held from 9.00am to 12.30pm on Friday 8 October 2021. All new Councillors are required to attend the training. Continuing Councillors are encouraged to attend the training.
If you are a financial member of the ACT Law Society and you’d like to make a difference in the local legal community and contribute to the good governance of the Law Society and regulation of the profession, nominate for election to Council today. Eligible members can nominate for more than one position. Associate members are not eligible to nominate.
We encourage members from all areas of practice to apply.