Blackburn Lecture: Anne Trimmer AO

Do Lawyers Have a Future? Legal Practice in the Age of AI

As we approach the fourth decade of the 21st century, the interest in, and application of, artificial intelligence to the practice of law stands to fundamentally change the nature of legal practice, for better or for worse.

In the 2024 Blackburn lecture, Anne Trimmer examines the impact that AI is already having in the legal profession, and questions how, as a profession, lawyers can continue preserve the integrity of legal practice, adhering to the ethical boundaries of the profession. Anne also considers whether AI can be used to democratise access to the law.



After graduating from the Australian National University, Anne Trimmer practised law in Canberra and in Sydney as a commercial lawyer focusing on corporate governance and technology contracting. She was a partner of several firms, finishing her legal career at Minter Ellison from which she resigned in 2006. After leaving legal practice, Anne spent seven years as the CEO of the Medical Technology Association of Australia, an industry body engaged in advocacy for public policies to support access to medical technology, and to develop an effective Australian medical technology sector.

In 2013 Anne was appointed Secretary General of the Australian Medical Association, the peak body representing Australia’s doctors in its public advocacy. Anne served five years in this role, participating in many challenging policy issues on behalf of Australia’s medical profession.

Anne was elected the first female president of the Law Society of the ACT in 1995 and, during her second term in 1996, was elected to the executive of the Law Council of Australia, becoming the second female president of the Law Council in 2000. During her term, the Law Council provided strong advocacy on many political issues which continue to resonate – from reform of Australia’s administrative tribunals, to refugee policy.

Since completing her term as Secretary General of the AMA, Anne has continued to hold board roles in the health sector. Anne was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2020. She is a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Event details

  • When: 12.30pm, Tuesday 21 May 2024
  • Where: Johnson Auditorium, Pilgrim House Conference Centre, 69 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra City
  • Registrations will remain open until 5pm Monday 20 May (please specify online or in-person attendance in the special request section)
  • Cost: Free entry, or optional contribution (please note no refunds can be made)

About Law Week

Law Week is an annual event held in May across Australia to promote public understanding of the law and its role in society. Each year in Canberra the Law Society and its partners run a range of events to celebrate and engage the local legal profession, and to educate the public about the role of lawyers in our society. 

Law Week is made possible with the support of Lawcover, the principal Law Week sponsor — they have been a longstanding supporter of Law Week, and we thank them for their ongoing sponsorship.

If you have any questions about Law Week in the ACT, please contact Member Assist on 02 6274 0333 or

Law Week, along with the ACT Law Society Foundation, raises money each year for a local Canberra charity. In 2024, we are supporting Lifeline Canberra

Lifeline Canberra exists to support people in crisis and save the lives of those experiencing thoughts of suicide. Skilled volunteers provide 24/7 support via local crisis support service on 13 11 14. Telephone crisis support workers listen with care and acceptance, whatever the circumstance. 

The Society has chosen this charity because we know the value in having a service support people in their most dire moments. 

Law Week events include fully paid as well as free events.

Free events operate on an 'entry by donation' basis, we have listed free events with optional 'contributions', so that attendess can choose to contribute to the cost of running of the event as they see fit. 

Profits from Law Week every year are disbursed to the Law Week charity, via the ACT Law Society Foundation.

The ACT Law Society Foundation was originally seeded with three years’ worth of Law Week profit (2013, 2014 and 2015), matched by Law Society funds. Each year, around September, the Foundation's annual disbursement is paid directly to the Law Week charity. The corpus of the Foundation is grown by splitting Law Week profits between the Law Week charity and the Foundation (generally a 50/50 split, up to the disbursement amount). This arrangement ensures that the Foundation will continue to grow, allowing greater disbursements in future.


Event registration terms and conditions

Fees are payable upon registration. 30 days payment invoices are available to members at the discretion of the Law Society. A 1.2% surcharge may be incurred on payments processed via credit/debit card. The Society reserves the right to cancel or alter events at its discretion, and in such circumstances, attendees will be notified via email. 

Definitions — 'Registration' means any booking given to the Society in writing, on our website, or by phone. 'Member' means any member of the ACT Law Society, including associate members and honorary members. 'New Lawyer' means any member who has held a practising certificate for five years or less. 'CLC' means any member working for a recognised community legal centre, or holding a volunteer practising certificate. 'Student' means any member holding a student membership.

All cancellations must be made in writing, and all cancellations will incur a fee, however, no charge will be incurred for substituting another person. Outside of the cancellation periods given below, a $10 administration fee will be incurred for any cancellation made. If a registered attendee fails to attend without notifying the Society in writing, no credit or refund will be offered and 100% of the total cost will be retained by the Society. 

CPD Events — In the case of CPD events held at an venue other than the Law Society, no refund can be made after the RSVP date of the event. In the case of CPD events held at the Law Society, for cancellations made up to two working days prior to the event, 50% of the total cost will be retained by the Society as a cancellation fee and the balance may be used as a credit towards other CPD events or be refunded. If you choose to keep a credit it will remain valid for 12 months from the event date, after which time it will expire. For cancellations within two working days of the event, no refunds or credits will be applicable. 

Webinars — In the case of live or on-demand webinars, as connection details are sent when registration is completed, no refund or cancellation is available. 

Social events — In the case of social events, no refund can be made after the RSVP date of the event.



A. I would prefer not to contribute (in-person) Free Add to Cart
B. I would like to contribute to the charity (in-person) $10.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
C. I would like to contribute to the charity (in-person) $20.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
A) I would prefer not to contribute (live streaming) Free Add to Cart
B) I would like to contribute to the charity (live streaming) $10.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
C) I would like to contribute to the charity (live streaming) $20.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart



Sponsors & Supporters

Lawcover is a proud sponsor of the 2024 ACT Law Society Law Week, in support of the legal profession in the ACT.

Lawcover is Australia’s only profession-owned, APRA regulated insurer of the legal profession. We provide PI cover to law practices in New South Wales, the ACT and NT, as well a number of national firms and Community Legal Centres.

Lawcover provides outstanding claims service, as well as:

· Risk Management Education Program events and resources, delivered in person or online at no or low cost, attracting CPD points and comprehensive premium discounts.

· Unlimited Run-Off cover for ceased practices/retired practitioners, at no additional cost

· Cyber risk cover to the value of $50,000 per practice, at no additional cost

By helping to foster an environment of collaboration and knowledge sharing, Lawcover aims to assist the ACT Law Society with promoting standards of excellence in the provision of legal services - resulting in better outcomes for clients and the community.

Lawcover - more than insurance.