Why do lawyers need to be lawyers?
The profession of law is in need of a reboot, says the chief executive of the Professional Law Society.
“I am optimistic about the future, but I am not confident that we can do it,” Dame Jane Russell said in an interview with the ABC.
We need to find solutions to the problems of our time. “
There are no easy answers, and it is not an easy task to reinvent the wheel of law, so let’s not give up.”
We need to find solutions to the problems of our time.
We need a vision, and the law needs to be part of that vision.
“She is the chief corporate officer of the professional services group, which represents over 600 lawyers.
Dame Jane Russell has made a series of public comments about the current crisis in the legal profession and is critical of the current way in which the profession is organised.
Ms Russell has criticised the way in, out, and back to the profession.
She has also called for a new approach to law schools, saying that some were failing students, and she wants to see more diversity in the curriculum.
Her comments have drawn criticism from the profession’s chief executive, David Coombs, who said they were a reminder of the difficulties the profession faces.”
Lawyers are a very, very diverse group,” Mr Coombs said.”
In terms of the way the profession has been organised, I think there needs to change.
“As a profession we are not doing enough to reflect the diversity of the profession.”
Dame Russell also took aim at some of the organisations she is a member of, including the Law Society, and said that there was a need for a wider network of legal services.
The former head of the Law Commission, Michael Burt, said in a statement that Dame Jane’s comments were “insufficient”.
“Ms Russell’s comments are a reminder that many of the law’s best and brightest are failing to meet the expectations of their profession and the needs of their communities,” he said.
Law Society president Alan Lomax said the comments were inappropriate.
“It’s an issue that we have been having for years and the only way to address it is to have a full-blown overhaul of our profession,” Mr Lomac said.
He also said the association would be seeking advice from the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) and the Australian Bar Association about how to address the issue.
Ms Russell is the third former chief executive to make comments in recent weeks.
Dame Patricia Murphy said in February that she was disappointed in the way she had been treated in the past, and that the legal system was not delivering for her.
The former chief secretary to the Attorney-General, Tony Smith, also made a public statement in support of Dame Jane.
But Ms Russell said that was not enough.
“The people who are running this profession have a lot of time to think about how they should improve, how they can change, and how they are going to make the law better,” she said.
Ms Murphy said the profession needed a “fresh start” and a renewed focus on the law.
“There is a lot more to be done than the usual celebratory comments and the usual pats on the back,” she told ABC Radio Melbourne.
Mr Smith said he was disappointed that Dame Joan had not responded to his letter of support.
He said he would not be supporting Dame Joan in any future leadership roles.