Legal Profession Well Equipped To Handle Challenging Times

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18th September 2009, 01:16pm - Views: 494

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19 Torrens St Braddon

ACT 1612 || GPO Box 1989

Canberra ACT 2601

Telephone +61 2 6246 3788

Facsimilie +61 2 6248 0639

18 September 2009

Legal Profession Well Equipped to Handle

Challenging Times

The Australian legal profession is

healthy and robust enough to address the

many challenges it currently faces, Law Council President John Corcoran has

told a legal conference in Perth.

In his State of the Profession Speech to the 36th

Australian Legal Convention,

which opened today, Mr Corcoran said the global economic crisis, lack of

funding for the legal assistance sector and issues facing country lawyers all

presented significant challenges for legal practitioners.

“Many in the profession encountered some very difficult economic times at the

start of the year,” Mr Corcoran said. “However, the Australian profession has

handled the crisis better than


many other nations,

and economic conditions

have improved.”

Mr Corcoran also used the speech to highlight challenges facing the nation’s

legal assistance sector. 

“Australian lawyers who rely on funding from the legal assistance sector are

doing it tough.” He said it was absolutely critical that the Australian Government

makes funding for the legal assistance sector a priority. 

“There are also worrying signs for the state of the legal profession in country

Australia. Problems in recruiting and retaining lawyers in rural, regional



areas are negatively impacting on the ability of people living in these

communities to access legal services,” he said.

On a positive note, Mr Corcoran said the Law Council was doing a great deal to

strengthen the legal profession and secure its future.

National legal profession reforms, he said, will benefit all lawyers, creating a

functional and efficient Australian legal services market.

With international legal practice the largest growth opportunity for Australian

lawyers, the Law Council’s efforts to open up overseas markets will also benefit

much of the profession.   

“The Australian legal profession, despite all the challenges it is facing, is in a

very healthy state. But it needs to stay healthy, robust and above all,

independent. A strong, unified, national voice is essential to achieve this,”        

Mr Corcoran concluded.

Media Contact:

Elenore Eriksson, Director Public Affairs 

P. 02 6246 3716 || M. 0419 269 855

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