Principal Lawyers Meeting 2023

November 16, 2023 |

On 16 October 2023, the Federation hosted the Community Legal Sector Annual Principal Lawyers Meeting in Melbourne. The all-day event included informative sessions on legal risk management, restorative justice responses to sexual violence, the role of the regulator, and influencing law reform. It was also an opportunity for Principal Lawyers to network with peers from other Community Legal Centres at an in-person event. 

This year’s Annual Principal Lawyers Meeting brought together 57 Principal Lawyers from 37 Community Legal Centres to share ideas and thoughts, and deepen their understanding of specific topics relevant to the practice of community law.  

We had the privilege of hearing from former Member of the Victorian Parliament and Leader of the Reason Party, Fiona Patten. Fiona provided valuable insights on navigating the government process, leveraging advocacy, and engaging more effectively with MPs. Fiona is a strong advocate for the sector and has worked with Community Legal Centres on a number of campaigns targeting systemic improvements, such as bail reform and justice re-investment into social services to provide the supports that help Victorians avoid contact with the criminal legal system.   

We would like to thank Holding Redlich for hosting the event, and to the following speakers who presented: Sohka Um, Director of Legal Services at Peninsula Community Legal Centre and Member of the Professional Standards and Support Committee; Nareeda Lewers, Manager and Co-Founder of Open Circle at the Centre of Innovative Justice; Maria Smith and Gemma Richardson, Assistant Managers of the Discipline and Suitability Team and Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner; and Fiona Patten, former Member of the Victorian Parliament and Leader of the Reason Party.  

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