Push for More Indigenous Lawyers
17 February 2010 at 11:55 am
The Law Council of Australia has delivered what it describes as a ‘landmark’ policy statement which aims to encourage more Indigenous Australians to study and practise law.
The Law Council’s Policy Statement on Indigenous Australians and the Legal Profession commits Australian lawyers to addressing Indigenous disadvantage and promoting Indigenous participation in the study and practice of law.
Launching the policy statement, Law Council President Glenn Ferguson said this means working with Indigenous associations, Australian law schools, law practices and the state and territory law societies and bar associations to develop pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into legal practice.
Ferguson says this is the first policy statement of its kind for the entire legal profession.
He says it recognises that all Australian lawyers can play a part in addressing Indigenous disadvantage.
The policy statement was developed by the Law Council’s Indigenous Legal Issues Committee, which consulted publicly with more than 60 Indigenous and non-Indigenous stakeholders.
Ferguson says many law firms in Australia already invest in significant programs to encourage and assist Indigenous law students into practice.
While there are several developing law graduate assistance programs in each jurisdiction conducted by the law societies and bar associations, he says more needs to be done.
The policy statement is available at www.lawcouncil.asn.au