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Frequently Asked Questions

Definition of NSW Young Lawyer

  • Lawyers under the age of 36;
  • Admitted for less than five years;
  • Law students.

History of NSWYL

  • NSW Young Lawyers first came into being in 1963 when it was established as a Committee of the Law Society of NSW;
  • On December 18, 1980, the Law Society Council resolved to constitute a Young Lawyers Section, with its own Constitution, rules and by-laws.;
  • Currently the largest collective group of young lawyers and law students nationally;

Benefits of being a NSW Young Lawyer?

  • NSWYL provides a platform for members to influence debate on issues that affect both the profession and the community;
  • Leadership opportunities;
  • Networking and information sharing with practitioners in different areas of law;
  • Opportunity to influence debate on issues affecting the profession and wider community;
  • A voice for young lawyers in NSW;
  • Access to social and networking events;
  • Monthly newsletter, Debrief;
  • Access to information sessions and training. 


benefits for YL member


How do I become a member?

  • Membership of NSW Young Lawyers is free and automatic;
  • We do not have a formal membership process – the best way to get involved to sign up to one of the 14 committees (via a mailing list) and attend their monthly meetings.

Our committees

  • Animal Law;
  • Bushweb Regional Issues;
  • Business Law;
  • Civil Litigation.
  • CLE (made up of representatives of the other 14 committees);
  • Communications, Entertainment & Technology Law;
  • Criminal Law;
  • Employment & Industrial Relations Law;
  • Environment and Planning Law;
  • Family Law;
  • Human Rights;
  • International Law;
  • Property Law;
  • Public Law & Government;
  • Taxation Law;

Special Committees

  • SCLSS – Special Committee Law Student Societies;

NSWYL Committees activities:

  • Help shape the law through writing submissions on proposed policy or law reform.;
  • Create and implement projects for the benefit of community;
  • Network with like-minded professionals to raise your profile and increase career opportunities;
  • Meet high-profile members of the profession and the business community;
  • Improve your public speaking skills by chairing or speaking at a CLE session;
  • Develop leadership skills by becoming a leader of a project sub-committee or Committee Chair;
  • Assist with the drafting and publication of practitioners guides on aspects of law;
  • Meet some new people and have fun.

Practitioner’s Guides

  • How to Survive & Thrive in Your First Year of Law;
  • Criminal Law Careers Guide 2010;
  • Careers Guide to Public Law & Government;
  • The Practitioner's Guide to Civil Litigation (currently being updated);
  • The Practitioner's Guide to International Law;
  • A Practitioner's Guide to Corporate Law;
  • A Practitioner's Guide to Criminal Law (currently being updated);
  • A Practitioner's Guide to the Land and Environment Court (currently being updated);
  • A Practitioner's Guide to Family Law (currently being updated);
  • Understanding Your Clients and Mental Illness;
  • Understanding Your Clients and Intellectual Disability.


  • If you join a committee you will be able to get involve in our submissions process.

What kind of events do we run?

NSW Young Lawyers Continuing Legal Education (CLE):

  • We are now working in collaboration with the Law Society CPD program.

NSWYL networking events:

  • Golden Gavel Competition – this is an annual legal public speaking competition for NSW Young Lawyers or Law Students. This is held during Law Week in May;
  • Young Professionals Ball – this is dinner held in September with other professional associations (accountants, engineers). This is a charity event where we raise money for the NSWYL chosen charity of the year;
  • Mid Year and Annual Assemblies – two working assemblies are held each year attended by members of the NSWYL Executive Council, Chairs and Vice Chairs of Committees, Law Society YL Representatives, Regional Delegates and General Delegates (x15). These assemblies are an opportunity for the delegates to discuss the activities of NSWYL and influence the future direction of the organisation;
  • Justice Education Conferences – a program for Year 5 and Year 6 students around law and justice;

Annual committee events:

Moots, essay competitions, trivia nights, social dinners and outings, volunteering with charity organisations…

For example:

  • Various annual essay competitions for law students and legal practitioners organised by the Animal Law, Public Law & Government, Environment and Planning committees;
  • Animal Law information sessions – hosted by the Animal Law Committee for practitioners and members of the community;
  • State of the Nation – organised by the Civil Litigation Committee, an address by the Patron of NSW Young Lawyers;
  • The Great Debate – organised by the Civil Litigation Committee, a humourous debate between solicitors and barristers;
  • The McCallum Medal – a public speaking event hosted by the Employment and IR Law committee. For young lawyers and students interested in employment law and industrial relations;
  • Charity trivia events hosted by the Environment and Planning Law, Public Law & Government and Employment and Industrial Law committees;
  • The Human Rights Committee anti-discrimination working group organises forums, each based around a question designed to raise awareness and inspire discussion about an anti-discrimination topic;
  • The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators/Young Lawyers International Committee Arbitration Moot is an annual competition held at the Australian International Disputes Centre.

NSWYL Mentoring Program

  • The NSW Young Lawyers Mentoring Program unites newly admitted lawyers seeking guidance and support with more experienced ones who are willing to volunteer their time to assist those just starting out in their careers;
  • The Mentoring Program starts at the beginning of the year. There is an initial information session and a dinner to introduce mentors and mentees. Throughout the year a mentor and mentee are expected to meet regularly to discuss predefined issues. At the end of the Program participants are invited to provide feedback. A mentoring relationship may continue after this if agreed by the parties;
  • Mentors and mentees must be members of the Law Society of NSW (this includes associate membership);
  • Mentees must also be under the age of 36 or in their first five years of practice;
  • Applications open towards the end of each year with the deadline at the start of the next year.

Associate Membership – what is it?

  • Any person who is studying law or has successfully completed a course in law at any university, college or institution in New South Wales recognised by the Legal Profession Admission Board and who signifies the intention to practise as a solicitor, may be able to become an Associate Member of the Law Society of NSW;
  • Although this membership does not entitle you to practise as a solicitor in NSW, you can gain access to a comprehensive range of discounts, benefits and opportunities;
  • Free annual subscription to the Law Society Journal, an informative monthly magazine featuring developments in the law and legal practice;
  • Access to Law Society Online, including the Law Society Library Catalogue and the full online archive of the Law Society Journal;
  • Free subscription to Monday Briefs, a weekly email with updates on legislative changes, events and matters of interest to the profession;
  • Exclusive discounts on a range of product and services from high-quality brands through MemberConnexions;
  • Preferential pricing on Law Society publications, forms, CLE, precedents and other products at the Law Society Shop;
  • Networking opportunities;
  • Ability to apply for a position on a Law Society Committee to help influence policy proposals and reform initiatives;
  • Application form can be downloaded from the website.

Graduate Employment and Summer Clerkship Programs

  • The NSW Graduate Employment and Summer Clerkship Programs are co-ordinated by the Law Society of NSW for the benefit of law firms in NSW and law schools;
  • Administered in accordance with the Graduate Employment and Summer Clerkship Guidelines, the Graduate Employment Program is generally open to final year law students and the Summer Clerkship Program is generally open to penultimate year law students;
  • The Guidelines are intended to implement a fair program for law firms and students by providing set dates for the recruitment process.


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