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Serving the law for 25 years

Serving the law for 25 years

There'll be champagne all round when the Auckland Branch of the New Zealand Institute of Legal Executives celebrates its 25th anniversary in December.

The branch was formed in 1977 with about a tenth of the 251-strong membership that it has today. It has helped raise the profile of Legal Executives within the legal profession and with the general public, and has assisted extensively with on-going education for members of its profession.

Founding president, Hugh McGuinness says it was set up because the Auckland region had, and still has, a high proportion of the country's Legal Executives and it was felt that the establishment of their own branch would enable them to mix and share knowledge and to promote themselves within their own region.

Today, the aims are similar to those of 25 years ago. However, now the branch also provides numerous continuing education opportunities for Legal Executives who are today qualified and capable in many areas of the law and are often the 'right arm' of Lawyers.

Current president Janet Clark says networking is important as Legal Executives often deal with each other when they do work for their respective legal firms and it is to the advantage of the client and to their firms if they have a friendly, professional relationship.

"Sharing knowledge is really valuable. For example, Legal Executives in small practices and those working for sole practitioners need to know a lot about a wide range of legal aspects because they are working in all areas. The law is ever-changing and it can help immensely to discuss amendments to the law with others," she says.

"That's where being a member of the Institute really makes a difference."

The branch is represented on the Auckland District Law Society's Continuing Legal Education Committee which oversees the on-going education of Legal Executives and Lawyers. Other members on the committee are Lawyers, Judges, Barristers and Law School representatives.

The Auckland branch of the New Zealand Institute of Legal Executives plans to combine its Christmas celebrations and its Silver Jubilee celebrations at a function in December.

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