THE start of the 2010 law term in Orange yesterday was marked with an eucemenical church service at Holy Trinity Anglican Church and procession to the Orange Courthouse.
The Central West Law Society says the legal fraternity is facing some major challenges in the next few years coping with ever increasing workloads in the courts while their resources are reduced.
The society also identified issues of high levels of depression and burn-out in law students and lawyers.
Central West Law Society president Sally Kitto said yesterday members of the legal profession work long hours and getting the best possible outcomes for their clients is always a priority.
Ms Kitto said it is becoming increasingly common for solicitors and barristers to be running several complex cases which are before the courts at the same time and the pressure can impact on the well-being of members.
“They do take their work home with them at night and increasingly the law society is becoming concerned with the issues surrounding the stigma of mental health and depression in law students and the profession,” she said.
Ms Kitto said the planned review this year of Australia’s family law legislation is another major challenge facing the legal profession in an area of work which potentially puts a considerable emotional strain on all parties.
“There are also changes this year to climate change legislation which we have to deal with,’ she said.
Ms Kitto said Orange has a supportive legal fraternity and solicitors help each other out where possible, however solicitors working alone in towns and cities in the region are under huge pressure.
She said lawyers are finding the work/life balance difficult to handle at times.
“Effectively they are on call 24-hours-a day,” she said.