New Zealand Law Society - Women in Law Committee

Women in Law Committee

The Women in Law Committee is an active, hardworking and popular committee.

Its mission statement is to advance women – in the law and through the law – by addressing legal issues affecting women and advocating for women lawyers. A particular focus is to address the ongoing challenges and inequities that women face in the legal profession.

The committee runs regular events and seminars, writes articles, and lobbies on relevant issues. It encourages everyone (yes men, this includes you!) to come to its events. A highlight of the events calendar is the annual Shirley Smith Address. Shirley was the first female legal academic on a university staff in New Zealand, and a well-respected advocate for the marginalised and underprivileged.

Past Shirley Smith Addresses:

In the coming year the committee will also be focusing on a ‘champions of change’ initiative in an effort to assist the wider profession to engage with the persistent difficulties that the profession faces in retaining women in mid and senior positions. This initiative aims to encourage senior men in the profession to engage with, and contribute to, our work in this area.

The Women in Law Committee currently has around 47 members from a diverse range of roles, but always welcomes more helpers. Lawyers interested in joining the committee can get in touch with, or come along to one of its monthly meetings.