The legal profession makes an important contribution in New Zealand's communities and the voluntary sector, says New Zealand Law Society President Chris Moore.
Writing in the New Zealand Law Society Report to Members, 2014/15, Mr Moore says New Zealand has an outstanding legal profession which is committed to freely and willingly giving their time to helping the community and to ensuring the Law Society continues to perform to a high standard.
"We've all endured jokes about heartless lawyers (and possibly laughed dutifully at them). I'm sure that we know there is no substance in the stereotype," he says.
"I have been a lawyer since 1978 and I know that the vast majority of lawyers are people who want to participate and give something back to the community. This shows through lawyers' involvement in initiatives and organisations across New Zealand."
Mr Moore says in the 146th year of the New Zealand Law Society lawyers should feel proud of the achievements of their profession through the membership side of the Law Society.
"We should recognise the many hours of pro bono work, the advice given through community law centres, to social and educational organisations, and the involvement of lawyers in every facet of community services."
He says the New Zealand Law Society can only function as it does through the voluntary efforts of many lawyers.
"This applies in both its regulatory and representative roles. The 24 lawyers standards committees are made up of lawyers and non-lawyers who freely give their timed in the important area of maintaining the high standards of conduct and behaviour expected of the profession.
"Due to this commitment and input we have an outstanding legal profession," he says.
The members' report contains information on the membership activities of the New Zealand Law Society. Information on the regulatory role of the New Zealand Law Society is contained in the Annual Report on the Exercise of the Regulatory Functions and Powers. This is presented to the Minister of Justice each year. The Regulatory report for the year to 30 June 2015 is available here.