Auckland based employment lawyer, Kathryn Beck has begun her role as the 30th New Zealand Law Society President.
Ms Beck is the third woman President to have been elected and has over 25 years of practical legal experience.
Among the key issues she'll focus on will include retaining and promoting women in law, better access to justice and improving well-being of practising lawyers.
Recent Law Society figures show that while 48% of all lawyers in law firms are women, just 21% of women are partners or directors while 52% of men are partners or company directors.
However, 61% of new lawyers every year entering the work-force are women.
"The figures are woeful and effectively tackling this issue will be one of my top priorities," says Kathryn Beck.
Ms Beck says another major focus will be on ensuring access to justice for all people.
"It's not just about representation, it's about whether justice is available to everyone throughout New Zealand, whether it is affordable and importantly, that whatever the outcome, it happens in a reasonable time frame," she says.
And with work demands not letting up for lawyers, Kathryn Beck says the professional and personal well-being of legal practitioners is being carefully considered with a new Practising Well initiative being provided by the Law Society to lawyers.
A list of New Zealand Law Society Presidents is available here.