Bullying and harassment in the legal profession
The New Zealand Law Society is committed to targeting and eliminating the culture of bullying and harassment which exists in some parts of the legal profession.
As well as taking direct action and establishing a number of initiatives, the Law Society will provide information and practical guidance for anyone who needs assistance.
- Legal Community Counselling Service
The Law Society is trialing a free and confidential professional counselling service. This is available to anyone in a legal workplace – lawyers and non-lawyers
- Workplace Environment Survey report
The results of a national survey of New Zealand lawyers conducted in April 2018 by Colmar Brunton for the New Zealand Law Society to assess workplace environments in the legal profession.
- The 2018 Legal Workplace Environment Survey
Analysis of the findings of the April 2018 survey in which 26% of New Zealand lawyers provided information on their workplace environment.
- The report of the Law Society working group
The December 2018 report from the working group on what improvements can be made to enable better reporting of harassment in the legal profession.
- Law Society Working group Terms of Reference
The terms of reference of the independent regulatory working group.
- New Zealand Law Society statement on actions following release of working group report
The Law Society plans changes to the regulatory processses for reporting and taking action on sexual harassment and bullying in the legal profession.
- Podcast - Kathryn Beck
Law Society President Kathryn Beck speaks about the working group recommendations and what they could mean for the future of practising law.
- Podcast - Dame Silvia Cartwright
The chair of the regulatory working group, Dame Silvia Cartwright, discusses how the group approached its task and what it considered.
- Determination of lawyers standards committee
This was an own motion investigation of Mr X, published on 22 January 2019.
- Unsatisfactory conduct or misconduct?
Law Society Senior Solicitor - Regulatory Matt Fogarty looks at the distinction between unsatisfactory conduct and misconduct and the jurisdiction of standards committees and the New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal.
- New Zealand Law Society initiatives during 2018
The New Zealand Law Society's response to disclosures of sexual harassment in law firms has been a wide range of initiatives. These have the objective of achieving healthy, safe, respectful and inclusive legal workplaces.
- Information and practical guidance
Bullying and harassment and what can be done to prevent them.
- Letter to the New Zealand legal profession from Law Society President Kathryn Beck
This letter was sent to all practising lawyers on 30 May 2018. It is also published in the June 2018 issue of LawTalk.
- 0800 phone line for harassment support
Talk to trained Law Society staff about sensitive matters such as workplace harassment, the options available and the support you can access.
- Law Care Podcast
In this LawPod, Nick Butcher speaks with the New Zealand Law Society’s Gabrielle O’Brien about the new 0800 phone line called Law Care.
- Law Care Poster
A downloadable poster giving contact details for the Law Care 0800 service. This can be placed on the wall in staff areas. Copies may be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
- Report unacceptable conduct
Submit a report to the Law Society if you have grounds to suspect another lawyer has engaged in misconduct.
- Template sexual harassment policy and guidelines
Download a Word template for use by the legal profession, adapted by employment lawyer Steph Dyhrberg.
- Law Society taskforce focused on culture change
The Culture Change Taskforce has a commitment to drive and guide systems and culture change within the legal community.
- Law School Best Practice Standards
Best practice standards for a safe and appropriate culture and environment for law students employed in law firms. Agreed by the Deans of the New Zealand law schools.
- Sexual harassment in the NZ legal workplace
This article by a woman lawyer was published in the December 2017 issue of LawTalk.
Last updated on the 13th August 2019