It is no coincidence that senior staff from the NSW Law Society were in Wollongong on Thursday.
The incoming NSW Law Society president was born and bred in Wollongong.
So it made perfect sense for the society’s current senior vice-president Elizabeth Espinosa to choose to hold the annual transition meeting in her home town.
Ms Espinosa, who takes over the presidency of the NSW Law Society on January 1, 2019, also lives in Austinmer.
So it didn’t take her long to drive to the nearby Headlands Hotel for the meeting.
“The purpose of today is to allow the board to meet with senior staff to do a transition from one year to the next,” Ms Espinosa said.
“I happily chose to meet here. We also spent some time at the University of Wollongong, where I also went when I was younger.”
Ms Espinosa graduated from St Mary Star of the Sea College in 1990.
She was one of the first Bachelor of Law students at the University of Wollongong in 1991.
“I finished uni in 1995. I was on the law students’ body, which I really enjoyed,” Ms Espinosa said.
I happily chose to meet here [Wollongong].Incoming NSW Law Society president Elizabeth Espinosa
“The university provided a really good base for understanding what it is to play that representative role and really listened to what law students needed, what they were interested in and what they were passionate about.”
Ms Espinosa said she was looking forward to starting her new role with the NSW Law Society next year.
“It is quite a significant body. We have 33,000 odd solicitors in NSW,” she said.
“The Law Society is a co-regulatory. It’s not just a membership body or a club, we actually regulate our solicitors. We have a whole professional standards’ department to deal with those who misbehave.”
Ms Espinosa will be president for just one year.
“We transition our presidents each year because for that one year you are required to effectively to be there full time. And, it is a big deal for someone to leave their practice for a year,” she said.
“I will leave my job as general counsel at Liverpool City Council during my stint as president.”
Ms Espinosa said as president, she will be the spokesperson for the law society.
“I will also be the signatory of some fairly significant advocacy letters to government on legislation or changes to legislation. I will also perform some ceremonial duties.”