Australia: Victorian Bar virtually welcomes 48 new members

Let’s hope that legal bodies, not only in Australia, but also around the world engage with this approach and technology without the fear they had previously.

We imagine at events like this actually people do like to gather together but at the same time technology can be a future option post pandemic to do things differently rather than before where the blanket response was, “we can only do it one particular way”

Congratulations to the Victorian Bar for both thinking and acting outside the box let’s hope other legal bodies with a more recalcitrant mindset also adopt flexibility moving forward.

Lawyers Weekly Australia report…

For the first time in its history, the Victorian Bar has welcomed 48 new barristers who will “virtually” sign the Bar Roll as part of their graduation ceremony.

The group of 48 barristers is the first to complete much of the Bar’s Readers Course by videoconference amid restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 outbreak. There are 27 men and 21 women signing the roll, who all have a variety of professional experience.

President Wendy Harris QC said: “They join a vibrant, tight-knit and diverse college of our barristers who serve the community by contributing to the administration of justice.

“I’d also like to express gratitude for their mentors, experienced members of the bar, who will guide and support the readers throughout their first six months as fledgling barristers.”

CEO Katherine Lorenz said the ceremony represented a “monumental achievement” for the new barristers, who were interrupted only three weeks into the in-person delivery and moved seamlessly towards studying remotely following the COVID-19 outbreak.

Of the 140 sessions in the course, more than 50 were conducted via videoconference. It was an “amazing feat” completed under “quite challenging circumstances”.

“This group therefore represents the bar’s core strengths for resilience, dexterity and for collaboration,” Ms Lorenz said. “I am very proud of our education team and I look forward to seeing the new group of readers flourish as successful barristers.”