Growth spurt milestone: 40% membership boost for law society

by Sophie Schroder03 Nov 2014
Auckland District Law Society Inc (ADLSI), the country’s largest voluntary legal membership organisation has reached a membership milestone, surpassing 3,000 members – a growth spurt of around 40% compared to its opening membership in 2006.
ADLSI president, Brian Keene QC says since late 2012, ADLSI has had a national focus and has attracted members from around the country as well as growing its Auckland membership.
“We have initially concentrated our efforts to grow our presence in the regions including Hamilton, Tauranga, Christchurch and Dunedin with good results,” he says. “Progressively we will be looking further afield.”
Keene thinks the impressive membership growth comes from ADLSI’s dynamic and innovative organisation.
He says it has a focus on making contributions to the development of new legislation and legal issues that are important to the community, as well as supporting lawyers, regardless of career stage, to achieve their professional and collegial goals.
“At the forefront of this is our market leading legal education (CPD) offering.  We have grown a strong focus on technology-enabled courses,” says Keene.
“These have progressed from seminars attended in person, to webinars and on-demand sessions which can be accessed anytime, anywhere and on almost any device. We recently introduced live streaming of two hour seminars which has been exceptionally well received.”
In fact, in the seven weeks since its launch, ADLSI’s live streaming programme has been such a success the society may need to increase its license for attendees.
Melissa Fini, ADLSI’s manager of CPD & learning services, told NZ Lawyer that although she was
always confident the live streaming uptake would go well after the success of the pilot programme, she thought growth would be incremental, rather than so sharply.
And while she initially had some concerns that seminar rooms would empty as lawyers chose to attend the CPD seminars online, surprisingly this hasn’t been the case at all.
The number of physical attendees has remained steady, while at the same time the number of live streaming participants has even reached the 200-person limit on occasion.
“If the demand is consistently this high we’ll look at increasing our license [for the cap],” says Fini. “What is says to me is that lawyers are fast adopters of technology – it’s a myth that [they’re not].”
President Keene says he is thrilled by ADLSI’s membership milestone, but says there is always more work to do to support the legal community.
He says the society have a “comprehensive” program of activity planned for 2015.

“ADLSI’s independence means we are uniquely positioned to be a vocal and authoritative protagonist in matters of justice and law,” Keene says.