Law Society seeks independent board observer

by Sol Dolor22 Aug 2018

To hear from a more diverse selection of experts during its governing board meetings, the New Zealand Law Society is looking to appoint a non-lawyer independent board observer.

“This will be the first time in our 149-year existence that someone from outside the legal profession is actively involved in helping set the Law Society’s direction. Our board provides sound governance at present and represents the profession admirably,” said Kathryn Beck, Law Society president. “At the same time, we recognise the benefits of increasing the diversity of inputs and viewpoints into the Law Society at a time when it is actively working to manage the cultural change to which we are committed.”

The independent board observer role is mandated by the Law Society’s constitution. The official will have full speaking rights at each meeting of the board, which meets every two months.

The independent board observer will join the president and four vice presidents representing Auckland, the central North Island, Wellington, and the South Island on the board. The Law Society president said that the role will be paid, unlike the vice-presidents who volunteer their time.

“We are looking for a person with governance experience and a creative thinker who is capable of challenging ideas and influencing others to drive change. Commercial expertise is important, as is experience in diversity and inclusion, cultural change and development,” she said.

The Law Society will accept applications for the role until 10am on 3 September.