Shaping legal minds – 2021 QLS Symposium

Legal minds were definitely shaped when more than 1000 members enjoyed a day of online education and networking at the 2021 QLS Symposium.

In a first for Queensland Law Society, QLS Symposium was presented in a hybrid format with a mix of virtual and in-person components – with the theme of ‘Shaping the Legal Mind’.

The day commenced with QLS President Elizabeth Shearer welcoming attendees, who hailed from across Queensland as well as some interstate and overseas guests also.

President Shearer talked to attendees about the issues currently facing the profession and how legal professionals can help to address them.

“As we start to look at the next phase of living with COVID-19, there has been a strong and clear message, from our members, that we must continue to advocate for many of the changes to legal processes that occurred in response to the pandemic to be retained,” Ms Shearer said.

“We rely on the wisdom, gain from experience, of you, our members, to inform our advocacy on this important process reform, but also on law reform more generally.”


The QLS Symposium was jam-packed with some of the profession’s most esteemed legal minds, including three Chief Justices.

The Honourable Catherine Holmes AC, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland also welcomed guests to the Symposium in the morning, while The Honourable William Alstergren, Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia and Chief Judge of the Federal Court of Australia addressed the Family Law Session and The Honourable Susan Kiefel AC, Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, closed Symposium at the Twilight session to both a live audience and those watching viturally.

The day was a testament to sharpening and shaping the legal mind with presentations on:

  • Solicitors’ ethical obligations when dealing with clients from the highly regarded and renowned, Stafford Shepherd, QLS’s Principal Ethics and Practice Counsel
  • Turning uncertainty and disruption into opportunity from Nick Abrahams, Global Head of Tech and Innovation at Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Building a culture that improves workplace behaviours and embeds model behaviour from Rolf Moses, CEO Queensland Law Society
  • Storytelling from First Nations Lawyers who shared their life and work experiences
  • Presentations relating to specific areas of practice such as Property law reform, Personal injuries, early career lawyer, Criminal law and Family law.

In another first for QLS, the traditional Exhibition area went virtual also. During breaks attendees could visit the virtual exhibition and speak with organisations such as Auscript, Auslaw Concierge, The College of Law, Legal Super, Migration Manager and Supreme Court Library Queensland.

A highlight of Symposium, the Twilight session at picturesque Customs House in Brisbane closed the day with keynote speaker Josie Thomson and Chief Justice Kiefel.

Josie regaled the in-person and virtual audience with a tour into the neuroscience behind how our minds react to challenge and change and how, we as legal professionals can deal with threats and adopt the high ground, in an ever evolving legal landscape.


The event concluded with the Chief Justice exploring the ethical mindset of a lawyer and how this should be shaped before networking on the Customs House terrace overlooking the Brisbane River.

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One Response

  1. Thank you for the online Symposium. Unfortunately pressing matters got in the way on the afternoon session and being a exceedingly busy sole practitioner without staff I had very little chance of catching up with the recorded presentations over the following week I had hoped to use this weekend to finalise my viewing. I telephoned QLS presentations and was assured that the recordings would still be available to at least the 31st March 2021, but I have tried to obtain access without success. Please advise at the earliest date as to how I can view the presentations that I have not been able to access.

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