How do you measure success?

Rebecca Fogerty gave the President's address at the Legal Profession Dinner on Friday. Photos: Event Photos

Queensland Law Society President Rebecca Fogerty has an interesting measure of success, especially as a criminal defence lawyer.

As the face of the Society with more than 13,000 members, Rebecca balances private practice with the demands of her new role.

So the 2024 President gave the March Legal Profession Dinner audience a ‘sales pitch’ to encourage personal and professional goals.

“Now as someone in the hustle of private practice I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t at least try to make a sale, so here is the ad,” she told the 250-strong audience, who responded with laughter.

“In our profession, success is often measured by the victories won for our clients, however, I believe true success and leadership goes beyond our successes in the courtroom or the deals we brokered but is in the impact we have made on others and to our communities, through service.

“Being a part of the QLS, your QLS, is one way that we can stay in touch with the broader goal of advancing justice and the legal system; with the ideals that drew all of us to law in the first place; with the aspects of law that we should all be proud of.


“For more than 150 years, QLS has been a vehicle of development for solicitors and a place of guidance, support, representation, and leadership. At every stage and turn of your career, QLS offers opportunities to give back, to build your profile and to share the wealth of knowledge you have amassed, enriching those around you.”

As part of the pitch, Rebecca urged practitioners “to pay it forward”, saying QLS provided a myriad of opportunities to do this, from being part of the diverse range of committees to supporting not-for-profit organisation partners.

“Our specialised policy committees comprised of hundreds of dedicated volunteer practitioners, and assisted by our policy staff, are responsible for a staggering number of sound and balanced submissions, designed to ensure good law,” she said.

“As President I sign each submission, and with the breadth of experience and depth of understanding that informs each of these, it is no wonder the solicitors of Queensland, through QLS, have become such trusted advisors on law reform.

“In addition, there are always opportunities for us to further enhance public understanding of the legal system and its the foundational principles, procedural fairness, the presumption of innocence and the separation of powers.

“It is paramount that as leaders in our profession we use our expertise and experience to increase public knowledge of the importance of our work and maintain high confidence in our democratic institutions.”


Rebecca said the diverse tasks that QLS performed, including Parliamentary hearings and media interviews, required “people with different skills and interests”.

“They require you,” she told the audience. “We pass the baton of presidency every 12 months, so it is crucial that our QLS continues to actively engage and foster the development of emerging lawyers so we can maximise our reach and impact, be sustainable, and make a difference for the common good.

“So put your hand up. Have your say. Get involved, give back, get behind the judiciary and protect their independence.”

And many members of the judiciary were in the room representing the Federal Court of Australia, along with Judges from the Supreme, District, Land and Magistrates Courts of Queensland. Rebecca took time to welcome and acknowledge them as well as thanking his Honour Judge Ian Dearden for his help when she first started out in the law.

Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath makes the toast.

Queensland Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath, who is not standing for re-election later this year, made the toast to the profession.


She acknowledged the Society’s “strong leadership” and “continued commitment and support to members, profession and good law”.

“The Queensland Law Society has never shied away from putting strong views forward,” she said, commending the Society’s “fearless advice and advocacy for the profession”.

Keep an eye on Proctor for social photos from the Legal Profession Dinner

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