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Expert Taskforce to guide the legal profession through the challenges of AI

Law Society of NSW 3 mins read

Wednesday, 31 January 2024

Expert Taskforce to guide the legal profession through the challenges of AI

The Law Society of NSW will convene a taskforce of legal and tech experts to assist the state’s 40,ooo solicitors in navigating the opportunities and pitfalls of artificial intelligence (AI) and guide government regulation of the burgeoning technology.

New President of the Law Society Brett McGrath will use his address to mark the Opening of the 2024 Law Term tonight to announce the formation of the taskforce and to outline his President’s Priorities for his 12-month term.

“The taskforce is central to the Law Society’s commitment to supporting the entire profession as it adapts to technological and innovative advancements that shape the justice system and the way legal services are delivered,” Mr McGrath said.

“The Law Society has already contributed its expertise in submissions to government inquiries into AI at both the federal and state levels. The work of the new AI taskforce will benefit the Law Society’s members, who work across private practice, the government legal sector, in-house lawyers, and the legal assistance sector.

“The goal for the AI taskforce is to be a trusted source of expert advice and assistance for the Law Society, and through it, for the solicitor profession across NSW. Its members will be drawn from the law, justice system, academia, and government.”

“The work of the taskforce will enhance the Law Society’s work to ensure that NSW leads the way in harnessing the best that AI has to offer for the legal profession while mitigating the risks.”

During the speech, Mr McGrath will unveil his President’s Priorities for 2024:


  1. AI and the legal profession;
  2. The service of lawyers to their communities; and
  3. The wellbeing of solicitors


“The stresses and stressors of practising law are well known. This third priority continues and expands the work of my predecessors as President of the Law Society, Cassandra Banks and before her, Joanne van der Plaat,” Mr McGrath said.

“Along with encouraging solicitors to make use of the Law Society’s programs and events to encourage better mental health, I’ll focus on the importance of all lawyers having a GP to talk to as a trusted, medically trained, first-instance support, to discuss and destigmatise mental health concerns.”

Mr McGrath will also outline plans to increase the community’s awareness of the service solicitors provide to the community beyond their billable hours and to help retired lawyers continue their service.

“Too often, the true service solicitors provide to the community is overlooked. It’s not as it’s portrayed on TV, in the news, or in fiction. This service can take the form of pro-bono or reduced fee work, volunteering, committee work, with Legal Aid, Community legal centres and more,” Mr McGrath said.

“Retired solicitors with a desire to remain an active part of our legal community have a life-time’s work and learning in law from which we can all benefit. I’m committed to identifying barriers to this service and promoting opportunities for retired lawyers to continue their dedication to the wider community.”

Mr McGrath begins his term as President of the Law Society of NSW as a successful private practitioner, most recently at Marsden’s Law Group, the Campbelltown-based firm where he started his legal career. He practised exclusively in family law at the national firm Gadens, before joining the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, which he left as a Senior Judicial Registrar.

Along with being educated at St Gregory’s College Campbelltown, Mr McGrath is a graduate of the University of Western Sydney, where he later lectured in Family Law, Advanced Family Law and Family Dispute Resolution.

Mr McGrath’s leadership experience includes his election as President of the Macarthur Regional Law Society in 2014 and his election in 2018 as a Councillor of the Law Society of NSW. In 2020, the Council appointed Mr McGrath its Treasurer.

Mr McGrath has also made significant contributions as a member of Law Society’s Family Law, Diversity and Inclusion, and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committees, along with serving as Chair of the Audit, Risk & Finance Committee and Deputy Chair of the Professional Conduct Committee.

“I’m grateful for the opportunities that have led to my term as Law Society President for this year. I’m especially proud of having been born, raised and schooled in Sydney’s south-west to now playing a role of advancing the interests of a profession that’s crucial to upholding the rule of law and the maintenance of a just and fair society,” Mr McGrath said.

“I look forward to working with the profession, the Chief Justice and other heads of jurisdiction, the Attorney General and other key stakeholders to ensure a properly resourced justice system.”

“I am also conscious of the heavy responsibility the Law Society Council holds as a co-regulator of the profession, ensuring its continuing integrity and maintaining public confidence in the administration of justice.”

Damien Smith | Director, Media and Public Relations
The Law Society of New South Wales

M: +61 417 788 947 | E:  


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