Michelle James has been awarded a prestigious award for her community and professional achievements.
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers principal Michelle James has won the Queensland Law Society (QLS) 2013 Agnes McWhinney Award.
James is Queensland president of the Australian Lawyers Alliance, Moreton Bay Law Association vice president and a QLS accredited personal injury specialist.
She says she’s grateful to the society for recognising the ongoing importance of work being done in community legal centres and the volunteers who generously donate their time.
“It is always humbling to be reminded that the legal profession is one with the genuine best interests of the community at its heart.”
The award is named in honour of the state’s first admitted female solicitor and recognises outstanding professional or community contributions by woman lawyers.
QLS president Annette Bradfield says the award recognises outstanding professional or community contributions by a woman lawyer and Michelle is deserving of the award in both respects.
“Aside from her professional achievements, her community contributions include membership of the Management Committee of the Pine Rivers Neighbourhood Centre and voluntary work at the Pine Rivers Legal Centre,” says Bradfield.
“She also dedicates her time as an adult literacy tutor.” James accepted the award at the annual Women Lawyers Association of Queensland Award Dinner on Saturday October 19 at Brisbane City Hall.
Accepting the award, she said it was an “extremely humbling experience” and congratulated all of the other nominees whose ranks she was proud to belong to.
“I am proud of the legal profession in Queensland and I am also proud to be a member of the legal profession in Queensland.
“Despite recent convenient political commentary to the contrary, ours is an important profession and one with the genuine best interests of the community at its heart.
“This is true, I like to think, of all practitioners, no matter which side of the political spectrum you may sit on.”
She said when asked what she enjoyed about practising law and about common and fundamental values lawyers shared she routinely replied: fairness.
“When I talk about fairness in a legal context I am talking about notions of balance, transparency, respect and empathy.
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