The need for a legal workers’ union has been recognised by a wide range of prominent New Zealanders.
“Legal workers in Aotearoa, like every worker, have the right to be respected at work and paid fairly for their time. In particular, breaching legal minimum standards is absolutely unacceptable, particularly by people who have been tasked with upholding the law.
I fully support the work ALWU is doing to protect vulnerable people in legal workplaces, and call on all those in positions of power to support this important cause.” Petra Butler, Professor, Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington
“100% support this kaupapa.” Khylee Quince, Associate Professor, Auckland University of Technology
“As lawyers, we’re used to working in teams to get the best for our clients. The ALWU now offers the chance to join a team to get the best for workers in the legal profession. By standing together, change can be won.” Andrew Geddis, Professor, Otago University
“The Young Lawyers’ Committee believes in promoting the interests of young lawyers and addressing power imbalances in the legal profession. We are excited by the calls for change we are seeing in the community.” Wellington Young Lawyers’ Committee
“I think formation of this union is a fantastic advance for all legal workers and for improvement of the culture of our profession. I love the concept of promoting inclusivity and kindness and the fact that, for the first time, a collective voice can be raised for those that work in the legal industry. There has been too much isolation and powerlessness for legal workers who sit at the bottom of what has traditionally been a very hierarchical culture.” Frances Joychild QC, Barrister
“2018 was a watershed year for the legal profession and there’s no doubt that we need a union for legal workers in New Zealand. Thank you to the courageous founding committee members for taking the initiative and establishing ALWU – it’s fantastic to see and I’ve got your backs!” Zoë Lawton, Legal Consultant and Researcher
“There’s been a longstanding need for greater collective organising and bargaining capacity in the legal profession. It’s brilliant to see a union of legal workers being formed and I hope the legal profession will see this as an opportunity to improve standards to the benefit for all.” Max Harris, Author
“Being a lawyer is difficult, and can be incredibly isolating. We need to work on changing the culture so that all lawyers feel like they’ve got someone in their corner. I think the ALWU is a great initiative, and I completely support their kaupapa. It is time the legal profession stopped treating marginalised lawyers unfairly, and discriminating against them, and started treating them with the respect and dignity they deserve.” Robyn Zwaan, Principal, Zwaan Legal
“It is vital that students and young professionals work in places that treat them with respect and support them in the early years of their career. ALWU will ensure young lawyers’ voices are heard. It is a starting point to see that support improve.” Fletcher Boswell, New Zealand Law Students’ Association
“For too long there has been a huge imbalance in the power structure of law firms, resulting in the abuse of their vulnerable employees. By standing together, we can say “enough is enough” – and change the whole culture of the legal profession for the better!” Olivia Wensley, #Metoo Activist
“I’m incredibly heartened by the great work ALWU is taking on, and the energy and vision of its members. Positive culture change doesn’t just happen by accident. It takes effort and work and positive support networks. I totally support this kaupapa.” Zoë Prebble, Lecturer, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington