Joanne van der Plaat

Country Member


Joanne is currently the Treasurer of the NSW Law Society. She states, "There is no doubt that our professional services landscape is rapidly changing. Different ways of doing business and competitors are emerging, technology is outpacing regulation and enhancing the way we do business. With these changes, comes increased pressure on time, regulatory compliance, revenue and our ability to maintain a healthy work/life balance.

Joanne encourages and supports members from all segments of the profession to utilise the services the Law Society offers. She has a strong focus on rural practice and appreciates the issues facing members who are based in those areas.

She says, “the Law Society has a key role to play in continuing to ensure practitioners, particularly in rural areas, have access to practical information and software which enable them to enhance their technological capabilities”.

How practices cope and adapt, particularly in rural areas where access to resources is an issue, continues to be a focus for Joanne. She believes our Law Society is able to commit to more affordable, accessible and topical CPD so practitioners do not have to leave their practices to comply with their regulatory requirements.

Supporting practitioners in their supervision of graduate lawyers, facilitating the recruitment and retention of highly skilled staff in rural areas, promoting the eradication of workplace and judicial bullying and continuing to press for an increase in the legal aid rate paid to private practitioners are all issues Joanne continues to advocate for.

As a member of the Professional Conduct Committee for the past 7 years, Joanne has an acute awareness of the role the Law Society has to play in supporting practitioners balance regulatory compliance with competing client interests. Demystifying the complaints process is a focus for Joanne and her recent seminars highlight some of ways in which lawyers can work smarter when facing regulatory scrutiny.

Promoting alternative ways of working, such as remote and flexible work are also priorities for Joanne. Joanne is fortunate to partner with her Firm in providing flexible work arrangements. Whether it be part time work, working from home, having side hustles or taking a mental health day, Joanne views these arrangements as part of the changing nature of beneficial work delivery.

Our Law Society has an important role to play in supporting the profession. "As a Councillor I remain committed to ensuring we advocate for better outcomes, develop initiatives aimed at the issues critical to the profession as a whole and positively respond to the issues affecting particular sections of the profession and I would really appreciate your consideration of my re-election", says Joanne.

Joanne's Priorities:

  1. Continuing to press for an increase to the legal aid rate paid to private practitioners
  2. Ensuring rural practitioners have access to practical information and software which enhances their technological capabilities and assists business development and succession planning
  3. Promotion of remote and flexible work and its benefits to both the employer and employee
  4. Commitment to providing affordable, accessible and current CPD
  5. Streamline the disciplinary process surrounding complaints and ensuring practitioners receive support
  6. Developing an appropriate framework for graduates to undertake vocational training in rural NSW to encourage careers in rural practice