National Friends Panel

The National Friends Panel is a New Zealand Law Society service. The Panel is made up of New Zealand lawyers who are willing to be contacted on a confidential basis by fellow lawyers with questions or concerns relating to practice issues.

Why you might want to contact a Panel member

Solving the problems of others is an integral part of being a lawyer. If you yourself are worried by something related to your work as a lawyer, if you’re having finding it hard to balance work demands with your family or friends, or if you have concerns totally unrelated to your work, you could find it helpful to discuss things with someone who understands the pressures of life as a lawyer.

These can include:

  • Workplace issues (such as bullying, communication, workload, career advancement or other employment-related matters);
  • Financial problems (personal or firm-related);
  • Partnership issues;
  • Tax problems;
  • Trust account problems;
  • Work/life balance;
  • Problem clients, files, judges or other counsel;
  • Office management;
  • Ethical issues;
  • Health and state of mind;
  • Using an alternate/attorney;
  • Where to next in my career?

What should you expect if you contact a Panel member?

National Friends Panel members will listen to you on a completely confidential basis. They may be able to draw on their own experience to suggest a way to approach the issues which are troubling you, or they may be able to refer you to someone else. You will definitely have someone who wants to listen and to discuss things. The Panel members are not there to judge you – and they are not going to provide you with free legal advice: the National Friends Panel is there to provide support to members of the legal profession from other members of the legal profession.

Confidentiality

Your contact with any member of the Panel will be totally confidential. The National Friends Panel is a means of putting lawyers in touch with experienced lawyers on a one-to-one basis.

How to contact a Panel member

A list of all members of the National Friends Panel is available here.

The information is presented as a list, with Panel members shown by Law Society branch and then in alphabetical order. Each entry provides the following details of each panelist:

  • Firm or Practice name;
  • Phone;
  • Email;
  • Location (ie, Law Society branch);
  • Areas of practice;
  • Practice issues for which the Panel member is able to offer assistance.
  • Make contact in the way you feel most comfortable.

How to become a Panel member

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Law Society's National Friends Panel, please complete the registration form. Completion of this form means you accept the right of the Law Society to make inquiries as to your experience and qualifications to be a Panel member. Such inquiries will be completely confidential.

Inquiries and further information

Further information on the New Zealand Law Society National Friends Panel may be obtained by emailing practisingwell@lawsociety.org.nz or phone (04) 472 7837.

Download

Download the National Friends Panel factsheet (PDF, 65.2 KB)