ILANZ, In-House Lawyers Association of New Zealand


President's Column - August 2020

President's Column - August 2020


Kia ora koutou


2020 has been a lesson in how the best laid plans can be disrupted, as we encounter new and unfamiliar environments. For many of us, the busyness of responding to COVID-19 will have overtaken carefully thought-out strategies and has defined much of our work in the short term. This month at ILANZ we are challenging ourselves to raise our heads above that immediate focus and consider what the longer-term future might hold.   


Learning together

In this Insider we share some reflections from a recent webinar with the Head of Ecosystem and Trend Scouting at Nokia, Leslie Shannon. Our thanks to Carin Holmes, Senior Legal Counsel, Oceania at Nokia for facilitating this session.  We also share some observations on life beyond the pandemic from Stephen Scheeler, former CEO of Facebook Australia and New Zealand.  Stephen will be speaking at the ILANZ conference in 2021.   


Virtual conference CPD opportunity

We have a number of CPD opportunities in the coming months for members, sometimes virtually and sometimes (alert level permitting) face to face.  Thanks to our collegial relationship with Association of Corporate Counsel Australia (ACC), we are also offering the opportunity for ILANZ members to attend the virtual ACC conference in November at ACC membership rates.  We know many of you rely on the ILANZ conference for some in-house focussed CPD and are delighted to share this alternative opportunity with you for 2020.  


Are you doing OK? How about your teammates?

We also share, this month, one of the Speakers in Slippers series offered by Celebrity Speakers.  Hear from Mike King, who works to ‘forever change the way people feel, think, talk and behave in relation to mental health’.


One in four lawyers are now practising in-house, but four out of four of us have mental health. As we move back down through the alert levels, now’s a great time to check in on ourselves—how we’re feeling, what are the triggers and signs that our mental health is suffering, and what kinds of people/places/activities have worked to boost our mental wellbeing in the past?


Or better yet, check in on a workmate, friend or loved one who you haven’t heard from in a while or are a bit worried about. The act of someone reaching out in kindness to check in could be the start of someone’s personal reflection or journey to recovery. If you’re not sure how to handle these conversations, you can use the A.L.E.C. acronym as a rough guide: Ask how they’re doing, gently asking a follow-up question if you get brushed off. Listen without judging, interrupting or solving if they do open up. Encourage them to the right support (eg. family, EAP, 1737, GP) or to join you in an activity that they might enjoy. Check in again later on to see how they’re going.


Looking to the future

In early October, our newly formed ILANZ Executive Committee will come together to formulate our strategy for ILANZ.  At the heart of that discussion is the needs and wants of our members and we’d love to hear your ideas and feedback via [email protected].  We look forward to sharing the outcome of our thinking and discussions with you in the near future.


Noho ora mai rā