This prestigious event recognises individual excellence in the law, from the profession's most senior ranks to its rising stars. It also celebrates trailblazers in legal business that have challenged traditional models and found better ways to practise law.

In response to the rapid reshaping of Australia's legal marketplace over the past decade, this year's awards program casts a wide net to not only capture new market players, but to also recognise the contributions of the legal profession's quiet achievers.

Across 33 major categories (detailed below), lawyers, teams and firms are invited to participate by lodging a submission that showcases their professional performance, leadership capabilities, ability to influence the client experience, and personal achievements.

To lodge your submission, please set up your account and follow the steps detailed.

Entry requirements

  • Entrants must address all submission questions and may provide up to two optional third-party references.
  • There is a 400-word limit per question. If you exceed this, the system will not allow you to lodge your submission.
  • Please provide and refer to any attached supporting material, for the judges' consideration. This material may differ depending on the category and can include images, statistics, media coverage and other relevant information. If documents are not directly referenced and relevant to your submission, they will be disregarded. You may submit a maximum of FOUR additional supporting documents to strengthen your entry, unless directly requested.
  • The deadline for entries is 5.30pm, 22 June 2018.

Important dates to remember:

  • 21 May 2018 – Submissions open; Click here to lodge your submission.
  • 22 June 2018 – Submissions close 5:30pm
  • Mid July – Finalists announced, and judging commences
  • 31 August 2018 – Event date

Categories

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

The development of the next generation of lawyers is fundamental to the growth of the industry - and academics have a major responsibility for cultivating this talent.

This award recognises the academic who is most effectively shaping legal undergraduate and JD students, instilling a passion for the law, professional excellence and expertise.

It is open to all academics teaching at an undergraduate or JD level at an approved tertiary institution over FY17-18.

As independent advocates and advisers, members of the bar influence the evolution of law in Australia.

This award recognises outstanding performance by an individual practising at the bar.

It is open to all barristers, including silks, who practised within Australia during FY17-18.

While business development managers are not part of a firm's legal team, they play a critical role in bringing clients through the door - and keeping them.

This award recognises outstanding performance by an individual who has generated new or repeat business for a law firm and/or has cultivated client relationships.

It is open to business development and/or client managers within law firms across Australia.

Dealmakers are intrinsically linked to their firms' fortunes.

This award recognises outstanding performance by an individual who has acted on one or more transactions over FY17-18.

It is open to individual partners or principals in transaction-based practices.

General counsel occupy important management roles within companies and government departments, acting as both legal and commercial advisers to business leaders.

This award recognises superior in-house performance and leadership.

It is open to all general counsel or heads of legal based in Australia.

In-house lawyers are at the coalface of a company's day-to-day operations, influencing both legal and business decisions.

This award recognises outstanding performance by an individual working in-house, including corporate and public sector lawyers.

It is open to all lawyers working as a dedicated in-house lawyer, embedded on full-time secondment, or working as a flexible legal services professional who does not hold the position of general counsel or head of legal. The individual must be fully integrated into the entity and not conduct any work on any private practice matters.

In the toughest graduate job market in history, law students are performing beyond expectations to guarantee their entry into the legal profession.

This award recognises the academic, community and legal achievements of undergraduates.

It is open to current law students and those who graduated in 2018.

The outstanding results produced by legal teams are only possible due to the efforts of support staff.

This award recognises the team members who provide invaluable contributions to their firms, whether that be in a legal secretary, personal assistant or paralegal role.

It is open to all non-lawyer support staff at law firms who worked in their role during FY17-18.

The marks of an effective managing partner are a thriving business and an engaged workforce.

This award recognises superior law firm performance and leadership.

It is open to any managing partner (or managing partner equivalent) within a private practice firm.

Successful partners are not only profitable, they also foster a positive work culture within their practice group.

This award recognises outstanding performance by an individual at partner level within a private practice law firm.

It is open to any partner (or partner equivalent).

Regional lawyers are integral to their communities, whether they are a sole practitioner or a partner in the country office of a major firm.

This award recognises outstanding performance by an individual practising in suburban, regional or remote Australia.

It is open to all lawyers practising more than five kilometres from a capital city CBD.

The first few years of legal practice are critical to the future success of a lawyer. Those who demonstrate potential can fast-track their rise through the ranks.

This award recognises outstanding performance by an individual who has recently commenced his or her legal career.

It is open to lawyers of any age who are in their first five years of practice.

Making partner is the holy grail for senior associates, but only strong performers are offered the coveted position.

This award recognises outstanding performance by an individual at senior associate level within a private practice law firm.

It is open to lawyers who held the position of senior associate in FY17-18.

Lawyers working in Australia's sole practices often have a profound impact on the lives of their clients.

This award recognises outstanding performance by an individual who has chosen to roll out their own practice.

It is open to all legal sole practitioners practising in Australia who do not have more than three other junior personnel working for them.

Special counsels are in the prime of their careers, set apart by their exceptional achievements.

This award recognises outstanding performance by an individual at special counsel level within a private practice law firm.

It is open to lawyers who currently hold the position of special counsel.

TEAM AWARDS

Teams that collaborate effectively not only meet the urgent needs of their clients, they are also more likely to be thought leaders in their fields of practice.

This award recognises the achievements of banking and finance teams.

It is open to banking and finance practices within law firms, as well as firms that specialise in banking and finance.

Teams that collaborate effectively not only meet the urgent needs of their clients, they are also more likely to be thought leaders in their fields of practice.

This award recognises the achievements of commercial teams working in both large and small firms.

It is open to commercial practice groups within law firms, as well as firms that specialise in commercial deals.

Teams that collaborate effectively not only meet the urgent needs of their clients, they are also more likely to be thought leaders in their fields of practice.

This award recognises the achievements of dispute resolution teams.

It is open to dispute resolution practice groups within law firms, as well as firms that specialise in dispute resolution.

Teams that collaborate effectively not only meet the urgent needs of their clients, they are also more likely to be thought leaders in their fields of practice.

This award recognises the achievements of energy and resources teams.

It is open to energy and resources practices within law firms, as well as firms that specialise in energy and resources.

Teams that collaborate effectively not only meet the urgent needs of their clients, they are also more likely to be thought leaders in their fields of practice.

This award recognises the achievements of government teams.

It is open to government practices within law firms, as well as firms that specialise in providing legal services to government.

In-house teams are often the source of innovative ideas that deliver enormous value to their organisation.

This award recognises the achievements of in-house teams. It is open to any team working as a dedicated in-house team, embedded on full-time secondment. The team must be fully integrated into the entity and not conduct any work on any private practice matters.

It is open to in-house teams in both the private and public sectors.

Teams that collaborate effectively not only meet the urgent needs of their clients, they are also more likely to be thought leaders in their fields of practice.

This award recognises the achievements of insurance teams.

It is open to insurance practices within law firms, as well as firms that specialise in insurance.

Teams that collaborate effectively not only meet the urgent needs of their clients, they are also more likely to be thought leaders in their fields of practice.

This award recognises the achievements of intellectual property teams.

It is open to IP practices within law firms, as well as firms that specialise in IP.

Teams that collaborate effectively not only meet the urgent needs of their clients, they are also more likely to be thought leaders in their fields of practice.

This award recognises the achievements of property teams.

It is open to property practices within law firms, as well as firms that specialise in construction and real estate.

Teams that collaborate effectively not only meet the urgent needs of their clients, they are also more likely to be thought leaders in their fields of practice.

This award recognises the achievements of transaction-based teams.

It is open to M&A and corporate practice groups within law firms, as well as firms that specialise in M&A and/or corporate deals.

Teams that collaborate effectively not only meet the urgent needs of their clients, they are also more likely to be thought leaders in their fields of practice.

This award recognises the achievements of workplace relations and employment teams.

It is open to workplace relations and employment practices within law firms, or firms that specialise in workplace relations/employment.

FIRM AWARDS

Boutique firms are pioneering innovative practices that are challenging the structure and culture of traditional firms.

This award recognises outstanding performance by a boutique firm.

It is open to all firms who identify themselves as a boutique.

Taking care of employees has become a top business priority for law firms that recognise the link between a positive culture and a high-performing workforce.

This award recognises firms and legal departments that have demonstrated a commitment to their workforce over FY17-18 via at least one significant employee initiative.

It is open to all law firms and in-house teams.

In today's competitive legal market, innovation is essential in standing out from the crowd.

This award recognises firms and legal departments that have successfully implemented innovative projects and/or strategic initiatives in FY17-18.

It is open to all legal services providers operating within Australia.

One of the highlights of the Australian Law Awards, this award recognises outstanding performance by a law firm in Australia.

It is open to all law firms.

NewLaw firms are becoming a gamechanger in the legal profession, challenging the traditional law firm model in numerous ways.

This award recognises outstanding performance by a NewLaw firm in FY17-18.

It is open to all firms who identify themselves as a NewLaw firm.

The legal profession has long supported the wider community through pro bono work, demonstrating a commitment to ensuring all members of society have access to legal representation.

This award recognises firms and legal departments that have demonstrated a commitment to the community over FY17-18 via at least one significant pro bono initiative.

It is open to all law firms and in-house teams.

Regional and suburban firms play a vital role for clients often overlooked by the big end of town.

This award recognises outstanding performance by a law firm operating in regional, remote or suburban Australia.

It is open to all law firms based more than five kilometres from a capital city CBD.

Lawyers Weekly Excellence Award