About QLS Awards

Queensland Law Society's Legal Profession Awards shine a light on the exemplary efforts of Queensland's legal professionals. They provide the opportunity for outstanding solicitors, teams and organisations to showcase their ingenuity and contribution to both the legal profession and the broader community. The awards highlight our steadfast support of good law, good lawyers, for the public good.

Nominations are accepted only via this online platform, which allows us to conduct a full review of every nomination before judging. Each nomination will go through a detailed and independent review to assess merit, ensure the nomination form has been completed correctly, and that each submission clearly meets the strict criteria and guidelines of our awards.

Awards open for nomination

This award recognises two individuals in our legal community—one from private practice and one from legal assistance, government or not-for-profit sectors—who have made outstanding contributions to improving fair and equal access to justice for all through advocacy, leadership, innovation and influence. They have demonstrated a passion and commitment for access to justice and/or pro-bono activities, leading to better outcomes for individuals and/or communities.

The First Nations Solicitor of the Year Award celebrates and highlights an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander practitioner for their leadership and contribution to justice outcomes for First Nations people in Queensland. Through their work, they have demonstrated a passion for the advancement of First Nations people and their communities and their commitment to change and advocacy has resulted in meaningful impacts on the legal rights and interests of the First Nations people in Queensland.

Highlighting exceptional results in study and contribution to improved justice outcomes for First Nations communities, the First Nations Student Award recognises a law student with passion, dedication and positivity. Whilst establishing the foundations of a future career, this student also has a focus on how they can use their legal knowledge to help advance First Nations people and their communities.

Lawyers have a special responsibility for upholding the rule of law which thereby underpins peace, order and security within society. The President's medal distinguishes an individual at the pinnacle of their career who goes above and beyond to uphold the core values of our profession. This award recognises an experienced legal practitioner who has shown great integrity, courage, and responsibility through their commitment to continual improvement of the profession and of themselves.

This award is named after Queensland's first admitted female solicitor—Agnes McWhinney. An ordinary woman who broke new ground—an accidental hero. In the tradition of it's namesake this award recognises a woman who has facilitated a pathway in the profession for those around her. It also recognises how their ordinary commitment and service to the profession or community has an extraordinary affect.

The QLS Emerging Leader Award encourages and supports emerging lawyers on their journey in the field of law. It recognises a high-performing practitioner with outstanding leadership attributes and a thirst for knowledge and improvement. The award seeks to acknowledge the contribution of an emerging lawyer who has displayed an exceptional aptitude for the practice of law and has actively contributed to the profession in a meaningful and impactful way.

The award recognises a regional practitioner for their outstanding commitment to their local profession and community. Their significant contribution personally and professionally has had a positive impact on their community, instilling confidence and enhancing the reputation of the profession in their region. An individual who's professional excellence and fidelity to their profession and region inspires others.

The award recognises a commitment to equity, diversity and wellness initiatives, events and/or activities. The award is presented to one legal practice of any size and one individual, who promotes sustainable, healthy workplace cultures in the profession and embraces workplace diversity and inclusion in a meaningful way.

There will be two winners for this category:
  • one individual winner
  • one organisational winner

Awards closed for nomination

This award recognises and rewards outstanding activities in the prevention of domestic violence in Queensland. The award recognises the contribution, commitment and professionalism of an individual in the Queensland legal profession who has worked in this space.

The award encourages those who have a demonstrated commitment to addressing domestic violence and advocated for change within workplaces, through fundraising, academia, the legal and/or social systems.

Nominations for this award will open in mid-late 2020.

The award recognises the outstanding contribution, commitment and professionalism of an Accredited Specialist in the Queensland legal profession.

Nominees should be Accredited Specialists who have demonstrated a commitment to the QLS community of Accredited Specialists through leadership, education, promotion and awareness of the Specialist Accreditation brand.

The award will be open to those whose accreditation is aligned with the speciality areas of accreditation for that year. In 2019, the areas of accreditation are (and open to Accredited Specialists in the areas of):

  • Family Law
  • Succession Law
  • Property Law
  • Taxation Law

The Outstanding Accredited Specialist Award will be presented to the winner on Thursday, 12 December at Brisbane City Hall during the Specialist Accreditation Christmas Breakfast with the Chief Justice.