A Letterkenny woman has been appointed as the 151st President of Law Society of Ireland.
Michelle Ní Longáin will start her role as President for the year 2021/2022, with effect from today.
Ms Ní Longáin is a senior partner in one of Ireland’s largest law firms, ByrneWallace LLP, where she advises clients on employment, equality and administrative law.
She becomes the 151st President of the Law Society, and the fifth woman to serve in the role.
Ms Ní Longáin will serve a one-year term as president of the 22,500 strong Irish solicitors’ profession until November 2022, while continuing to practice as a solicitor with ByrneWallace.
Ms Ní Longáin said: “It is a privilege to serve as President of the Law Society, and as the fifth woman to lead the Irish solicitors’ profession, this too is a privilege.
“I am particularly mindful of the importance of representation for our future female legal leaders, and look forward to building upon the progress made in this area by my predecessors.”
Outlining core priorities for her term in office, Ms Ní Longáin highlighted a focus on continuing to progress gender equality, diversity and inclusion in the solicitors’ profession.
“Looking ahead, we know that the future of this profession is more diverse and more inclusive at all career stages,” she said.
“A key priority for me over the coming year is promoting gender equality, diversity, inclusion and increased access to the profession, including at leadership levels. I believe that this is very important to ensure that there are more diverse voices in the room.
“As chairperson of the Law Society’s Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, I have worked with my colleagues to position diversity as a cornerstone of the profession. Significant progress has been made in recent years and I am committed to driving this agenda forward during the next 12 months.”
“Health and wellbeing is another key area I am committed to enhancing during my term. It is vital that our members are empowered to access available supports that will help to protect their personal mental health and wellbeing,” the new President continued.
“How the Law Society responds to the urgent priority of climate justice will also be an important focus of mine during the year ahead. We will focus on supporting our members to help them become more sustainable in their practices,” she stated.
Ms Ní Longáin has been a member of the Council of the Law Society of Ireland since 2004.