It is scarcely believable that LAG turns 45 this month. I know I speak for all lawyers, advisers and others with an interest in social justice in celebrating the fact that it is still a beacon in both the national and our personal landscapes. Throughout the political twists and turns of the past 45 years, LAG has been there, a source of inspiration and a rallying point for the values we hold.
I’ve been in practice for 42 of those 45 years, and I could not have survived without the training LAG has provided, not to mention the books, the articles, the editorials. I still get the same frisson of excitement when the latest Legal Action lands on my desk as I did when the unprepossessing but vital grey-paged journal arrived in the 1970s.
Its educational legacy alone would more than justify its existence, but it is LAG’s policy and campaigning activities that really set it apart. For so long, we have depended on LAG to promote the cause of access to justice, to call out government for its failures and to make the case for reform. Its policy work consistently makes an impact out of all proportion to its size and resources.
Some of us may be in denial about our age, but for LAG it is a cause of joy and affirmation. There can be few groups that are held in the degree of respect and affection that we, the LAG community, feel for this organisation.
We owe an immense debt of gratitude, tinged with awe, to all the past and present staff and committee members who have nurtured the organisation on the slenderest of resources, and continue to do so. Congratulations, LAG. We look forward to the half-century – but not too quickly …