On 28 May 2018, the New Zealand Law Society released the results of its Workplace Environment Survey, which revealed that nearly one in every five lawyers have been sexually harassed in a legal working environment (31% of women and 5% of men). 40% of women lawyers and 55% of young women lawyers had been sexually harassed in the last five years. Around 21% of lawyers had been bullied in the preceding six months, and these numbers rose to 35% and 34% for Pasifika and Māori lawyers, respectively.
The report demonstrates the extent and seriousness of the issues facing the NZ law profession. By the end of 2018, few denied that the culture of the legal profession needed to change. This project seeks to continue the conversation about culture change in the legal profession by asking the next question: how? What needs to occur in order to make a meaningful difference?