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Kylie Beckhouse named NSW Woman Lawyer of the Year

15 Aug 2017

Legal Aid NSW Family Law Director Kylie Beckhouse has been named NSW Woman Lawyer of the Year at the NSW Women Lawyers Achievement Awards 2017.

This prestigious award recognises women in law who demonstrate excellence in their chosen field, advocate for the legal rights of women, and contribute to the advancement of women within the legal profession through leadership.

Ms Beckhouse manages one of the largest specialist family law practices in Australia, leading a team in which nine out of 10 staff are women.

“My story is not dissimilar to the stories of thousands of women lawyers across Australia. I studied at Macquarie University in the late 80s, when we were celebrating women enrolling in law school in equal proportion to men,” Ms Beckhouse said.

“My first job as a solicitor was in private practice, at a time when women lawyers in NSW were outnumbered three to one by men.”

“Like many women before me, I made the switch to government law, in part because I had two small children at home and needed a more realistic work-life balance.”

“Today, I’m proud to say that almost half my staff make use of part-time or other flexible work arrangements.”

“Legal Aid NSW offers a collegial environment, challenging and interesting work, and wonderful women role models.”

“It is an absolute privilege in my role to identify gaps in legal services or in the way that vulnerable people access justice, and develop legal services to meet those needs – especially for women and children.”

Ms Beckhouse has been a strong voice advocating for the legal rights of women as Legal Aid NSW’s Family Law Director, and has overseen a significant expansion of services for the victims of domestic violence.

In May this year, she led the establishment in NSW of the Family Advocacy and Support Service, which puts lawyers who understand trauma on hand in some of the state's busiest family law courts. The service combines specialist legal support with social support to help families who have been affected by violence navigate the family law system.

She has long been recognised as an expert in the field of family violence and how it is dealt with in the family law system.

Media Contact: Sophie Tarr (02) 9213 5208 or 0419 212 334