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Now, for all those estate lawyers out there, have you ever had that request made by a client?

We probably go one step back and ask how many solicitors have come to you to draft their estate planning suite of documents. Just like so many doctors who ignore their own health, so many lawyers ignore their own legal situations. If you are in that category, then quickly contact our referral service to get a solicitor and get advice. Please don’t act for yourself.

But if we overcome that hurdle, then what would a legacy to the profession look like? What would be the gift to give our profession that would make it truly grateful that we had been part of it?

To me, the legacy we all can leave is ensuring we adhere to those broad ethical principles, the ones that are hard to define but are so vital to our work. Think of the first few Conduct Rules – rules 3, 4 and 5. That is where these principles are laid out. The later rules tend to be more specific examples of these principles.

To paraphrase those first rules:

Rule 3 – uphold justice in our society

Rule 4 – be a good, decent solicitor

Rule 5 – be a good, decent human being who happens to be a solicitor

If we adhere to these fundamental principles, then we will leave a legacy to the profession far more lasting than any bronze statue. We will leave a legacy of a more collegiate profession, one that is respected for the work it does. It will make practice that much easier for those who come after us.

What a legacy we can leave our profession.

Linden Barnes is a Senior Ethics Solicitor at the Law Society of NSW