The Aotearoa Legal Workers’ Union empowers members to organise their workplaces and pursue collective action to improve pay and conditions. As a union, we represent, protect and advocate for our colleagues across the private and public sectors.


The Aotearoa Legal Workers’ Union (ALWU) was established in 2019 by legal workers concerned about a wide range of workplace issues, such as sexual harassment, bullying, low pay, and a lack of overtime. Members understood that these and other problems in legal workplaces are aggravated by the power imbalance between legal employers and employees.

The union provides practical and technical support to help members organise their workplaces and pursue collective bargaining.

ALWU has campaigned on issues affecting all legal workers, leading to changes to the legal industry. Past campaigns have included minimum wage compliance, changes to professionals bonding clauses, living wage accreditation, improving the safety of legal workers from bullying, harassment and mistreatment at work, and ensuring legal employers are held accountable for poor conduct.

Each year ALWU surveys members about pay, conditions and wellbeing. The results are published to increase transparency about employment terms and working conditions in the legal industry. When a workplace issue arises, ALWU members have access to advocacy support and a pro bono panel of employment lawyers to provide advice, support, and representation.

ALWU is a union made up of legal workers in New Zealand. Any worker in the legal profession has a right to join ALWU. Employers cannot ask whether you are a member, and you do not have to tell them. You cannot be discriminated by against for ALWU membership or involvement in union activities.

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