In her speech, O’Boyle said that, coming from a two-solicitor practice in Sligo, one of her presidential themes this year is to identify ideas and means for smaller firms to thrive.
“I will continue to work hard to make a meaningful difference to all firms and, in particular, smaller firms,” she pledged.
Many female colleagues have the ability, the intellect and the drive to become leaders, and should use every opportunity to reach their potential, enabled by both employers and the Law Society, the president said.
“The law is, indeed, a noble calling. We must never ever forget what our calling is about. It is not about winning or losing.
"It is not about telling a client what he or she wants to hear. It is about finding real solutions to real problems. It is about ensuring justice is done, and seen to be done,” the Law Society President continued.
“An independent legal profession is an essential component of democracy -- independent of Government, independent of commercial interests, and independent of the media.
“This independence is not a privilege for lawyers; rather it is the right of citizens.”
Michele O’Boyle urged the lawyers present to remember to have a life outside of law, and to keep family and friends, interests and hobbies central to their lives.
At the dinner, SLA President Robert Baker paid warm tribute to his current firm, O’Donovan Baker, and in particular his partner John O’Donovan.
Baker is shortly going into business with his wife, Carol Jermyn. Carol already has her own firm (Carol Jermyn & Co), but the couple will soon be establishing the new firm, Jermyn Baker, at 50 South Mall, in Cork city centre.
Meanwhile, solicitor John Jermyn has been appointed as the Diocesan Registrar of the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross.
He has been appointed by the Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton, succeeding both his father and his grandfather in the role.
Mr Jermyn qualified as a solicitor in 2011 and practised with his family firm, Ronan Daly Jermyn, for seven years before moving in-house as legal counsel with fintech firm, Global Shares.
John Jermyn said: "I am very honoured to accept the position of Diocesan Registrar. This year marks the 100th year that a member of my family has held the role, and I am proud to follow in their footsteps.
"I look forward to working with Bishop Paul and his team for many years to come."