He might laugh it off as a minor accomplishment, but Bill Meehan is among few to be recognised by the Law Society of NSW for 50 years service to the legal profession.
The Campbelltown lawyer started his career in 1951 as a junior clerk in the Court of Petty Sessions, worked as a coroner in Taree and progressed up the ranks to be become a magistrate in September 1967.
In those days, Mr Meehan said, one could not become a magistrate until they were 35 years old.
“At the time I was the youngest magistrate they’d ever had – I was 35 and 11 days,” he said.
“In those days it was a career progression, you were groomed for the bench.”
He retired from that position in 1994 and began working with sons John and Paul at their own legal firm.
The now 83-year-old still works full-time at Meehans Solicitors.
“John was always going to do law,” Mr Meehan said.
“And when Paul finished school he went to work with John.
“Then Paul’s daughter Brittany wanted to be a lawyer and she works with us too.”
Mr Meehan said he rarely sees clients anymore, but running the office and coming to work each day gives him “a reason to get out of bed in the morning”.
He’s been meaning to retire for years, but will stretch it out for as long as he has the passion.
He is proud his family has followed his footsteps into law and is honoured they have chosen his line of work.
“I love law because I can have a hand in helping people with a problem,” he said.
“People come to me for advice and I get to meet lots of people.
“It’s a pretty engaging profession.
“They rely on what you say in lots of cases.”
Mr Meehan is a founding member – and life member – of the Campbelltown Catholic Club.
He is married to the love of his life, Valerie, who is also heavily involved in the community.