Welcome to the first CLEAA newsletter of 2014. Hope the year is starting well for you. I must say that every year at this time I am reminded of the opening line of Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” – “It was the best of times and the worst of times …” as we juggle the intensity of the end of CPD year, summer clerk and graduate programs or simply getting the year underway after a summer break.
You will see in the newsletter we are delighted to announce the dates for the 2014 Annual Conference in Sydney – Jan Christie firstname.lastname@example.org and the Conference Committee welcome your ideas for topics and speakers.
CLEAA has a number of other activities for members conducted via other committees and there are plenty of opportunities for you to contribute and let us know what you would like from CLEAA . By way of quick report
Local events: Plans are well underway for local networking events. Catherine Kenny and John Hanley from Queensland are setting the pace with dates already set and NSW, VIC, SA and NZ will follow shortly. If you can host a meeting or have an idea for a topic or speaker, please contact Jacquelyn Simon email@example.com
National Reform: NSW and VIC are set to have uniform legal profession regulation by mid year and CLEAA is monitoring intentions in relation to uniform CPD Rules. If you know anything, Graham Jobling firstname.lastname@example.org would like to hear from you.
Membership: We are looking at the membership structure and how to deal with multiple members from the same organisation. C LEAA is always on the lookout for new members and opportunities to reconnect with alumni who are spread far and wide. If you have ideas about structure then Dick Edwards email@example.com would like to hear from you and if you have names of colleagues to share then let Heather Hibberd firstname.lastname@example.org know.
Newsletter: CLEAA members are involved in interesting work and come across interesting insights so drop Dick Edwards email@example.com a line if have something to share or a topic you would like to hear about.
Website: Where are our tech savvy members? Our website desperately needs and update and we have WordPress version in test mode but need volunteers to give us some feedback. If you or someone you know is into technology or social media then get in touch with me
In a voluntary organisation, the key to success lies in many hands making light work. Every small contribution to our activities is greatly appreciated.
Ronwyn North firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark your diaries now – CLEAA Conference 2014
This year, the CLEAA Conference moves to Sydney. The theme is “Challenging Ourselves”. Please block out 16 & 17 October in your calendars, and join us as we explore the many ways we can challenge ourselves as L&D professionals. Keep an eye out for more information about our exciting speakers over the coming months.
Introducing Executive Member Heather Hibberd
As a risk manager for lawyers I feel I straddle various worlds, the legal world, the education world and the management world. I often tell people I have the best job as I get to be a lawyer but without having to worry about managing clients.
I started out in practice in a large law firm working in the insurance area where my main client was the insurer for lawyers in Victoria, the Solicitors Liability Committee, as it was called back then. It was a fascinating (and sometimes terrifying) insight for a young lawyer into many different areas of law and the multitude of things that can go wrong. In 1999 I was given an opportunity to go on secondment to the insurer, which had been renamed the Legal Practitioners’ Liability Committee, to write some risk management booklets. I enjoyed the challenge of educating lawyers and trying to prevent the mistakes that I had been seeing for the previous eight years so much that I stayed on as a permanent employee.
The constant challenge in risk management education is how to say the same thing (because we continually see the same sorts of mistakes) in a new and interesting way that lawyers will be open to ‘hearing’.
In my time at the LPLC I have written our regular quarterly newsletter, In Check, written and edited various further editions of the original booklets I went there to write, and contributed many articles to the Law Institute Journal. As part of our programme we visit country Victoria every year and speak at somewhere between 8 and 12 regional centres. We do the same seminar at each centre but it changes each time as we pick up more information from the audiences at each centre. I always feel like we learn as much from the audience as they learn from us. We also run an all-day city seminar and each year I try to add at least one session that is ‘a bit different’ either in presentation style of topic. I always find it interesting the feedback on those ‘different’ seminars as some lawyers really like and appreciate them and some are quite challenged by them. It appears to me that on the whole lawyers do like to attend face to face education sessions and they get a lot out of the interaction with their peers and the presenters.
I initially discovered and joined CLEAA when the conference was held in Melbourne in 2009. I was blown away by the enthusiasm and commitment that everyone at the conference had to legal education and the information and ideas the conference presented. I have been to each of the conferences since then and always with great anticipation and have not been disappointed. I was fortunate to co-chair the conference committee in 2012 with a great group of people which was a terrific leaning experience and an opportunity to meet and get to know so many talented people. I am excited to be on the executive at this time of new developments both within CLEAA and the wider legal world and I look forward to working with the CLEAA community in 2014.
Uniform Legal Profession Regulation – Uniform CPD Rules for NSW and Victoria
On 6 December 2013 the Attorney-Generals of NSW and Victoria released a joint media statement relating to the Uniform Legal Profession Regulation. One of the aims of the uniform scheme is to create a single set of rules governing continuing professional development (CPD) requirements across NSW and Victoria.
The media statement can be found at: http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/images/stories/documents/mediareleases/2013/December/131206_Clark-Smith_-_NSW_and_Victoria_sign_up_to_uniform_legal_profession_regulation.pdf
CLEAA has informally expressed an interest in being involved in the process to develop the uniform CPD rules. CLEAA supported the National CPD Guidelines developed by the National CPD Taskforce that were released in September 2007 and several members of CLEAA were represented on the Taskforce. As the major association for practitioners involved in the provision of CPD to the legal profession in Australasia CLEAA is a key stakeholder of legal CPD and we can offer relevant expertise to assist with the process to develop these rules.
To assist with this CLEAA has established a National Reform Sub-committee convened by Graham Jobling (email@example.com). If you are interested in being involved please contact Graham.
7 time Maximing tips for 2014
Below is the ling to a blog from Jason Selk, a contributor to Forbes magazine. It contains helpful, instantly applicable tips for increasing effectiveness in less than a page and a half.
SRA proposes a modified CPD regime for Solicitors in England and Wales
The Legal Education and Training Review (LETR) process and report continues to give rise to consultation papers , the latest of which is on CPD.
The LETR report suggested that the current “tick the box” type scheme for English and Welsh solicitors was:
- Overly-prescriptive and inflexible
- Concentrated on compliance
- Did not take into account the various contexts within which solicitors work
- Was difficult to enforce in a meaningful way.
The paper suggests three options for change. The preferred option is radical, building upon current regulations requiring regulated entities and individuals to deliver competent legal services and to train and supervise their staff. Thus the proposal involves planning and reflecting on development opportunities with an annual declaration of individual compliance and of competence with no prescribed minimum hours of CPD. The other two options are more prescriptive.
The whole paper of 15 pages is well worth a read and can be found at
Challenge to Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates (QASA) Scheme fails
The QASA scheme was developed by the three legal-professions regulators in England in Wales for commencement at the end of 2013 and roll out through to the middle of 2014. It is a fairly complex scheme assessing advocates’ performance in court, including assessments by the judiciary.
Judicial Review proceedings were issued by barristers seeking to overturn the scheme. The High Court’s judgment in late January dismissed the application whilst accepting some of the concerns of the claimants. The Court made 4 suggestions to improve the scheme. The regulators have delayed the full implementation and will modify the rules and the scheme’s handbook (to be reissued in February 2014). Anyone interested in reading more about the scheme can do so at http://www.qasa.org.uk/ .
A Letter from Canada“My My Myanmar: Bye Bye Burma”
CLEAA member, Neil Gold, who presented two sessions at our 2013 conference, left shortly after returning to Vancouver from Brisbane to complete a contract on legal education in Myanmar. He is precluding from reporting on his work there but here are some comments from him on visiting this intriguing country
That’s my story too — the one in the URL above; and I’m sticking to it. So, if after reading the material at this link you have learned or read all you want, thank you for your attention.
In December, shortly after the wonderful CLEAA conference in Brisbane I was asked to visit Burma (Please correct me if I am mistaken: I believe for the Australian government the official name is “Burma”, as the Generals who renamed it were and are, according to the Aussie government, an illegal government established by coup d’état.). Sometimes I’ve heard “Burma (The Union of Burma), also known as Myanmar (The Union of Myanmar)”, and vice versa (hereinafter BakaM). It’s hard to say by whom the name game will be won, but the title tells you my prediction. I think the people don’t want the name a former colonial power gave their poly-ethnic country.
BakaM has states and regions. It is situated between Thailand and Bangladesh (E to W) with China to the north and Laos on the northeast. The waters of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea front the country. I am told it has beautiful countrysides and amazing historic treasures.
BakaM is a multi-ethnic agglomeration of territories that is predominantly Buddhist with Muslims in specific areas, Hindus and a few Christians. Even Nobel Prize winning Daw Aung Suu Kyi has for political reasons failed to support this badly treated minority, largely because although they live within the territorial boundaries of the country they are not entitled to citizenship; but this is for another conversation. I found out that all whites are thought to be Christian (what else?) and so the restaurant staff introduced me to to all locals present who were about to celebrate Christmas. As some of you may know, I do not celebrate Christmas; Hanukkah has not found its way to BakaM.
I was invited to Nay Pyi Taw the instant capital city described at the URL above. That’s the location of the Union Attorney General’s Office where I was to work for about 18 days.
Nay Pyi Taw is served by an airport that Ottawa (Sadly, I haven’t been to Canberra in years.) would be proud to have. It’s fine high, even majestic, polished stone walls and floors glisten day and night, tended to by a corps of mop slinging staff who assure that the untrodden walks are always shining brightly. Tall, sparkling glass divides passenger zones from the area for those leaving off or picking up. Flights from/to Nay Pyi Taw are few and far between. It is an airport in search of a mission. Here is something to give you a sense of it. I urge you to watch it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSN_ROsTHxE
The area around Nay Pyi Taw is clean and neat, awkwardly nearly antiseptic providing no insight into how the Burmese live. There are multi lane roadways held together by a series of roundabouts connecting hotel zones, government residential areas and ministries by more roads. There are bright shopping centres for the few who can shop there, now accepting credit cards that few are able to acquire. The twenty-lane freeway travelling in front of its huge legislative agglomeration (below) is a landing strip for planes when there may be a need. The assembly is not yet democratically elected as the military retain a large portion of the seats and there are limitations on who may run for office or serve as president, now all under review I am told.
We all know that the real cities in Asia have grit, texture, smells and sights to overload many observers. The small community of Lewe, adjacent to one of the Nay Pyi Taw freeways was served by dirt roads passing by small shop and house fronts apparently unaware of the capital city it abuts. Kyar Ksaw, my guide, companion and driver took me to his little shop in Lewe. There I saw colourful t-shirts, skirts, dresses and longy (sarongs). I am still trying to put my tube of material on. I was delighted to have met his very charming young daughter and enterprising store manager wife. In Lewe we went to the Manchester United café where Premier League football keeps the locals awake weekends and play days.
The Rangoon Law School may reopen soon. It was closed along with the rest of the university in 1996 due to student unrest and demonstrations against the Generals. Ironically, the BakaM National
Legal education in BakaM has been weak for a long time. With the leading university closed since 1996 and other legal education limited to wrote learning in English by non-English speakers delivered by non-English speaking lecturers. Here you think I jest. But nowhere in this brief letter from Canada do I fabricate the facts.
So, if you go to BakaM and only visit Nay Pyi Taw you have no idea what the country is really like. There is so much nothing to see there, except semiotically, in which case it speaks Wikipediae — I’m not sure why the capital used to be off limits to visitors. The fact that large aircraft can land in front of the main buildings of government (image above) that stretch for hectares fronting the twenty-lane roadway that has no median green of any kind may be a clue.
I wish I had been able to talk to you about BakaM, the real BakaM. And even more I wish I could have told you about my work there. Alas, I cannot do the former because I didn’t see BakaM in Nay Pyi Taw and I cannot do the latter as I signed a very tight confidentiality agreement. If you are disappointed, imagine how I feel having travelled literally half way around the world for many hours!
Tips for giving a killer presentation in Harvard Business Review
Following the 2013 conference Caitlin (our administrator) sent a number of links to papers and the like mentioned by various speakers at the conference. One was this HBR article referred to by Una Doyle and Jan Christie in their presentation. It’s so good, it’s worth resending to those of you who were not at the conference. https://archive.harvardbusiness.org/cla/web/pl/product.seam?c=26641&i=26643&cs=50619f968050ecb6fe6f0d041aec08bc .