From the Executive
The end of the CPD year…
Is it just me, or does the period of time between the end of the Christmas break and the end of the CPD year get smaller and smaller every year? No matter how hard we try to encourage lawyers to attend CPD throughout the whole year, many still believe that starting before 29 March is rushing things. The end of the CPD year is frequently the busiest time of year for L&D professionals. It doesn’t matter what your role is – provider, regulator, administrator, facilitator, in-house – it really does become the silly season.
As we launch into this year’s “festivities”, I would like to raise 3 CPD-related things for our consideration. The first is the proposed Continuing Professional Development Rules (Solicitors). The Law Council of Australia invited comment from interested parties on the proposed rules, and a submission was made by CLEAA. Our submission is available on the Law Council of Australia’s website, as well as our own (see the link below). I encourage all of our members to read the submission, and continue to let us know if you have any further comments and suggestions.
The Law Council’s website states that:
“Once the Law Council has considered the submissions it has received and made any amendments to the draft, a final draft will be submitted to the Legal Services Council. If the Legal Services Council approves the final draft of the rules as submitted, it may submit the proposed Uniform Rules to the Standing Committee of the Attorneys-General of New South Wales and Victoria.
CLEAA will obviously be keeping a very close eye on progress, and will continue to speak up in relation to the regulation of CPD.
The second CPD-related thing I wanted to draw to members’ attention is some correspondence in the NSW Law Society Journal. In December 2014, a letter writer applauded what he described as the UK getting rid of compulsory CPD, and suggested we should follow suit. In the February edition, we responded with a detailed description of what was actually happening in the UK, and threw out a challenge to discuss the future of CPD in NSW. My thanks to Ronwyn North for her excellent work on that correspondence. (see the link below to the letter).
This leads me to the third CPD-related thing. At this frantic time of year, it is easy to get caught up in ensuring lawyers “meet their units” and that everyone makes it to 1 April without collapsing from CPD-induced exhaustion. I think it is more important than ever for those of us who are legal L&D professionals to take a step back and focus on what we described in our letter to the LSJ as “the continuing learning, upskilling and retraining” required by the legal profession for success.
Let’s keep the discussion going – what is the future of CPD in the legal profession, and how can we influence that future?
Building a more interactive CLEAA community
Jonathan Seifman – the Executive member with responsibility for our social media presence and communications reports to members.
As quick introduction to those who don’t know me: I’m a newbie to the CLEAA Executive, and to be honest, I’m a bit of a newbie to CLEAA generally. I’ve been a member for less than two years, having started my own legal education business called Bulletpoints in 2013.
Since joining the CLEAA Executive, one of the areas I’ve taken on is to transform how CLEAA communicates to its’ members (and the wider legal community) and facilitates discussion amongst the community.
So, what’s happened so far on this journey…..
In November last year, I put the call out to see if there were any like-minded people out there in the CLEAA community who wanted to be on a subcommittee to help implement our new communications strategy.
I was delighted to get a lot of interest from a wide range of members. And so, without further ado, the members of the new CLEAA sub-committee are:
Carl White (Client and Brand Director, CXINLAW) Natalie Wieland (Managing Director, CPD Interactive) Janet Barnes (Training Co-ordinator Dispute Resolution Branch, Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General) Angie Zandstra, Director Practitioner Education, The College of Law
If you have any ideas or suggestions for how CLEAA should be communicating better with members and the wider legal community, please don’t hesitate to let me or a sub-committee member know. We’d love as much input as possible from the membership. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
CLEAA now has an expanded presence across social media, with new pages recently having been launched on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, as below:
A big shout out goes to Brad Booysen and his team from Storkk, who set up these pages for CLEAA. Thanks Brad!
So, how can you help us with our new social media presence? I’m glad you asked! Here’s how:
- Join up as a member of these groups if you haven’t done so already.
- Encourage your peers, colleagues and networks to also join up. There is plenty on these forums for both CLEAA members and non-members.
- Write articles and post them, or share articles that you’ve seen that you think would be interesting for the wider CLEAA community.
- Take part in forums, discussions and debates. Help make this a genuinely interactive community.
- If you see things you like in these pages, don’t forget to “like” them. One click makes a big difference!
New look website
We’re in the process of developing a new website for CLEAA – with a new look, improved functionality and more information than ever before to help members and attract non-members into the CLEAA community.
If you have any ideas about what the website should do for you, please don’t hesitate to let me or a subcommittee member know. The more we hear from you, the more we can build a website that works for you!
Summing up: If you’ve read this far, thanks!! I’d love to hear from you if you have any ideas or suggestions on how CLEAA can communicate better with members and the wider legal community. My email address is email@example.com. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Update on CPD in our jurisdictions
A regular feature in each newsletter. Contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Whilst the Legal Practice Board has completed its review of the CPD regime in WA the rules are still being drafted. Apparently March is looking likely as the date for their release.
NSW and Victoria
As noted by Jan, above, CLEAA provided comments to the Law Council on the proposed Uniform Rules for solicitors. Members were sent a copy of the submission in January. For anyone who missed them, the draft rules can be found here. This link also includes information on proposed CPD rules for barristers. A link to all the 23 submissions received (including our own) can be found here. Of note is the fact that a number of state law societies made submissions despite their members not being subject (as yet?) to the regime.
Meet a member – in this case our President
Since we have over 60 new members since Jan Christie was last profiled in the newsletter it seems appropriate that she is (re)introduced to us all.
Jan is the Learning Development & Compliance Manager at Henry Davis York, and is the current president of CLEAA.
In her own words she says “I am one of those increasing rare species in the legal L&D environment – a former lawyer who saw the light and moved into the world of learning and development. I started my professional life as a construction lawyer at the firm formerly known as Phillips Fox, where I was fortunate enough to work on a massive piece of litigation where the hearing ran for 2 years. During that time, I was mentored by our wonderful QC, and learnt first-hand that for a junior lawyer, there is nothing quite like learning first-hand. This is a viewpoint that I try to instil every day with our partners and senior associates.
“From Phillips Fox I moved to Colin Biggers & Paisley and then joined what was then Allen Allen & Hemsley as a senior associate, still specialising in construction. As an aside, I have to say that my experience was a construction lawyer has been invaluable when it came to dealing with contractors when I undertook home renovations. It was while I was at Allens that the opportunity arose to move out of practice and into the learning and development area, and I will always be grateful to the firm for supporting me in making that move.
“At the risk of sounding very old, things were very different back then. Concepts of adult education, learning and development experts and skills development were fairly new to the law firm environment, and I went on quite the learning curve myself. I knew how to be a lawyer and how a lawyer thought and worked, but I had to learn how to design and develop programs to appropriately educate them. When I consider the skill set I have now, I do wonder at my audacity in thinking I could do the job back at the turn of the millennium.
“I moved to Henry Davis York in 2007, and have headed up the L&D function since then. I also have responsibility for legal compliance at the firm, looking after admissions, practising certificates, uniform profession impact and legal risk. I love this role, because it gives me the chance to play to both my L&D and lawyer strengths.
“I have been a member of the CLEAA executive committee since 2011, serving on the conference committees for our Hobart, Brisbane and Sydney conferences, and on the national profession reform committee. I am honoured to be CLEAA’s president, and I am looking forward to a challenging and interesting year ahead.
“On a non-legal note, I have an honours degree in English Literature and a graduate certificate in US Studies (I’m more than a little bit obsessed with US history and politics), I have been a proud South Sydney supporter since I was a toddler and my idea of bliss is a day at the Sydney Cricket test. I also have 7 godchildren, and firmly believe it is my role to spoil them rotten.
CLEAA Conference 2015 – Melbourne – plan now to be there
While you’re busy focussing on the professional development of others don’t forget about your own. This year’s CLEAA Conference will take place in Melbourne on 15 and 16 October. The Conference committee is hard at work, looking to build on last year’s vision for the future and finding ways to implement that vision. Our committee this year is chaired by Chris D’Aeth and includes Carl White, Lee Goldsworthy, Catherine Kenny and Anna Larsson. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please send them through to Chris (email@example.com).
So, put 15 and 16 October in your calendar, and look out for more updates soon.
Letter of the month, NSW Law Society Journal
Again as noted by Jan Christie above, in December 2013 the NSW Law Journal carried a letter welcoming the scrapping of CPD in England for solicitors. Jan and Ronwyn North wrote a letter to the editor headed “Careful what you wish for” and won a lunch for 4 as a reward for it being selected as letter on the month in the February edition of the Journal. See the letter by going to page 8 here and using the zoom in at the bottom of the page to read it (your technomoronic editor worked that out!!).
State CLEAA events – Plan to be there
CPD for you – join in at meetings close to you. Treat yourself with a little personal CPD as well as catch up with CLEAA.
An excellent meeting was held in November at LIV and the following is the schedule for 2015:
- Wednesday 22 April – a coffee shop meeting so pencil in 10 am. Venue tba
- Thursday 22 June – time and venue tba
- Tuesday 25 August – time and venue tba
- Thursday 19 November – time and venue tba
CLEAA went to the beach on Friday 28 November for a brilliant morning spent discussing and hearing about the latest news Blended Learning . Terri Mottershead from Bond Uni organised Professor Nick James to speak on “Blended Learning – What it is and why it matters!” , Christian King (Blended Learning Designer) on “Tips and Traps for new Players” ; Assistant Professor Linda Kochanski ably assisted by Dylan Brown ( Web designer) gave a Blending Learning Demonstration and we all discussed what was happening in our neck of the woods. We learned about lots of helpful free additions such as the poll everywhere app a great polling facility for phones and computer) ,and about Camtasia and PowToon ( for videoing and animation) . Bond use VIMEO because there are no advertisements as opposed to UTUBE . Synchronous back channels were explained and we wondered how our speakers would go having a live commentary in the background? Christian gave us some great resources for course design and content including:
KINCO, Cathy Moore, E- Learning Heroes and Commlab India as well as Dr Jason Fox on what motivates people to do what they do. Spoiler Alert : the answer is “ a senses of progress” .
There was lots of discussion about LMS and the possibility of CLEAA being involved in educating us on what is available and what works for mid and smaller firms. Possibly CLEAA members could join forces for buying power?
Thanks again to Terri and Bond for hosting this great event.
For some forward planning, the tentative dates for the 4 meetings next year include a mix of days of the week:
- Thursday 19 Feb : 10 am coffee catch-up. Sorry the timing of the newsletter means this has been held. Catherine Kenny provided a report on the National Wellness for Law Forum Conference. Catherine suggests that www.wellnessforlaw.com is worth looking at
- Wednesday 15 April: midday lunch
- Thursday 6 August; 10 am,
- Friday 20 November: midday
Venues and topics to be advised closer to the date.
Spreading the net wider.
Heather Hibberd firstname.lastname@example.org is developing the Vic program. Catherine Kenny is doing the same for Queensland. Please contact Heather or Catherine email@example.com if you have any suggestions for topics, format etc.
Similarly Jan Christie, (Jan.Christie@hdy.com.au) who has the watching brief for NSW. Is there anyone in SA, WA NZ etc who is willing to be the “organiser” for those jurisdictions? If you are, or if you just want to suggest an idea for a “state” meeting please let Catherine Kenny know.
News from Jurisdictions, other than Australasia, of interest to L and D professionals
England and Wales
The results of the Solicitors’ Regulatory Authority consultation on competencies for solicitors in not yet available. It closed on 12 January so that is hardly surprising.
Meantime the Legal Services Board, which has oversight of the legal profession’s three regulatory boards (the SRA, BSB and ILEX Professional Standards board), has approved the SRA’s proposal for its new CPD regime for solicitors. That regime is voluntary as from 1 April 2015 and compulsory from 1 November 2016.
Quality Assurance Scheme for Advocates
This implementation of this scheme is delayed. The Supreme Court is considering an application for an appeal from the decision of the Court of Appeal that the scheme is lawful. Whilst that decision and the possible appeal is awaited, the Bar Standards Board announced on 4 February that it will seek alternative ways of improving advocacy standards and that “it remains uncertain when the QASA will be implemented”. Read more. Presumably such an “interim” scheme from the BSB would apply to barristers only.
Report from ACLEA meeting
ACLEA – our international “big brother” held its mid-year meeting (conference) in San Diego from 31 January to 3 February. Elizabeth Loftus who attended provided this report.
What do CPD, an aircraft carrier and Steve Jobs have in common? Those of us who attended the recent ACLEA Conference in San Diego know the answer. Here are some clues.
ACLEA is all about CLE/CPD and the Conference, as usual had a lot of value for anyone working in a CLE/CPD role. The theme for the Conference was ‘Successfully Riding the Waves of Change’ and the sessions included lots of hints for developing training to meet the needs of a changing workplace and a newer generation of lawyers.
One particularly interesting session was delivered by Barbara Glesner Fines from the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law. Her focus was on enabling busy, and usually volunteer, speakers to present online. The challenge is to take speakers out of their comfort zone to a new format without burdening them with too much technology and preparation time. Other sessions focusing on training looked at Design Models, Engaging Learners through serious Play and Training the New Generation.
Creativity was the focus of a session presented by Frank Harris from Minnesota CLE. His ‘Six Secrets for Fostering a Culture of Creativity in your CLE Workplace’ could be summarised as:
- Make ‘space’ for people to gather and share ideas; preferably ‘non-traditional’ spaces. Also allow staff ‘mental space’ to think and generate ideas. (I’m not sure that this works with a 6 minute billable unit!)
- Ask employees to be creative. Give them permission to come up with ideas.
- Foster creative communication.
- Reward and recognise creativity.
- Allow freedom to ‘fail’. Creativity will inevitably result in some mistakes.
- Have fewer rules. Allow flexibility.
I’m not sure whether all these hints would work in a traditional law firm environment but within the training and development area it is worth taking some time to reflect on how we can all allow ourselves time and space to be creative in our own work.
The four day programme was packed with a variety of plenary sessions and workshops so there was always something interesting to focus on. Committee and group meetings rounded out each day leaving just enough time to catch up socially with CLE/CPD colleagues.
The aircraft carrier was the USS Midway which was the venue for the Conference Dinner. It provided a catalyst for lots of creative conversations. And Steve Jobs? A few too many plenary speakers, complete with black jeans and t-shirt, who tried to imitate his style!
The next ACLEA Conference is in Chicago in August 2015. Even if you can’t attend, join up and stay connected through the International Committee and other special interest groups. Go to www.aclea.org
Bringing together items of interest to members to browse
- “Reflection – look backward, move forward”. An excellent article on the role of reflection not just for improved educational outcomes but improved outcomes for professionals generally. Read more
- Stressed at work – blame your emails. Read more.
- “Balancing work and Life – A Practical Guide for Lawyers” – a new book for lawyers by a lawyer. Read more
- Navi Radjou has spent hears studying frugal innovation. See his TED talk here