July 2015

From the Executive

One of the best things about being part of an association like CLEAA is the opportunity it gives me to meet, network with, learn from and build relationships with people who share a commitment to the education and development of the legal profession. We all have different roles, backgrounds, perspectives and interests, but when we come together the depth of knowledge to be shared is fantastic.

Building on that network, recently I had the pleasure of hosting a joint function between CLEAA and the Sydney Legal Learning Forum, a network of in-house L&D professionals. The subject of our discussion came from another professional services area committed to the common goal of supporting the performance of lawyers: knowledge management. My thanks go to Sarah Walters, Director of Knowledge Services at Henry Davis York, for leading what was a thought-provoking discussion around the synergies between L&D and knowledge management.

One of the points Sarah made, and one I’d like to expand on a little, was that L&D and knowledge management had the following in common: that we help lawyers obtain the brain “stuff” – knowledge, skills, expertise – they need to do so many things, including advising their clients, manage risk, fulfil their professional requirements, achieve job satisfaction and career progression.

I have always drawn a distinction between the regulated requirement to obtain a set number of CPD units and my role as the provider of education and development for our lawyers. I’m happy to use the former to leverage attendance at the latter, but my focus has always been around what Sarah called the brain “stuff”. What I particularly appreciated, but don’t often think about as deeply as I should, was a reminder about the way in which others are also contributing to the brain “stuff”, and the way in which we can all complement each other in building knowledge.

The extension of the network goes beyond L&D and knowledge management to what I think of as the broader community of professional providers of legal know-how, process, skills, behaviours and applications. There are the librarians, the coaches, the technology specialists, the management consultants and the other lawyers – all educators in their own way, and all responsible for the evolution of the skilled, experienced, knowledgeable lawyer.

They say it takes a community to raise a child. I think it takes a different kind of community to develop a lawyer. L&D is an integral part of that community, but it’s great to be reminded sometimes that we don’t have to do it all on our own.

I hope you all survived the end of CPD year, are surviving the budgeting process, and looking forward to some innovative, inspiring and thought-provoking times ahead.

Jan Christie

 

CLEAA Conference 2015 – Melbourne – plan now to be there

Save the date and squirrel away a portion of your 2015/16 training budget for your own professional development to attend the popular CLEAA annual conference.  This year’s annual conference will be on Thursday 15 and Friday 16 October in Melbourne, in the splendid surrounds of the RACV City Club, located in the centre of thecity and close to extensive accommodation and dining options.  You may recall the theme of the 2014 conference – it looked to the future, the 2020 vision of learning and development.  The theme of the 2015 conference, ‘Innovation and Implementation of the 2020 Vision’, will take the topics and ideas from that conference and offer practical and immediate solutions. Over the two days, speakers and panels will address: the skilled use of technology to improve impact and retention; diversity and equality; and teaching customer service (client focus) to lawyers.  The conference will also include the usual updates on developments in our area and excellent networking opportunities to discuss ideas with colleagues from near and far.  Save the date now, registration forms will be available shortly. We hope you can join us in Melbourne in October.

 

Social Media and CLEAA

CLEAA now has an expanded presence across social media, with new pages having been launched on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, as below:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/CLEAA/1558089917739702

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Continuing-Legal-Education-Association-Australasia-6797192/about

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/CLEAAhq

Here’s how you can be part of CLEAA’s social media presence:

  • 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!

If you have any comments you wish the executive to know as regards the social media or the CLEAA website please contact Jonathan Seifman jseifman@bulletpoints.com.au

 

Update on CPD in our jurisdictions

A regular feature in each newsletter. Contributions to jan.christie@hdy.com.au

 

Western Australia

WA has completed its review of the Continuing Professional Development Rules and the Legal Profession Amendment Rules 2015 were gazetted on 20 February 2015 and commence operation  for the CPD year beginning 1 April 2015. There are links to the Rules and to Guideline documents on the Boards website at https://www.lpbwa.org.au/Legal-Profession/Continuing-Professional-Development.

The main changes to note are that  the Board has increased the number of  competency areas to four to reflect those of most other jurisdictions, they are:

Practice Management, Professional Skills,Ethics and Professional Responsibility and

Substantive Law. Practitioners will be required to obtain a minimum of 1 CPD point from each area.The Rules also reduced the number of interactive points required to 6, with the maximum number of points obtainable from a single CPD activity also being 6.

Practitioners may also now obtain a maximum of 4 CPD points through non-interactive activities.

Full details of the changes are available on the Board’s website.

 

Practice Management

The Legal Practice Board has approved the development and introduction of a requirement for practitioners wishing to commence practice in the role of principal of a law practice, to complete a practice management course (PMC).

The Board is currently developing a criteria for the content of a PMC and also guidelines for providers of legal education who may wish to consider making an application to the Board to conduct a PMC in WA for WA practitioners. The Board would be happy to hear from providers who may be interested in being a course provider.

Any enquiries regarding this matter can be made to the Board’s Legal Education Coordinator Julie Bain on 0862113600 or to general@lpbwa.com.

 

NSW and Victoria

The following Legal Profession Uniform Rules have been made by the Legal Services Council:

  • Legal Profession Uniform Admission Rules 2015
  • Legal Profession Uniform Continuing Professional Development (Barristers) Rules 2015
  • Legal Profession Uniform Continuing Professional Development (Solicitors) Rules 2015
  • Legal Profession Uniform General Rules 2015
  • Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barristers) Rules 2015
  • Legal Profession Uniform Law Australian Solicitors’ Conduct Rules 2015
  • Legal Profession Uniform Legal Practice (Solicitors) Rules 2015

 

The rules can be found at http://www.legalservicescouncil.org.au/legislation.html and those on CPD and admission will be of particular interest to CLEAA members. As one senior CLEAA member, who shall remain nameless, has said – “let the fun begin”.

 

New Zealand

The first CPD year finished on 31 April and all lawyers were asked to file an on-line declaration of compliance with the requirement to have a CPD Plan and Record within 5 working days of that end date. All but 9.8% of lawyers did so and as at the 4th of June (late declarations are permitted until 30 June) Ken Trass, the newly appointed NZLS CPD Manager reports that only 63 declarations (approx 0.4%) are outstanding.

 

Membership Renewals

Membership of CLEAA runs from 1 July to 30 June. Currently we have 147 members and each will be receiving an invitation to renew that membership in the fortnight of 15 -26 June. We have a range of classes of membership – individual or primary membership at $135 AUD, first secondary member at $100 AUD and second secondary and subsequent members free of charge. In order to coordinate membership from organisation, each primary member will be sent the names of the other members from their organisation. We anticipate that the primary member will coordinate the renewals of their members to streamline payment for their organisation. The fees remains unchanged. Look out for your email and the attached membership registration form in mid-June.

 

Local 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. 

 

Victoria

The next two scheduled meetings are:

  • Tuesday 25 August – time and venue tba
  • Thursday 19 November – time and venue tba

 

Queensland

For some forward planning. The tentative dates for the remaining 2 meetings of the year meetings

  • Thursday 6 August; 10 am,
  • Friday 20 November: midday

Venues and topics  to be advised closer to the date.

 

Members for the states receive direct notification of the details of the local meetings from the secretariat.

 

News from Jurisdictions, other than Australasia, of interest to L and D professionals

England and Wales

Competency statement for solicitors

The Solicitors Regulatory Authority has released it statement of solicitor competence with levels of application depending on where in a solicitor’s career the lawyer is. The statement is made up of four elements: ethics professionalism and judgement; technical legal practice; working with other people; and ‘managing themselves and their own work’. The final category introduces the concept of applying good business practice, including demonstrating an adequate understanding of the financial context in which solicitors are working and managing available resources efficiently.

It can be found here. http://www.sra.org.uk/competence/

 

CPD toolkit

The SRA has also released a CPD toolkit for solicitors. It includes two excellent video presentations on “How to Plan” and “How to Reflect”. See more here. http://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/cpd/tool-kit/continuing-competence-toolkit.page

 

Bar regulator seeks QC re-accreditation scheme

The Bar Standards Board has formally requested that the Queen’s Counsel Appointments body consider re-accreditation as part of a continuous quality assurance scheme. Read more. http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/5047830.article?utm_source=dispatch&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=GAZ240315

 

Bar Standards Board plans to drop mandatory CPD hours

The bar’s regulatory authority is following the SRA in unveiling plans to scrap the mandatory requirement for most barristers to complete prescribed hours of CPD. Consultation opened on 4 June and will run to 2 September with the plan being that change to take effect in 2017.

Currently barristers are required to complete 12 hours training per year. It is proposed that the change will not affect those in their first three years of practice but thereafter will be an “outcomes- focused approach with the expectation that barristers wlll manage their training according to their needs”. An up-to-date record will be required if the proposals are accepted. Read more. https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases-and-news/barristers-best-placed-to-chart-their-own-cpd-course,-says-bar-regulator/

 

United States of America

The American Bar Association is reviewing the current ABA Model Rule for Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE Model Rule). The review commenced late last year and is expected to take 12 months. The model rule was first developed in 1986 and was amended in 1996 and 2004 but has never been reviewed in its totality in 31 years, although individual states have modified it to accommodate their individual needs and preferences. The review is another response to the 2009 legal education critical issues summit sponsored by ACLEA and ALI-ABA.

The ABA notes that since the 2009 summit significant changes in CLE accreditation standards have been implemented in some USA states, in Canada and in the UK. They could have added NZ!

A brainstorming session of one of the seven working groups of the ABA subcommittee carrying out the review has identified 20 practical issues that should be addressed in the review, including why testing is not part of MCLE requirements so that the purported learning from programmes is assessed. Now there’s a radical idea.

Incidentally your editor had always understood that the M in the MCLE Rule stood for mandatory rather than minimum. Puts a new complexion on the idea that complying with a certain number of hours is sufficient – minimum suggests that it is not – something that many CPD professionals have always argued.

 

Former CLEAA President Honoured

Annette Black, formerly New Zealand Law Society Director of Education and a long-time member of CLEAA, was awarded a Queens Honour, the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM), in the new year’s honours list.  Since she stepped down as Director of Education in 2005, Annette has been a consultant to NZLS working on education matters and she is the primary architect of the Compulsory Professional Development regime for lawyers in NZ . Annette’s award is for services to legal education and the timing is fitting since she retired from her role at NZLS at the end of March.

 

Report on the Future Prospects of Law Graduates and Recommendations

The NSW Law Society has recently released a report on research carried out in NSW by a working group established in June 2014 to consider the question of employment prospects for law graduates. The Working Group represented a cross-section of the legal profession in NSW, including from large and small firms, corporate and government practice, regional and city areas, and young lawyers.

The following key findings were made:

  • There is anxiety within the legal profession and law schools about a lack of employment opportunities for law graduates
  • There are numerous drivers behind this perceived problem, including economic, systemic and educational factors.
  • Some of these factors are outside the Law Society’s sphere of influence.
  • While anecdotal evidence is strong, more solid data must be collected in order to get a more accurate snapshot of the state of law graduate employment in NSW.
  • The Law Society’s current offerings around graduate employment can be broadened and enhanced.
  • The Law Society and universities should work more closely together to develop solutions.
  • A co-ordinated, national response is desirable, given concerns about an over-supply of law graduates in other states.

Based on the key findings, the following recommendations have been made:

  • Gather more statistics and data on graduate numbers.
  • Track law graduates to obtain evidence of employment trends.
  • Increase firm participation in the Law Society’s Graduate Employment and Summer Clerkship Programs.
  • Elevate the status and efficacy of the Law Society’s Job Board.
  • Provide CPD sessions targeted at assisting graduates with job-seeking skills.
  • Use the Law Society website to provide a clearer picture of the graduate jobs market.
  • Work more closely with universities to provide relevant information about job prospects to graduates.
  • Develop a role within the Law Society specific to the coordination of law graduate job initiatives.
  • Work with other Law Societies to develop a coordinated approach to the issue.

You can view the full report at http://www.lawsociety.com.au/community/forlawstudents/LawGraduatesReport/index.htm

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