21 Jul 2018 § Leave a comment
27 Jan 2018 § Leave a comment
This is a short blog by Jarkko Männistö, Asianajaja, OTT outlining key points from his intervention at the CCCBE conference on Training of Lawyers, challenges and opportunities, Brussels, 14 December 2017.
I have been teaching advocacy to students, bar exam candidates, and experienced attorneys for almost 15 years. What I have learned, through a series of trials and errors, is that students learn what they want to learn. And only what they want to learn.
Based on this experience I argue that continuing legal education in the 21st century should, above all, be a positive experience to those we wish to educate.
The following are, what I consider, the four cornerstones of the positive learning experience.
Go online, go live
Lawyers are chronically time constrained. So take legal education online whenever you can. If a lawyer can save an hour or two of travel time, he or she just might spend a good part of the time saved learning something new.
If you want to lecture, broadcast it live. Livestream lecture with a real time chat is a great way on engaging students from the comfort of their own office or home.
Show, don’t tell
Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach. If you do not agree with this, show your students how it’s done. It’s easy enough to say that you should write clearly and concisely. Following that instruction is the hard part.
Lawyers must apply law to concrete problems. Continuing legal education should help them do that, which is why continuing legal education should be all about application.
Doing is learning
Sitting still and listening someone talk about the law is, even for most lawyers, dreadfully boring. Don’t put your students’ brain into hibernation.
Instead, activate your students. Ask questions. Create problems. Make them do the work, because that’s what learning requires. Hard work. Doing stuff with your brain. Not having it done for you by someone else (the teacher).
Be a coach
People avoid things which cause them embarrasment. Never make people feel bad about themselves, because most of them will not study harder to avoid further embarrasment. Instead, they will take the easy way out, which is to avoid your lectures.
So, accept everyone come in “as is”. You have succeeded as a teacher, if they leave equipped with more knowledge than they came in. And more importantly, with a hunger to learn more.
This posting is an adaptation of the speech I gave on 14 December in Brussels in the CCBE Seminar titled “Training of lawyers, challenges and opportunities”.
3 Jan 2018 § Leave a comment
For the past four years, the Law Society of Ireland has organised a (summer) Legal English and Legal Skills course for foreign lawyers.
The course consists of one intensive week in Dublin (in July), where participants can develop their legal skills (presentation, interviewing, negotiation & drafting) in English. The programme includes a lecture on comparative legal ethics. It is also a good opportunity to see Ireland and meet colleagues from other jurisdictions.
The 2018 course will take place from 16 to 20 July.
11 Oct 2016 § Leave a comment
What should a Bar or Law Society entry exam look like? The Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) is consulting again on the structure and topics that should be assessed in an open consultation that will run until 9 January 2017. You can repond online or by various alternative means. The SRA will welcome your views on their proposed entrance exam.
We propose that in order to be admitted as a solicitor, individuals would need to pass a new centralised exam, called the SQE. This would be divided into two parts. The first stage would test a candidate’s ability to use and apply legal knowledge and the second stage would test legal skills. In addition to passing the SQE, new solicitors would need to:
hold a degree, apprenticeship (or equivalent)
have undertaken a substantial period of workplace training (probably 24 months, certainly no less than 18 months
meet our character and suitability requirements.
6 Sep 2016 § Leave a comment
Information taken from the Court’s website:
02/09/2016 – The Court has recently created a new search engine (“SOP” – State of Proceedings) which allows anyone to find out what stage has been reached in the proceedings concerning an application. It provides information on all cases that have been allocated to a judicial formation and are not anonymous. The information will be accessible two months after each procedural event. The search engine exists in English, French, Italian and Portuguese, but will shortly be available on the “Applicants” pages, in 36 official languages of the Council of Europe member States.
6 Sep 2016 § Leave a comment
HELP published yesterday a new and free online ‘HELP in the 28’ course on Data Protection and Privacy Rights, click here for details on the course.
1 Sep 2016 § Leave a comment
The international conference on the role of Bars for an ‘Independent, qualified and ethical exercise of the profession’ in Tbilisi, on 20-21 June 2016, in Georgia, discussed, inter alia, best practices for lawyers’ training. Over sixty representatives from 14 countries, including the CCBE First-Vice President Ruthven Gemmell, presented their training systems. The discussions showed that the training systems are more or less similar (law degree, practical training, bar exam), except for Turkey which has no bar exam (see post of 25 February 2016). Lithuania is considering introducing a unified exam for advocates, judges and prosecutors. As for continuous training, discussions showed that in all countries, Bars are in charge of continous training, including its management. The required number of hours or credits differs from country to country. The training working group discussions concluded that the best practices will differ from country to country, given that training activities must respond to the needs of lawyers in any given country. The exchange of experiences between other countries is always helpful. Teaching in legal ethics is crucial. A report on the conference, containing details of the presentations, can be downloaded here.
19 Aug 2016 § Leave a comment
After two years of research and analysis, the Futures Commission of the Amercian Bar Association has recently issued its final report on the future of legal services in the United States. The report documents the challenges that the legal profession is facing and it contains ten recommendations.
Amongst others, the report also addresses the future of education and training of lawyers. Recommendation 7.2 provides:
Law schools and bar associations, including the ABA, should offer more continuing legal education and other opportunities for lawyers to study entrepreneurship, innovation, the business and economics of law practice, and other relevant disciplines.
Experts on the use of technology in legal services delivery have emphasized the importance of providing lawyers with new skills and knowledge: “Training in law practice management and law practice technology is a critical solution that will further align the skills that law students must have upon graduation with the employment needs of a radically changing legal market.” With the legal market changing dramatically, lawyers today “more than any generation of lawyers … will have to be entrepreneurs rather than employees working for somebody else.” Moreover, lawyers who learn entrepreneurial skills can help solve the justice gap. With millions of people needing legal representation and thousands of lawyers unemployed or underemployed, students with this training can “create better delivery models that match appropriately qualified lawyerswith the clients who need them. […]”
The American Bar Association will now establish a Center for Innovation to map the way forward.
The final report of the ABA Futures Commission is available here.
1 Aug 2016 § Leave a comment
Streetlaw is the term often used to describe university public legal education programmes.
Many universities in the UK and Ireland send law students into schools, community groups and other organisations to educate people on their legal rights and responsibilities. Streetlaw utilises an interactive methodology which encourages participants to actively engage and to understand how the law relates to them.
Inspired by the first International Street Law Best Practices Conference, held in South Africa earlier this year, Birmingham Law School will host the first regional UK and Ireland event. It will take place at Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT. During this interactive two day conference, participants will share Streetlaw best practice from across the globe. The conference will cover:
- Different models for community engagement through Streetlaw;
- Sample Streetlaw best practice sessions;
- How to design your own Streetlaw sessions;
- Tips and ideas for developing your Streetlaw programme; and
- Incorporating Streetlaw into the curriculum.
If you have a best practice session that you would like to share at the conference, please email Linden Thomas email@example.com with the details.
- Patrick Cahill (Queen Mary University of London),
- Richard Grimes,
- John Lunney (Law Society of Ireland), and
- Linden Thomas (University of Birmingham)
Conference fee: £50 per person*
Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT
How to book: You can register your place by visiting the online shop of the University of Birmingham.
Please note that places at the conference are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
28 Jul 2016 § Leave a comment
We have previously written two posts about a programme, organised by the Law Society Professional Training in Ireland, which provides training opportunities for European Lawyers, and cooperation between European Bars.
This summer, from 18-22 July, the Law Society of Ireland Professional Training, led by Attracta O’Regan (Solicitor and Head of Law Society Professional Training), hosted Italian and Spanish lawyers in Dublin as part of the Legal Excellence, Legal English Summer School. Delegates attended an intensive Commercial Contracts and Advanced Negotiation Skills Masterclass designed by Joanne Cox (Solicitor and Course Manager with the Law Society Law School) and delivered by Solicitor experts in Ireland.
Delegates also had the opportunity to attend an Ethics Lecture which provided a comparative analysis of the ethical values applicable to the legal profession in Italy and Ireland and included an overview of the relevant principles ruling the conduct of lawyers in their professional relationships. This lecture was a collaborative educational initiative between the Law Society of Ireland and the Siena Bar Council which was accredited by the Consiglio Nazionale Forense (CNF) in Italy. This was co-presented by Eva Massa (Solicitor and Course Manager with the Law Society Law School) and Avv. Lucia Fabbri (a practising Lawyer and Barrister in Italy and a Disciplinary Tribunal Judge in the District of Florence).
Social aspects of the Summer School included a trip to the Four Courts and Kilmainham Jail in Dublin and a tour of Kilkenny City taking in the Castle and Smithwick’s Brewery followed by dinner and an evening of traditional Irish music and dance.
The programme was run in collaboration with the Academy of European Law (ERA), Sienna Bar Council, Velletri Bar Council, Bologna Bar Council and School of Law International Group (SLIG).