October 26th, 2015 § § permalink
On 20 October 2015, the European Commission published the Erasmus + call for proposals 2016. One of the key objectives of Erasmus+ is to promote ‘Learning mobility of individuals’.
Bars and Law Societies may be able to receive funding under Erasmus+ for projects concerning trainee lawyers. As we have posted earlier this month, the Barcelona Bar, for instance, was awarded, in June, funding under the call for proposals 2015. The Barcelona Bar project will enable 10 trainee lawyers to gain experience and work in a foreign law firm for a period of two months.
We encourage those who wish to submit applications to check with their National Agency as to whether they are eligible. Eligibility will very much depend on the legal status of trainee lawyers at national level and of the training structure.
The Erasmus + call for proposals 2016 contains different deadlines (depending on the application’s focus). The deadline for Key action 1: ‘Mobility of individuals in the field of education and training’ is 2 February 2016.
October 19th, 2015 § § permalink
The European Programme for Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals, HELP, is aimed at supporting the Council of Europe member states in their implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) at the national level. The CCBE is a partner of HELP.
HELP recently published a video which provides a 5-minute introduction to HELP.
The HELP website provides free on-line access to materials and tools for professional training on the ECHR. Recently, HELP made available, on its website, some self-study e-learning courses on Admissibility criteria in applications submitted before the European Court of Human Rights; on Asylum and the ECHR; and an Introduction to the ECHR. HELP has also been publishing Glossaries which are intended to guide legal professionals about the correct terminology to use when they make Convention-based arguments in national proceedings, and to help legal professionals to correctly understand judgments in English.
HELP organises yearly conferences for representatives of the HELP Network – the Network brings together representatives from National Training Institutions for Judges and Prosecutors and Bar Associations of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe. The conferences provide a forum for discussions on ways of enhancing training results and concrete implementation of the Convention at the national level and on how to improve an effective co-operation among all national and international institutions.
The Training Blog will provide from now on regular information on major events of HELP and relevant publications.
October 14th, 2015 § § permalink
As part of the CCBE’s continuous cooperation with ENCLE, which started in 2014, Tibor Giba, member of the CCBE Training committee from Hungary, will be representing the CCBE at the third conference of ENCLE which will take place on 26/27 October 2015 in Budapest.
What is European Network for Clinical Legal Education (ENCLE)?
ENCLE is a European Network of persons committed to achieving justice through education. It aims to bring together persons from different countries, who exchange perspectives and work collaboratively from a variety of legal, educational and organizational settings in order to promote justice and increase the quality of law teaching through Clinical Legal Education (CLE).
What is Clinical Legal Education?
Clinical legal education is a legal teaching method based on experiential learning – it is about acquiring knowledge, skills and competences through practice. Learning methods, include, but are not limited to, the practical work of students on real cases. Students typically provide assistance with research, drafting legal arguments, and meeting with clients. The work of students is supervised by academics and professionals.
This two day conference is being organised around the following themes:
- Improving the Social Justice Mission of Clinics;
- The Role of Clinics in Higher Education;
- Teaching Methodology;
- Sustainability of Clinics; and
- Clinical Impact.
The conference will include workshops, presentations, as well as panel and plenary discussions in order to share best practice and enhance the clinical movement across Europe. Details can be found here.
The CCBE started cooperating with ENCLE in 2014. The aim is to see how Bars and Law Societies can be better linked to legal clinics in their respective countries.
October 14th, 2015 § § permalink
In line with the Erasmus+ Key Action 1: ‘Learning mobility of individuals’, the Barcelona Bar Association was awarded, in June, ten mobility agreements for the 2015-2017 period. Barcelona Bar Association will carry out the project in cooperation with two public Law Faculties, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Universitat Oberta de Catalunya Foundation, both of which it has been working with for many years.
The project will enable 10 trainee lawyers to gain experience and work in a foreign law firm for a period of two months. Hosting countries will be: Czech Republic, Italy, France, the UK, Belgium and The Netherlands.
During their traineeship period, the trainee lawyers should acquire a basic knowledge of other European Union legal systems, practice and develop common skills and abilities for European lawyers, and improve foreign language skills. This last point is crucial as, increasingly, lawyers need to be able to operate in multicultural contexts. Since October 2014, Erasmus+ mobility participants can use Online Linguistic Support (OLS) to improve their language level.
In Spain, according to Law 34/2006 of 30 October on admission to the legal profession and its regulations approved by Royal Decree 775/2011 of 3 June, all lawyers must have a law degree and will be required to obtain additional educational training in order to be admitted to practice as a lawyer. This additional education is a Master’s Program in Legal Practice which last for 16 months, which includes a six month traineeship in a law firm. Trainee lawyers must also pass a state exam.
For further information you can visit the Barcelona Bar Website.
For further information on Erasmus+, see CCBE post of 21 September 2015.
October 12th, 2015 § § permalink
With growth of international business, comes increasing opportunity for lawyers to develop their client base across borders and even oceans. If lawyers are to compete on the world stage, it is important that the legal qualification they hold has a solid reputation in its own right. The reputation of the qualification can also have implications for the use of a particular law as a governing law in international commercial contracts.
This was one of the key findings of the Law Society of England and Wales’ Global Competitiveness Report, which was prompted by changes to the qualification put forward by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). The Report has been well received and has also been picked up outside the legal profession, featuring in a recent article in the FT.
The research team conducted interviews with a number of member firms who operate on the international stage. Time and time again the feedback was that the traditional training contract facilitates a high standard of training and allows junior lawyers to learn “soft” skills such as judgment and ethics from more experienced colleagues. The practical training component also helps to develop commercial acumen, a key consideration in international business. If these advantage were lost it could jeopardise the reputation, not just of the English and Welsh lawyers but also English law as governing law and England and Wales as a jurisdiction of choice.
The current indication is that the SRA is leaning towards a centralised series of assessments through which knowledge and skills in compulsory areas would be tested. The Law Society has welcomed the move towards centralised assessment which could help ensure a consistent entry standard, however, it has also voiced concerns that if the training contract is no longer mandatory, this could disadvantage those from poorer backgrounds who could struggle to find funding for courses which were not deemed compulsory, even if they were essential to training and obtaining the qualification.
Read the full findings of the Global Competitiveness Report here.
October 7th, 2015 § § permalink
The Erasmus Exchange for Young Entrepreneurs is a programme which gives new or aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to learn from experienced entrepreneurs. The programme is also open to lawyers and trainees, and benefits could include access to new legal markets and international collaboration with law firms. It is partially funded by the European Union.
The exchange can last between one and six months, with a possibility of dividing the stay into weekly slots.
Lawyers may participate as new entrepreneurs or host entrepreneurs. The former will have to be firmly planning to set up their own business or have already started one within the last three years. The latter must be the owner-manager of a small or medium firm for more than three years, or be directly involved in entrepreneurship at SME board level.To participate, new and host lawyers need to collect various application documents (such as CVs, letters of motivation and, when applicable, business plans), before applying online. Participants must build a relationship with their host or visiting entrepreneur prior to the start of the programme; for instance by discussing the work and learning project they wish to do.
Those who wish to participate in the programme should get in contact with the relevant local contact point.
Additional information about this exchange can be found here.
October 5th, 2015 § § permalink
This programme, organised by the Law Society Professional Training in Ireland, provides a good example of training opportunities for European Lawyers, and of cooperation between European Bars. It was launched in 2014 in conjunction with the Italian Consiglio Nazionale Forense (National Bar Council of Italy) and the Law Society of Ireland.
Summer 2015 participants
It is an intensive one week summer course for any foreign lawyer who wishes to increase their legal knowledge and skills in the English language, with the aim of increasing their international projection. It is taught in English and covers very practical areas, including Commercial Contracts, Negotiation and Mediation skills and general features of Common law systems. It also offers social activities in Dublin, which provides a good opportunity for networking. Lecturers are experienced and respected solicitors, barristers and professional legal skills consultants with extensive practice and teaching experience and certified learning, teaching and assessment qualifications.
Despite being a new programme, the course has proven very popular and successful. Previous participants have been lawyers from Italy, Poland, Switzerland and Spain, and the number of participants increases each year.
The next course will be run in summer 2016, and participants will be able to sign up as of February 2016. The CCBE training portal will provide more information about this course closer to the time.
If you are interested or require more information, please go to the Law Society Professional Training Course.