The training of lawyers in the 21st century

January 30th, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

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Jarkko Männistö, Asianajaja presenting his paper in Brussels at the CCNE Training conference on 14th December 2017

Jarkko Männistö, Asianajaja presenting his paper in Brussels at the CCBE Training conference on 14th December 2017

This is a short blog by Jarkko Männistö, Asianajaja, OTT outlining key points from his intervention at the CCBE 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.

Jarkko Männistö
Attorney, LL.D.

This posting is an adaptation of the speech Jarkko gave on 14 December in Brussels in the CCBE Seminar titled “Training of lawyers, challenges and opportunities”.

Jarkko

Jarkko

You can now register for the CCBE Training Conference!

October 3rd, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

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14 December 2017, L42 – Rue de la Loi 42, Brussels

The Conference which will discuss ‘Training of lawyers: challenges and opportunities’ is now open for registration.

The programme includes panels on the transforming management of the law firm in the digital era, neuroscience and new discoveries on effective learning, innovative training tools such as MOOC, virtual reality, webinar, and finally guides to financing training projects. Furthermore, the conference will give an introduction to the European Training Platform on the e-Justice portal, and will represent a valuable opportunity for training providers and legal professionals to share best practices and innovative solutions for legal training.

Please register your participation by 20 November 2017 at event@ccbe.eu.

Please find the detailed programme for the conference here.

The conference language is English.

Save the Date: CCBE Training Conference, 14 Dec. 2017, Brussels

August 24th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

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Please note that the Conference will be held in English.

Further information will follow in the coming weeks.

England and Wales: SRA to launch super-exam in 2020

April 25th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) will introduce its planned super-exam, the Solicitors Qualification Examination, despite opposition from the profession…

For more information, please read the ‘The Lawyer‘ (25 April 2017).

Update on national continuous training rules

May 23rd, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

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In 2015/2016, the CCBE updated its information on national continuous training rules, which were first gathered in 2011.

19 CCBE full member countries have a specific mandatory continuous training regime. In most of these countries, it has been introduced in the past 15 years.

12 full member countries have no specific mandatory continuous training regime; however, in all of these countries various continuous training opportunities exist.

In most countries, the extent of the training obligation is counted in hours, credits or points, though in some in events and days. The average extent of the training obligation is approximately 14 hours/points/credits annually, ranging from four academic hours in Bulgaria to 20 hours in France. In most countries, foreign training activities are recognised. The majority of member countries have opted for “regular control” which means that lawyers are obliged to submit a record of their training activities to the Bar/Law Society on an annual basis. In some member countries, compliance is exclusively monitored via “random control” which means that only a certain number of lawyers/law firms are checked. There are also member countries in which both “regular control” and “random control” are carried out.

The CCBE has prepared a brief layout and a summary detailing the regimes’ specificities by using the following categories: extent of training; activities (courses, language courses, teaching, writing/publishing, other); recognition of foreign training activities; availability of e-methods; provider (bar/law society, accredited providers, free market providers); supervision (regular and/or random control); and sanctions (non-disciplinary and/or disciplinary).

All relevant information on the national rules – including country overviews – can be found here.

National Rules on Specialisation

December 8th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Specialization drawing

In order to develop a better understanding of how lawyers’ specialisation works throughout the European Union the CCBE has been collecting information about specialisation regimes in 44 European jurisdictions from its CCBE members.

Most European jurisdictions (34) do not have a specific specialisation regime, however lawyers can often indicate their preferred areas of practice. 10 jurisdictions have a specialisation regime: Belgium (OBFG), Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom (solicitors in both England and Wales, and Scotland). Such jurisdictions tend to have precise rules regulating the bestowing and use of a specialist’s title, usually including minimum prior practice in the field, theoretical expertise, and obligations of continuing training.

The number of specialisation fields varies, but it usually is around 20. Across all the jurisdictions surveyed, the most common fields for specialisation are: family law, criminal law, commercial law, labour law, social law, intellectual property law, tax law, IT law, banking law, administrative/public law, and the law of insurance.

The local Regional Chamber of Legal Advisers of Katowice in Poland will be holding a Workshop on Lawyers’ Specialisation on 15 April 2016 in Katowice. Experts from across Europe will participate in this workshop to discuss the pros and cons of introducing Lawyers’ Specialisation and exchanging experiences.

Further information: 

Comparative Note on national regimes of specialisation

National rules of specialisation

Workshop on Lawyers’ Specialisation, Katowice