The Diploma Centre of the Law Society of Ireland’s Use of Technology

July 21st, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

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Rory O'Boyle, Diploma Manager, Law Society of Ireland

Rory O’Boyle, Diploma Manager, Law Society of Ireland

In 2014 the Diploma Centre launched the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in Aviation. This course ran for six weeks and covered an introduction to aviation leasing and finance and its beginnings in Ireland, technical basics, legal, financial and commercial.  In 2015 we focused on the growing area of Technology Law. Technology has brought exponential change not only in our personal lives but also in professional practice, in terms of how legal practice is managed, the software used and the legal issues confronting clients in business. The MOOC, ‘Understanding the law in a digital age’, explored emerging issues of relevance to entrepreneurs who seek to exploit opportunities in this digital age and to existing organisations who must engage online to prosper. It also examined the importance of regulation, data protection, online privacy and the legal implications of rapidly-growing use of social media.

Dr Freda Grealy, Head of Diplomas, Law Society of Ireland

Dr Freda Grealy, Head of Diplomas, Law Society of Ireland

Our 2016 MOOC ‘Privacy, a human right for the digital age’, was delivered online over five weeks and comprised presentations from experts in data protection and digital privacy, live online discussions and assessments, and the balance between an individual’s right to privacy and the efficient use of data by companies and other organisations. Specific content such as cyber security threats, the EU-US Privacy Shield – or the ‘Safe Harbour’ agreement as it is known – and the impact of emerging technology, including drones and ‘the internet of things’, are extremely topical and of interest to a wide range of people.
In 2017 we delivered a MOOC on the topic of ‘Employment Law in the digital era: Brexit, borders and offices without walls; challenges and impacts in uncertain times’. This was our biggest free online course to date, and attracted over 3,200 students. The course explored contemporary employment issues including social media in the workplace, equality and the law, dispute resolution mechanisms and hiring post-Brexit: why Ireland works as an alternative.
The MOOC has vastly increased our ability to provide free, accessible, on-demand and insightful content to our members and the wider community. However, it is the international dimension that has been truly game-changing. Participants from countries as wide-ranging as Botswana, Brazil, Latvia and Australia are now – digitally, at least – sitting side-by-side engaging with our Irish legal experts,” “The great number of participants illustrates how relevant and up to date the course material is,” according to Law Society Director of Education T P Kennedy.
We will also be running a new MOOC in 2018, Keep an eye on our website and social media channels for more information early next year.

Update on the SRA’s New Route to Qualification in England and Wales

November 17th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) published this week a summary of the responses it received / response to the consultation on the new route to qualification – the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE). The consultation was sent to Bars and Law Societies throughout Europe (including the CCBE which did not reply).

 The paper states, amongst others, that:

– “On our proposals for recognition of qualified lawyers, some respondents disagreed with the proposed approach; some were supportive; and others supported the principle of recognition but disagreed with the proposed approach.”

– “some drafting changes to the proposed SQE regulations and to the principles of recognition for qualifying lawyers seeking admission as a solicitor of England and Wales will be implemented.’’ However, major changes have not been made.”

Stakeholders addressed the need for more detail, as such the SRA will publish more information about the SQE on the:

– “detail of the SQE assessments

– proposed costs

– assessment timetable

– sample assessments

– process for recognition of qualified lawyers.”

The SRA will continue to engage with important stakeholders from the profession and legal academics.

It is anticipated that the next steps regarding the SQE will be that the SRA will ask the Legal Services Board for approval of the SQE regulations. If the regulations are approved, the SRA expects to appoint an assessment provider in April 2018. The SRA will determine on which date the regulations will be implemented, however it will not be earlier than September 2020.

For more information, please find the paper here.

CCBE supports Georgian Bar Association’s reforms re internship

September 18th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

In a letter to the Chair of the Parliament of Georgia, the CCBE expressed its support for the proposed Georgian Bar Association’s reform to provide for a comprehensive framework for the internship programme.

According to the proposals of the Georgian Bar Association, future lawyers would have to follow three months of training at the High School of Advocates which includes courses on legal skills, management skills, as well as other professional skills which are important to the practice of the profession. The trainee lawyers would then need to carry out nine months of practical training in a law firm, supervised by a lawyer. Trainee lawyers will need to observe the standards of professional conduct of the Georgian Bar during their internship.

The CCBE believes that the proposed reform will greatly contribute to further a high standard of legal training and professional competence. They take account of the CCBE Training Outcomes for European Lawyers of 2007.

The CCBE letter can be downloaded here.

England and Wales: A new route to qualification

June 8th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has launched a consultation which seeks stakeholder views on the regulations needed to bring the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) framework into force. (The SQE is designed to test whether individuals who wish to be admitted as solicitors have the skills and knowledge set out in the Statement of Solicitor Competence.)

The consultation document can be downloaded here:

Consultation paper (7 pages)

Annex 1 – Draft regulations (3 pages)

Annex 2 – Draft Principles (6 pages)

The consultation is open until 26 July 2017.

Once the SQE is introduced, aspiring solicitors will have to meet the following requirements:

– They must have a degree or equivalent qualification or experience.

– They must have passed the SQE, to demonstrate they have the knowledge and skills set out in the Statement of Solicitor Competence, to the standard prescribed in the Threshold Standard.

– They must have completed qualifying legal work experience, for at least two years (or part time equivalent), and which can be certified by either a solicitor or a compliance officer for legal practice.

– They must be of satisfactory character and suitability, to be assessed at the point of admission

Previous post(s) on this theme: England and Wales: SRA to launch Super-Exam in 2020

Law Society “abused dominant position” with CQS training monopoly, competition tribunal rules

May 29th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

“The Law Society abused its dominant position by requiring over 3,000 law firms to buy its own training in order to maintain their Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) accreditation, the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) has ruled”….continue to read here the full article published in legalfutures on 26 May 2017.

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).

France: Report on the Future of the legal profession

February 8th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The Report (in French) was prepared by Maître Kami HAERI and submitted to the French Ministry of Justice on 2 February 2017. The report contains recommendations for reforms in the lawyer’s profession in France, including initial and continuous training (see pages 122-124).

Moldova: Parliament abandoned reform re access to the Profession

January 31st, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Please click here for more information.

Moldova: access to the legal profession

January 26th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

The CCBE has addressed a letter of concern to the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova concerning a draft law which would allow, amongst others, “persons that hold or have held positions of members of the Parliament and who have acquired at least 10 years of experience in field of law” to become lawyers without having to sit the bar exam and without having to follow the otherwise mandatory traineeship for lawyers. The CCBE points out that: a) no other European country has such a provision, b) “a high standard of professional competence of lawyers is essential in the protection of the rule of law and the democratisation of a country” and c) “the practice of law requires very specific competences and skills” (see CCBE Training Outcomes for European Lawyers of 2007). Find the letter here and the CCBE Training Outcomes here EN versionFR version).

Czech Bar: Professional Speed-Dating as part of training

January 10th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

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Czech Bar – Professional Speed-Dating event

Professional Speed-Dating as part of training

Professional speed dating, or sometimes called speed networking, is derived from traditional speed-dating which is defined as an organised event for the purpose of meeting people you would like to date. However, professional speed-dating just uses the same format in order to facilitate business contacts. Usually, the participants have one-to-one conversation in a very limited time (usually less than 5 minutes). Once the time limit expires, a bell ring signals that it is time to move to a next chair or table in order to interact with another  colleague. Professional speed-dating focuses on business interaction, i.e, the participants will inform each other about their professional background,  field of specialisation, business goals,  they will exchange their business cards and could also try to identify  common professional interests and/or opportunities for potential business cooperation.

The Czech Bar Association, through its International Department, organises many international training events for its lawyers and trainee lawyers. The International Department has decided for the first time ever, to integrate professional speed-dating as part of a conference, namely the Czech-Slovak-German Lawyers Forum, a two-day event for lawyers from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and German Sachsen and Bamberg which took place in November 2016 in Pilsen on the topic „International cooperation between lawyers“.

The first ever professional speed-dating went extremely well and we have received great positive feedback from all the 80 participants. Speed dating plays a major role as an ice-breaker and has a lasting effect even after the end of the speed-dating. Participants are curious to learn more about each other, they approach others more easily and the whole atmosphere of the training shifts towards a friendly and more informal one. This is also why many Bars and international organisations (a pioneer in this regard is AIJA, International Association of Young Lawyers) start to integrate speed dating as part of their training, conferences or trade fairs.

The International Department of the Czech Bar Association will certainly continue in the pursuit of new, informal and innovative approaches within its training activities, speed-dating included.

Dr. Eva Indruchová, LL.M., Head of International Department of the Czech Bar Association and Representative of the Czech Bar Association in Brussels, Member of the Czech Delegation to the CCBE, Member of the CCBE Training Committee.

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Eva Indruchova at the Czech Bar Professional Speed-Dating event