This week marks the start of the first full CPD year and the New Zealand Law Society says lawyers are more than ready.
From now until March 31, 2015, lawyers must complete a minimum of 10 hours of CPD and are required to keep up-to-date a CPDPR.
Annette Black, a consultant at the legal industry regulator, says the profession, as a whole, is fully prepared for the new regulations.
“Certainly there will be some who are not, but the vast majority that I know of…from all sorts of different-sized firms [are ready]. We did a major seminar and webinar last year to explain it all, so I think people are pretty much organised.”
Black says 10 hours of CPD in a year shouldn’t be too much work for most lawyers – most of whom, she says, are probably doing that much already.
“No, I don’t think that 10 hours is too much…CPD hours can be gained in all sorts of ways. It doesn’t have to be by attending a seminar or anything like that. You can watch a webinar, as long as you can answer questions afterwards. You can do writing, you can actually be part of a one-to-one coaching. I think that the vast majority of lawyers are already doing more than 10 hours of CPD.”
Chapman Tripp partner, Barry Brown, says that the selection, training and retention of high-quality lawyers has been and remains a huge priority for firms of all sizes and that the new CPD requirements play into that.
While he admits that lawyers at large firms have an advantage in readily-available in-house training, Brown says the maintenance of the New Zealand legal profession’s international reputation is crucial and that firms of all sizes play a part.
“New Zealand has a good-quality legal profession. The product that comes out of New Zealand law schools and go to New Zealand firms for ‘finishing school’, if you like, are highly sought-after [overseas].”
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For a full explanation of the new requirements, visit the NZ Law Society website's CPD page: www.lawsociety.org.nz/cpd