Law firms increasingly self-audit CPD

by Sol Dolor03 Apr 2017
More and more law firms are self-auditing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of their lawyers, the New Zealand Law Society said.

“There is more interest in firms becoming self-auditing because they can see the value in being able to do that internally and they can make sure that people’s learning aligns with the firm’s vision and strategy. That’s a powerful thing,” said Ken Trass, the organisation’s professional development manager.

Trass also said that lawyers are increasingly forming self-study groups with in order to fulfil requirements.

“It costs them nothing apart from their time,” he said. “They are sharing expertise, are interactive and have good discussion, which leads to effective learning.”

These groups meet together about once a month, and members share a topic they have expertise in. The Law Society also said that they are seeing larger numbers of lawyers attending webinars to comply with mandatory CPD.

Trass said that the society has seen a change in the questions lawyers ask about CPD since the start of the program in 2014.

He said that a lot of lawyers were finding their way and understanding how to apply the rules in 2014, while last year saw more questions around clarifying what activities lawyers could count against the requirements.

“This year there are a lot more queries than usual from new lawyers asking what hours apply to them given they haven’t been practising for a full year,” Trass said. “There’s still some misconceptions out there, such as that only certain accredited formal courses or courses regarding black-letter law count, which is not the case.”

Deadline for CPD declarations is this Friday, 7 April.

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