NTU Centre for Legal Education conference: session 2, LETR discussion

by Paul Maharg on 03/05/2012

Second session — I’m presenting on this so it’ll be short…  Jane Ching opened the session, then the three of us talked to the slides, then there was an activity with coloured paper, etc — legal kindergarten in action!  I talked about the literature review largely, and where the project is at the moment.  Jane gave us an update on where we are with stages 2 and 3 of the review, including the work we’ve done with patent lawyers, careers guidance staff, local Law Societies (eg I was talking to the Newcastle Law Society a couple of weeks ago).

Julian pointed out how regulation is the focus of LETR, and how education is seen as a regulatory tool eg how it can assure competence and ethical standards in legal practice.  We cannot disregard the larger statutory context, which now via LSA2007 extends to legal education.  Julian directed attention to our questionnaire on the website.  He gave an overview of the key issues:

  1. structures to increase choice of the processes of qualification
  2. flexibility and diversity — facilitating common training and cross-qualification across broader range of regulators
  3. activity-based authorisation/regulation (linked to partial access to reserved activities — but what about new (para-)professions, eg ‘probate attorney’, etc
  4. national standards for the sector?
  5. The crucial question: what policy and regulatory choices are most likely to maximize net consumer welfare? (cf.LSA2007 s.1(1)(d).)

At coffee time we collected responses to the questions on sheets that we put around, and gave them back to the group.  Fascinating responses from people and lots of issues for the LETR group to consider.

Thanks to the three directors of the NTU Legal Education Conference for organizing the event — lots of issues raised that LETR will need to take account of.

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