Session 7: SCs and professional development for lawyers

by Paul Maharg on 03/06/2017

My computer was in use for the earlier sessions, so couldn’t liveblog those sessions.  But here’s the computer now, and here’s Rory O’Boyle and Freda Grealy discussing what they do with SCs in the Law Society of Ireland, in the professional training of practitioners.  I trained their clients back in 2012, and they’ve gone on to do great things with the method.  Originally SC role-play accounted for 10% of the final result – it was a comparatively low stakes exam.  There were 20 students/lawyers on the course.  The results were very positive, with an appetite and willingness amongst the profession to develop such sills in the context of continuing professional development.

Phase 2 involved developing a Certificate in Legal Ethics and Lawyer Skills where there was adaptation of the SC method – lawyer as client, with embedded ethical problems.  This was multi-layered assessment: knowledge, skills, values and attitudes, and the development of ethics and identity.   It was a significant leap forward.  Freda outlined how the training of the SCs in the complexities of scenarios was collaborative.  Interviewing was spliced with feedback and debrief, reinforcing learning.  iPads were used to record and write a follow up letter.

Freda and Rory emphasised the authenticity – particularly for trainees in large firms where trainees generally aren’t let near a client.  Professional identity, affirming the voice of the profession, triggers a sense of ownership or belonging to the profession.

Fine presentation, showing many aspects to the professional use of SCs.

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