New ways to get your CPD credits
Good news for lawyers looking for ways to fulfill the Law Society’s mandatory Continuing Professional Development: starting January 1, 2010 mentoring will be included as an activity to earn your credits. To qualify, members will submit a brief mentoring plan setting out their goals.
Bruce LeRose, QC, Chair of the Lawyer Education Advisory Committee, promised the process will be simple and can be done online. “This is not an exercise in mental gymnastics,” he told fellow Benchers at their May 8 meeting in Vancouver. LeRose says having members submit a plan simply helps the society monitor the mentoring relationship.
Under this program, mentoring should focus on broader practice issues and skills. Participants in the program must meet regularly for a minimum of half an hour, totalling at least six hours during a one-year period, either by phone or in person. Those who wish to act as a mentor to two lawyers can qualify for 12 hours of CPD credit, the Law Society’s requirement for the year.
Linda Robertson, Lawyer Coach and Management Consultant, assisted the Law Society with the accreditation guidelines. Robertson said, based on a similar program in the UK, the minimums ensured the program was not too onerous or formal, but was not too casual either. “It should not include quick conversations between lawyers answering specific questions about files,” Robertson explained.
The Law Society hopes that this will encourage more mentoring of younger lawyers. These relationships have dwindled over recent years, in part because of increased work pressures.
The Benchers also approved broadening the overall subject matter for educational options that qualify for CPD credit. As long as the subject matter of a course contained material primarily targeted at lawyers, paralegals and articling or law school students, it could qualify. The wording was also broadened for the writing and teaching options that qualify for CPD credits.