find the latest legal job
Legal Inhouse / Lawyer / Company Secretary
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Fantastic Company · Potential to be Part Time / Flexible Work Pattern
View details
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Infrastructure Lawyer/SA
Category: Construction Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Global elite law firm · Dedicated Infrastructure team
View details
In-House Legal Counsel (Mid to Senior)| Regulated Markets (Energy and Gas)
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Full PD on Request · Exciting High Impact Role
View details
Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law | Location: Eastern Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Boutique Firm · Great Reputation
View details
PLT to increase business skills focus

PLT to increase business skills focus

Alice DeBoos, K&L Gates

Law students shouldn't develop soft skills and business skills at law school: they should be exploring them during their practical legal training instead, according to a K&L Gates partner.

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly, K&L Gates partner Alice DeBoos (pictured) said that while law graduates are entering the profession with a lack of business knowledge, law school isn't the place for them to be developing those skills.

"We need to turn our lawyers from thinkers and units of production to people who are actually being flexible, being forward-looking and thinking about business, and that's a challenge," Ms DeBoos said.

Ms DeBoos said we need to get junior lawyers thinking about business, whether that's their own business in terms of the firm or whether that's their client's business and what the client actually needs.

"I don’t think we're taught that at university but it's probably not the place at university, it's more the vocational training that comes after you finish university," she said.

"A legal education is a bit of a classical education, so they have to learn those classical skills. The place for that more vocational training is post-graduate – so in the College of Law training or on the job training."

The College of Law undertook a major review of its Practical Legal Training Program in 2014-15 and has recently developed a suite of Legal Business Skills modules to address the gap in soft skills and better prepare new lawyers for practice (launched in late 2015).

The modules are video-supported online and cover topics such as managing your time and your workload, communicating effectively, developing a commercial mindset, facilitating good service, effective relationships and understanding financial information.

"We strive to ensure our program meets the current-day needs of both graduates and employers," Lewis Patrick, chief academic officer of the College of Law, said.

"The modules are designed to teach law graduates about the business side of a career in law as opposed to the 'law' side."

As part of the review, the College of Law spoke to employers and recent alumni and asked them what key skills a new lawyer would need to best equip them in the first year of practice.

"We felt that the competencies delivered through the PLT program, which are prescribed by the Australian Professional Legal Education Council, provided a sound basis for the 'doing' of law but that our graduates also needed to understand the realities of the business of a law firm so they could better contribute from day one," Mr Patrick said.

"These skills are often learned from a mentor, if you are lucky, or by osmosis as you develop your career. We wanted to give our graduates as good a grounding as soon as possible before they actually start to practise law."


Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

PLT to increase business skills focus
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Nov 22 2017
Reduced investment protections will make robust commercial arbitration mechanisms all the more critical for investors
Promoted by Maxwell Chambers. This article discusses the current trend away from investor protect...
Tsunami
Nov 22 2017
‘Document tsunami’ driving lawyers to upskill in TAR
A prominent Victorian judge has highlighted the growing need for lawyers to expand their knowledge o...
Defamation expert appointed to lead Victorian Bar
Nov 22 2017
Defamation expert appointed to lead Victorian Bar
The Victorian Bar has named Dr Matt Collins QC as its new president, with an additional eight member...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...