Calls for views - route to qualification

Last year we hosted a number of roundtables with interested individuals from law firms, in-house legal teams, LLB providers and DPLP providers. These were based around five themes:

  • Legal technology
  • Tax
  • Commercial awareness
  • Non-traditional skills
  • EU law

The first four were themes that, since the last reforms to legal education and training, have consistently been raised by the profession as areas that may need some further consideration. This consideration might be about the location of the topics (i.e. should tax sit solely in the DPLP?) or about the nature and extent of the topics that ought to be covered.

The fifth theme, EU law, has not been much commented upon in terms of teaching and learning. However, given the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union we necessarily had to consider to what extent EU law would be taught as part of the Foundation programme in the future. At this stage we are not consulting upon change to the teaching of EU law but we note we may be required to at relatively short-notice.

Our 2018/19 Annual Plan builds on these roundtables with the objective: we will introduce changes to the outcomes required from the current process to qualify as a solicitor and work towards a solicitor apprenticeship route to qualification.

Having considered the output of the roundtables, the Education & Training (Standard Setting) Sub-Committee now presents proposed changes to the Foundation Programme Outcomes and PEAT 1 Outcomes. We welcome comments from all involved in, or who have an interest in, the route to qualification to consider these proposed changes and to let us hear their views – whether they are in favour of change or not; or whether they would like to see different changes.

We're aware that looking at a given change to an outcome in isolation may be difficult and that changes to the Foundation Programme may impact the PEAT 1 Programme. We would therefore recommend those responding to the survey to the consultation have a copy of the document of proposed changes to hand so they can see those proposed changes within the wider context of the programmes. These are available in the side panel to the left.

Teaching of ethics and quality of written English

Teaching of ethics and quality of written English are two further areas which have been raised consistently by members of academia and/or the profession.

We did attempt to hold a roundtable on the teaching of ethics but unfortunately due to low numbers indicating an interest this did not occur. We welcome, however, responses to the consultations considering this topic.

The quality of written English of those qualifying into the legal profession. Whilst there are Outcomes in both the Foundation Programme and PEAT Programme which focus on written English we note that there are still concerns from those involved in training the next generation of solicitors. We welcome comments on this topic.

Telling us what you think

If you have any questions about the consultations please email: legaleduc@lawscot.org.uk.

The consultations will close at noon on Friday 22 March 2019.

The apprenticeship work continues as a separate project.

Our 2018/19 Annual Plan contains the following objective: We will agree changes to enhance the standards for accredited providers of the LLB law degree and the Diploma in Professional Practice.

The Education & Training (Standard Setting) Sub-Committee have considered the individual Accreditation Standards for both the Foundation Programme and PEAT 1 and now presents proposed changes and requests for opinions / information. The consultation is primarily aimed at those working within Universities accredited to offer the Foundation Programme and PEAT 1, however, we also welcome comments from those who have an interest in the route to qualification.

Telling us what you think

  • The Foundation Programme Accreditation Standards consultation is available here
  • The PEAT 1 Accreditation Standards consultation is available here

If you have any questions about the consultations please email: legaleduc@lawscot.org.uk

The consultations will close at noon on Monday 15 April.

Calls for views - Access to justice

Our Access to Justice committee is seeking views around pro bono in Scotland.

Pro bono is an important element of access to justice in Scotland, as well as other jurisdictions. Though not a substitute for legal aid, it offers assistance to people across a range of different types of legal problem. We know that this volunteering is prevalent, often through formal programmes, such as firms’ CSR or university law clinics, though also often at individuals’ own initiative. We are keen to explore what more can be done to promote, recognise and support pro bono work in Scotland and hope that our call for views helps to inform this work.

We are inviting views from stakeholders – providers or users of pro bono, or any other interested individuals and organisations – to help us to understand the overall picture. You can submit your views through a short survey or you can provide more detailed views by emailing accesstojustice@lawscot.org.uk
The committee will hold stakeholder roundtables and report on its findings later in 2019.

The survey will close at noon on Monday 8th April

Our Access to Justice committee is seeking views around alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in Scotland.

The use of ADR across Scotland varies widely. It is an area that is increasingly integrated with court procedure, particularly the simple procedure rules. And it is an area that may become more accessible as a result of technology. At this stage, our committee wants to consider whether there is more that could be done to support ADR in Scotland and is looking initially to understand the overall coverage of ADR services.

We are inviting views from stakeholders – providers or users of ADR – to help us to understand the overall picture. You can submit your views through a short survey or you can provide more detailed views by emailing accesstojustice@lawscot.org.uk

The committee will hold stakeholder roundtables and intends to report on its findings later in 2019.

The survey will close at noon on Monday 8th April.

Call for views - Practice rule consultation 2019

In advance of this year’s AGM on Thursday, 30 May, we are consulting on proposed amendments to Rules B4, B5 and C2.

Rules B4 and B5 relate to complaints handling.

The Regulatory Committee has put forward proposals to include a requirement for Client Relations Managers to ensure that, in addition to maintaining a central record of complaints as currently, they also capture a minimum range of information and that copies are sent to the Society on request.  These proposals were the subject of a previous consultation in 2017, and the proposed articulation of the Rules set out in the current consultation has taken into consideration the responses which were received at that time.

There are also new proposals to update the rules on dealing with third party complaints. (Rule B5)

The consultation proposals include mandatory signposting to the SLCC as part of a practice unit’s terms of business (Rule B4) to ensure that clients are informed of the complaints handling process.

We are also seeking to remove inconsistencies between the content of Schedule A and the Insurance Distribution Directive requirements (Rule C2).

Please let us know of any feedback you have on these proposals by emailing us at AGM2019@lawscot.org.uk by 12 noon on Sunday, 31 March.

Proposed amendments to Rules B4, B5 and C2 – CONSULTATION

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