Education

2017/18 Annual Report

The Law Society’s Education Committee oversees the Law Society’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme, curated and developed by the Law Society’s Professional Development Team, and delivered by subject matter experts.

The Committee’s membership is strongly supported by the Western Australian legal profession, ensuring the Law Society delivers engaging and informed education, as well as offering a variety of formats to suit a range of learning styles and preferences.

In 2017/18, within the CPD programme, there was greater diversity of speakers and content, and many topics were offered for the first time. This included a day conference on Elder Abuse; a seminar on the innovations and partnerships of Community Legal Centres, and a workshop on ‘mindfulness’ as a tool for dealing with distressed clients.

Our inaugural ‘Country Practitioners’ Day’ as part of Law Week 2018, was oversubscribed, attracting delegates from as far north as Broome and the Pilbara, to Kalgoorlie and, from the south west as far as Esperance.

Our popular Ethics on Friday seminars continued, supported by experts from members of the Law Society’s Ethics Committee, the Legal Practice Board, and the Legal Profession Complaints Committee.

Our annual flagship conference, Law Summer School, in 2018 included substantive law topics, and invaluable sessions on cultural diversity and inclusion, with the closing address delivered by respected company director Diane Smith-Gander.

In 2017/18, we provided education focused on supporting core skills for today’s lawyers, with seminars on mental health and resilience, leadership, legal and operational risk mitigation, artificial intelligence, and implicit bias.

The Society also proudly worked together with other associations, including the National Environmental Law Association, Women Lawyers WA, Australian Legal Practice Management Association, and the Asian Australian Lawyers Association.

This year also launched the Society’s first research partnership, with the Edith Cowan University Security Research Institute and its Director, Prof Craig Valli. A survey of the Law Society’s members informed a series of seminars to improve the cybersecurity awareness of Western Australia’s lawyers, and also resulted in a research paper delivered at the University of Texas at
Austin in May 2018.

The Society gained momentum in providing greater access to all, but in particular regional and outer metropolitan members, by making a greater number of seminars available via webinar and on our online eLearning platform.

In 2017, the Society completed an external review of its CPD programme, which review demonstrated the Law Society’s strength in delivering valuable education for our profession. The review also provided important recommendations for future opportunities which were adopted by the Council in December 2017, for action.

We thank all members of the Committee, and we pay respect to long-standing Education Committee member, Su Lloyd, who sadly passed away in May 2018.

For more information about this committee please email cpd@lawsocietywa.asn.au