For the first time ever more men have so far completed their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) declarations than women.
And about 10% of the Auckland branch alone made their declarations in a three hour period following an article in last week’s LawPoints.
There are 11 working days until the CPD deadline of 7 April.
New Zealand Law Society Professional Development Manager Ken Trass says there’s been a swing of 19% from women to men declaring to NZLS that they have completed CPD at this stage. He says this may be down to a different approach by the NZLS.
“I highlighted to the profession last year, after seeing the stats, that men were slower to make their declarations. I don’t know if they are reacting to that or taking it as a bit of challenge, but blokes have certainly pulled finger.”
Mr Trass also says senior practitioners, those over the age of 50, have been far more responsive this year in completing their declarations, and are way ahead of where they were last year. He says the number in this group has almost trebled.
“It may be that last year I reported back to the profession that older practitioners seem to be less certain about the rules, how to get the CPD done. So I am wondering if that message was taken on board.”
Auckland lawyers reacted positively to news that CPD declarations are down with a huge influx in one day.
“There was a surge in one afternoon in Auckland on the Friday following the last LawPoints newsletter, which is great because Auckland has the largest branch in the country with over 5,500 members,” Mr Trass says.
“Between 3pm and 6pm almost 500 lawyers made their declarations.”
“There are members of the profession who view CPD as a once-a-year thing. However, they are really engaging in their learning through CPD, and I would say that more and more we have a great level of in-depth engagement with the point of CPD.
“I would ask lawyers to please remember that the whole point of CPD is lawyer focussed – it’s about lawyers getting something out of their learning and having time to reflect on it, and you can’t do that once a year just before deadline.
“We’re still seeing a last-minute rush to these one-day, all-you-can-eat CPD activities, and while a number of providers do really good things with those, they’re not necessarily going to suit everyone in terms of their learning needs, which is the whole point of the programme.”
Mr Trass also says the Wellington and Canterbury-Westland branches are further ahead than they have been before at this stage, partly due to the good organisation of the branches, whereas in some rural areas he believes there are smaller practices and busy lawyers with different kind of pressures.
To complete the declaration a lawyer logs in to the Law Society Registry with their lawyer ID (included on the practising certificate and also at the bottom of each issue of the weekly LawPoints e-newsletter).
Once logged in, the "CPD" option can be selected, and completion of the process involves selecting the box corresponding to the appropriate CPD year, and clicking to "tick" it. It is necessary to click on "Save" to complete the declaration.