July 2015

IPLS Newsletter

July 2015

Welcome to the July edition of Steps. I am very excited to bring you news of our latest course – a fulltime, onsite 13-week offering which came about as a result of ongoing consultation with the profession as to their graduate training needs.

Already, the announcement of this course has attracted a great deal of interest from the profession, with two of the largest law firms, namely Chapman Tripp and Bell Gully, confirming their intention to enrol their 2016 graduates into the February intake.

The development of this course is also in line with stated government priorities. For example, the Tertiary Education Strategy 2014–2019 (TES) states: “The TEC expects TEOs (IPLS) to engage broadly and deeply with their stakeholders to gain a shared understanding of future skill and knowledge needs and use that intelligence to plan future provision.”

In its General Plan Guidance for 2015 and 2016 TEC states:

TEOs need to increase their contribution to New Zealand’s economic productivity through matching their provision to the skill needs of the employment market. For the tertiary system to produce graduates who can excel in the workplace, TEOs and employers need to invest in deep, sustained, two-way relationships where they work together to:

  • develop a shared understanding of what makes for a competent and successful graduate
  • design educational experiences for learners that help them develop the right skills and capabilities.

It is very important to us we continue to meet the needs of the profession. While we take every opportunity to consult with industry stakeholders it is not possible to talk to everyone. Therefore, we invite you to have your say by completing the five minute anonymous online survey further down.

Kind regards,

Bernadette Wilson
National Director

IPLS to offer 13-week full-time onsite course in 2016

Following consultation with the profession, IPLS will offer a 13-week full-time onsite Professional Legal Studies Course (Profs) in 2016.

While our blended learning course, which comprises a combination of onsite and online seminars, continues to form the majority of our 2016 schedule, we are pleased to include a new full-time onsite option.

Over the past year a number of law firms have expressed interest in a full-time onsite option. With several major course development projects now complete, the timing is right to start work on such a course.

The onsite seminars are an important element of our existing programme and are always rated very highly by our trainees. Being in the classroom allows trainees to practice their skills in a safe and supportive environment and receive immediate, detailed individual feedback on their performance.

The development of the new offering also provides an opportunity for IPLS to expand the library of transactions used to teach the required 11 skills.

IPLS has always maintained a strong focus on competency-based, skills training. Our approach is that skills are transferrable across a broad range of transactions so we are taking this opportunity to include additional corporate and commercial transactions typically undertaken by a first year lawyer in a law firm.

The IPLS name has always been synonymous with high quality, high value learning. Our dedication to delivering relevant, practical skills training throughout our 28 years of operation has earned us enormous goodwill among our trainee alumni.

Law firms interested in enrolling graduates into the new course should contact IPLS via the “Any Questions?” button on the IPLS Home Page at www.ipls.nz. Enrolments will open on September 1, 2015.

New 18 week course

From January 1, 2015 IPLS began offering an 18 week course alongside its popular 13 week course. The 18 week course replaces the previous 19 week offering and like its predecessor, is ideal for those law graduates completing Profs while working full-time.

The new 18 week course comprises ten days onsite Legal Practice which includes Interviewing, Advising and Negotiation; ten days Advocacy and 14 weeks online.

During 2015 we will continue to add to our transaction database. The transactions delivered within the existing skill set are infinite. Teaching letter writing and drafting skills can be tailored to any legal context. The same is true for all of the skills. This is one of the strengths of the IPLS course.

Chapman Tripp and Bell Gully move to IPLS

Two of New Zealand’s largest and most prestigious law firms, Chapman Tripp and Bell Gully, have confirmed their intention to enrol their 2016 graduates into the new 13-week, full-time onsite Professional Legal Studies Course (Profs) to be offered by IPLS in 2016.

“Chapman Tripp and Bell Gully are to be commended for their commitment to their graduates,” said IPLS National Director, Bernadette Wilson. “The fact they are prepared to have employees away from the workplace for 13 weeks clearly demonstrates the importance they place on the high value skills training provided by IPLS.”

“It can be overwhelming for graduates trying to adjust to life outside university, settle into an unfamiliar workplace environment and give their best to their Profs course so it is particularly pleasing to see members of the profession recognising the value of allowing graduates to focus on Profs full-time,” she said.

“We decided to enrol our 2016 graduates on the IPLS full-time course as we see the value in a high quality onsite programme that allows our graduates to focus exclusively on developing the skills required to be excellent lawyers. It is also important to us that there is a good focus on corporate and commercial transactions in Profs”, said Andrew Poole, Chief Executive Partner, Chapman Tripp.

“The real value in this programme is that our law clerks will be fully trained and ‘work ready’ when they start with us. This gives them the advantage of being able to make the most of the transactional work within their first year with the firm,” said Simon Watt, Partner, Bell Gully.

According to Bernadette Wilson, the number of law firms selecting IPLS as their preferred Profs provider has been steadily increasing over the past three years.

“We are pleased to welcome Chapman Tripp and Bell Gully back after an absence of ten years,” she said.

Meet our new instructors

To meet the increasing demand for our very popular Profs course, we have recently welcomed three new instructors to the IPLS family.

Ben Lenihan – Auckland

Ben is a commercial and corporate lawyer with over 10 years’ experience in New Zealand and Europe. He has worked for Simpson Grierson and Duncan Cotterill in New Zealand and CMS Cameron McKenna in Romania and throughout Europe. Ben has a specialty in technology law as well as corporate M&A transactions and general commercial and contract law. He has tutored LAWS101 and contract law at the University of Canterbury as well as teaching English in Europe for a number of years. Ben has a particular interest in teaching the practical skills needed to be a commercially focused advisor to small and large businesses.

Rebecca Murphy – Christchurch

Rebecca completed her LLB-BA at Canterbury University. She has practiced law for 15 years and has worked in both New Zealand and the Channel Islands. She has practiced primarily litigation at a local Christchurch firm and has appeared in many Courts and Tribunals in New Zealand including appearances in the Court of Appeal.

Richard Sutton – Hamilton

Richard was admitted to the bar in 2007 and holds a BA from Otago University and LLB from Waikato University. Based in Hamilton, Richard specialises in Family Law including Relationship Property and Children’s Matters as well as General Litigation such as land disputes and employment matters.

Stakeholder engagement activities

IPLS continues to engage with key stakeholders including law students and members of the profession. During the first half of 2015, we have met with a number of law firms around the country as well as more than 500 law students from across the six law schools.

Careers Fair

IPLS exhibited at the Careers Fairs in Otago, Canterbury, Victoria, Auckland and Waikato law schools during March and April. We spoke with almost 300 law students all keen to know more about the IPLS Profs course.

2015 IPLS Bridging the Gap launch

In May, we hosted the launch of the IPLS YLC Bridging the Gap mentoring programme at our Wellington learning centre. This year there are 52 pairs of law graduates from Victoria University and Wellington lawyers with up to five years’ PQE. The programme provides one-on-one mentoring and is aimed at making the transition from university to the workplace as seamless as possible.

Pizza and Profs

Throughout May IPLS hosted Pizza and Profs lunch-time information sessions at all six law schools. All events were extremely well-attended with between 50 and 80 students coming along to hear more about the IPLS Profs course. Our message of ‘high-value’; ‘high-quality’ resonated with the students, a large proportion of whom indicated a preference for the IPLS approach.

IPLS Website – Employers section

The IPLS website features a section aimed specifically at prospective employers of IPLS trainees as well as a Job Board where law firms are able to place Situations Vacant advertisements.

Have your say!

IPLS continually reviews its course to ensure the information provided to trainees is relevant and current. It is equally important to us that we are meeting the needs of the profession.

Would you prefer your graduates to do Profs outside business hours? For example: two or three evenings a week and some Saturdays with the rest online?

What do you think of the new 13-week, full-time course?

If you would like to have your say as to how we could better meet your business needs, please take two minutes to complete the online, anonymous five question Quick Poll at:  IPLS Course Delivery Quick Poll

Or, if you would like your comments on the record please email info@ipls.org.nz

Professional meeting rooms available for hire

Located in the heart of Auckland at 92 Albert Street, the Institute of Professional Legal Studies (IPLS) is pleased to make its dynamic new learning centre available to members of the legal profession for meetings, mediation, training, seminars and other events.

The centre offers:

  • Large classroom – seats 24 (with electronic whiteboard & 55” LCD TV)
  • Small classroom – seats 16 (with electronic whiteboard & 55” LCD TV)
  • Boardroom – seats 10
  • Three meeting rooms for breakout sessions – seat 4-8
  • Courtroom – seats 10
  • Computer lab – 16 PCs
  • Spacious common room for meal breaks

Facilities available

  • Onsite IT specialist to assist with technology set-up
  • Onsite venue manager to assist with catering set-up
  • Catering can be arranged to suit your needs
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Multi-function printer/copier

For availability and pricing please contact IPLS on 09 358 1204 or email info@ipls.org.nz