May 2017

IPLS Newsletter

May 2017


Welcome to the May edition of STEPS.  I am pleased to provide you with an update on recent IPLS activities.

I am happy to report that our second year of the 13 week fulltime onsite course was very well received by all the trainees on the course. All agreed the skills they acquired would be useful in practice and were looking forward to getting into the workplace and putting them to use. The 2018 course has already been scheduled with work already started on enhancing the content even further.

Based on trainee and employer feedback we included two intakes on the 2017 calendar where onsites take place outside business hours. The March intake was fully subscribed while the July intake is already receiving enrolments. At present, this course option is only available in Auckland and Wellington.

We are currently on the hunt for new premises in Christchurch and I look forward to providing you with an update in the next edition of STEPS.

I am happy to have this opportunity to introduce our five new instructors who have joined the teaching team over the past few months. It is pleasing to have on board instructors with such a strong combination of practical legal experience and excellent coaching skills.

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 emailing .

Kind regards,

Bernadette Wilson

National Director


Second fulltime onsite course a success

Following the completion of our second 13 week fulltime onsite course on April 28, IPLS invited trainees to complete an anonymous online survey. The results of this survey were extremely positive and IPLS is pleased to confirm this course has already been scheduled to run in 2018.

While our blended learning course, which comprises a combination of onsite and online seminars, continues to form the majority of the schedule, IPLS is pleased to include the full-time onsite option which will run from January 31 to April 27, 2018 in Auckland and Wellington.

The 2017 course comprised graduates from Chapman Tripp and Bell Gully as well as several independent trainees who were keen to benefit from 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,” said IPLS National Director, Bernadette Wilson.

Comments from the IPLS evaluation survey included:

  • “I liked the feedback system, as it was very helpful having the opportunity to attempt the tasks and then receiving feedback on where I went wrong. I found this very beneficial.”
  • “I really enjoyed the passion, effort and commitment of the instructors. They do a wonderful job of showing individual interest and progression. This genuine interest to make trainees better means a lot and makes the process much more enjoyable.”
  • “I liked how the negotiation module forced me to not be agreeable and to adapt new more critically minded skills. I also liked how we were exposed to various documents that will be helpful in the work place.”
  • “I liked how we had lots of opportunities to practice our skills. It was useful to receive comprehensive feedback from the instructor about our performance in the feedback interview.”
  • “Being able to have a first ‘crack’ at things like drafting letters and documents in a less intimidating environment, without the pressures of partner/colleague/client expectations. I have also found that I have picked up some key concepts and legal documents which are good to revise before entering into real work.”
  • “I liked the change to practice in a setting that closely resembles court, and learning about court etiquette/rules of evidence.”
  • “I enjoyed the practical side of the Litigation module as it is not something I have done before. It was also good to practice public speaking.”


Evening onsites prove popular 

Following requests from students wishing to do the IPLS Profs course but finding it a challenge to take time away from their workplace, IPLS introduced onsites out of business hours in Auckland and Wellington this year.

These have proved to be very popular with both trainees and employers. The March intake was fully subscribed with a second intake running in July already receiving enrolments.

The new onsite option is based on the 18 week course designed for trainees who are employed fulltime.

Trainees complete their Interviewing, Advising, Negotiation and Advocacy seminars over several evenings from 6pm to 9pm and four Saturdays from 9am to 3pm. This replaces the usual four weeks in the classroom.

“Trainees enrolling in the evening/weekend course option can be assured of receiving the same high quality learning delivered across all our courses,” said IPLS National Director, Bernadette Wilson.

“Because we keep the numbers small in each onsite, trainees still enjoy plenty of opportunity to practice their skills and receive individual feedback prior to their assessments and during the Advocacy seminar, trainees still complete a full trial.”

Employers wishing to know more, or who are interested in receiving July dates should email

Meet our new instructors

To meet the increasing demand for our very popular Profs course, we have appointed five new instructors around the country.  In Auckland we have Penny Jones and Christina Lee. Based in Hamilton is Seung Youn with Fiona Miller in Wellington.

Penny practised law at Cobbetts, a large commercial firm in Manchester England, before moving to New Zealand in 1996. Since 1996 Penny has practised law in New Zealand and is a Partner of Wynyard Wood based in Auckland. Penny has wide experience in business, commercial & property matters with particular interests in asset management.







Christina is a practicing barrister and solicitor specialising in family and commercial law and has a wealth of experience in lecturing, tutoring and course creating. Christina gained her LLB (Hons) in Singapore and her LLM (Hons) in Auckland. She is multilingual in English, Malay/ Bahasa Indonesia, and has conversational knowledge of Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien and French.







Seung is currently a litigation solicitor with Public Defence Service in Hamilton.  He has worked for Preston Russell Law and Public Defence Service and has a wide range of experience in litigation.  He graduated with LLB and BSocSc from the University of Waikato and also obtained LLM(Hons) specialised in Litigation and Disputes Resolution from the University of Auckland.







Fiona gained a Bachelor of Laws Honours degree in Scotland in 1991, requalified in New Zealand in 2008 and achieved a Postgraduate Diploma in Child Advocacy with Distinction at the University of Otago in 2011. Fiona has wide teaching and lawyering experience specialising in family law and is currently studying toward a PhD in children’s consent to medical treatment at the University of Otago.

Marketing Update

IPLS launched its 2017 marketing campaign in February which featured a new ad, new four page brochure, posters, flyers and a range of branded premiums including pens, post-its, ear buds and triple connector phone charging cables.

IPLS continues to engage with key stakeholders including law students and members of the profession. Over the past four months, we completed multiple marketing activities during which we spoke to more than a large number of law students from across the six law schools.

2017 advertising

The new IPLS ad has been created to reflect IPLS’ growing position as the Profs provider of choice by both employers and law students.








Careers Fair

IPLS exhibited at the Careers Fairs in Otago, Canterbury, Victoria and Auckland law schools during March and April. We spoke with more than 250 law students all keen to know more about the IPLS Profs course.







2017 IPLS Bridging the Gap launch

Earlier this month, we hosted the launch of the IPLS YLC Bridging the Gap mentoring programme at our Wellington learning centre.  This year there are more than 80 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 is hosting its popular Pizza and Profs lunch-time information sessions at law schools.




Pasifika law student sponsorship

IPLS is please to sponsor the Otago PILSA mentoring breakfast in Dunedin on May 19 and participation by law students from the Victoria University Samoan Association at a national five-day competition in July attended by Samoan Associations around universities the country.

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.

IPLS goes Live!

The IPLS website now features a Live Chat option for anyone with a question.