Oct 2014

IPLS Newsletter

October 2014

Welcome to the October edition of Steps for 2014. This has been an exciting year for IPLS. In response to your requests, we have made substantial changes to our 13 week course reducing the number of onsite days from 30 down to 20 thereby minimising the impact on your business. We are also reducing our current 19 week course to 18 weeks as of January 2015.

The ratio of 13 week to 19 week enrolments clearly shows there is a need for both courses. In Auckland, Hamilton and Dunedin the split is very even while in Wellington and Christchurch there is a definite preference for the shorter course.

I am very pleased to report we continue to attract very experienced members of the profession to our family of instructors. I believe the fact these busy practitioners are willing to join us in mentoring the next generation of New Zealand lawyers is a reflection of the high regard in which IPLS is held.

During September we staged very successful evenings in Otago, Canterbury, Victoria, Waikato and AUT law schools. It was wonderful to have the support of so many members of the profession at these events. The students appreciated the opportunity to ask questions in an informal setting.

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


Meet our new instructors

To meet the increasing demand for our very popular Profs course, we have recently welcomed several new instructors across all five centres.

  • Charlotte Griffin – Wellington

Charlotte is currently a Crown Counsel in the Public Law team with the Crown Law Office. As Crown Counsel, she has become an experienced trial and appellate advocate. She has conducted litigation in the Coroner’s Court, District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal on behalf of the Crown. Charlotte has appeared with, and assisted, two Solicitors-General in various Court of Appeal and Supreme Court hearings in leading human rights cases. She has a BA and LLM (Hons) from University of Victoria. (Image Left)

  • Ian Telford – Auckland

Ian works as a barrister from chambers in Manukau city specialising in Family law relating to the care and protection of children, Health and social care law and regulation, Mental Health law and vulnerable adults. His background in nursing (general/psychiatric/intellectual disability) and law relating to healthcare management informs his practice. Ian also has experience as a corporate counsel.

  •  Bridget Thomas – Christchurch

Bridget graduated from Canterbury University with a law degree and a BA in history and psychology. She has practised law in a wide range of areas at Lane Neave in Christchurch and Tripp Rolleston & Co in Timaru. More recently she has really enjoyed working at Canterbury University, tutoring legal system and contract law and doing some part time lecturing.

  • Janine Bonifant – Wellington

Janine has mostly been Deputy Public Defender with the Public Defence Service, where she was responsible for managing case allocations and quality of service delivery, handling a personal caseload of category three and four trial matters. Prior to moving to Wellington, she acted in the role of Crown Prosecutor for Tasman District while at Pitt & Moore in Nelson. She has an LLB from University of Victoria.

Changes to IPLS course offerings

Earlier this year, the onsite component of the 13 week course was changed from two three-week blocks to two two-week blocks. Two of the litigation module seminars previously taught onsite (Research and Trial Preparation), are now part of the online litigation programme. As a result, the onsite focus is now exclusively on advocacy skills.

The change has also enabled easier transition from the 13 week course to the 19 week offering and vice versa.

The Drafting for Advocacy seminar materials have been updated to take into account the new District Court Rules, which came into force on 1 July 2014. During the updating process, the documents were future-proofed against proposed changes to the District Court’s jurisdiction, which are likely to be introduced into law as a result of the Judicature Modernisation Bill.

In July we transitioned from Brookers to Westlaw research platform. To ensure assessment integrity, new administrative arrangements have been introduced to allow trainees individual access to this research tool.

Work has begun on the development of a modified course which offers trainees the opportunity to complete their onsite blocks of an evening and weekend. This is as a result of requests from trainees working full-time.

Other areas of potential development in 2015 and 2016 as a result of employer discussions include IPLS offering courses more tailored to your needs while still adhering to the regulatory framework. IPLS believes this is feasible particularly as we deliver skills training. The transactions delivered within the existing skill set are infinite. Teaching letter writing and drafting can be tailored to any legal context not just those currently taught. The same is true for all of the skills. This is one of the strengths of the IPLS course and the regulations in their current form.

In 2015, we will also be looking to integrate changes to the programme arising from amendments to the regulations as a consequence of Sir Andrew Tipping’s review.

Profession joins networking events

During September, IPLS conducted “Meet the Profession” speed networking events in Otago, Canterbury, Victoria, Waikato and AUT universities. This year we changed the format from a panel featuring four or five members of the profession to a ‘speed networking’ format where 10 – 12 tables were placed around the space. Representatives of the profession were on one side of the table and law students on the other.

When the bell rang students moved to a different table. As always it was most gratifying to receive such enthusiastic support from the profession. The events featured representatives from the community law centres in each area, crown solicitors, district court judges, barristers, QCs and in-house counsels from organisations such as Ravensdown, Southern DHB, Fonterra, IRD, FARSA, Air New Zealand and Co-operative Bank.

Law firms participating in the events included Gallaway Cook Allan, Anderson Lloyd, Webb Farry, McCaw Lewis, Norris Ward Mackinnon, Tompkins Wake, James & Wells, Harkness Henry, Meredith Connell, Kensington Swan, Lane Neave, Duncan Cotterill, Helmore Bowron Scott, Lexington Legal, Baldwins, Luke Cunningham Clere, DLA Philips Fox, Kahui Legal, Bell Gully, Simpson Grierson and EY Law.

Government departments participating in the September IPLS events included Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Social Development, Public Defence Service, Disputes Tribunal and Government Legal Network.

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? Would you prefer a bespoke program tailored to exactly suit your business needs?

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

New IPLS website

The new IPLS website has been designed to keep pace with the changing needs of its users in that it seamlessly adapts to suit the many different viewing devices. Regardless of whether you are viewing the site on a pc, laptop, notebook or smart phone, it will be displayed correctly so the content can be easily read.

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