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Employer enrolment scheme

This scheme is designed to help law firms plan their own in-house training of law clerks in conjunction with training at IPLS. Any employer who has three or more employees undertaking the course in a calendar year and would like to place an employee in a particular intake or class can contact the National Director to discuss specific requirements. Where an employer makes an arrangement under this scheme, the employee’s application should be forwarded to IPLS by the employer.

Recommended study leave

Where an employee is working in a firm while studying online IPLS recommends employers allow employees study leave of 10 hours per week – preferably spread throughout the week.

This is because:

  • The learning of skills online involves a cycle of performing tasks, receiving feedback, reflecting on what one has learnt and then performing the new tasks at the next level of difficulty, using the lessons learnt.
  • This regime requires trainees keep up to date with coursework, so they can receive feedback and reflect on it before undertaking the next task.

If trainees find their client workload increases to the point their IPLS coursework may suffer, they should advise their instructor as soon as possible.

Graduate competencies

IPLS provides a unique competency-based training programme that prepares trainees for legal practice.  It is designed to equip trainees with the skills and knowledge required for practice in New Zealand, irrespective of the area of law in which they will be engaged. Its focus is the development of transferable skills , rather than transactional knowledge. IPLS training teaches the underlying and fundamental skills that lawyers use, singularly or combined, to enable them to perform the specific transactions required in practice.

Skills-based training does not focus on the sequential and procedural steps of carrying out transactions, but provides opportunities for lawyers to practice the skills by applying them to a range of transactions representative of the work they will be doing. Skills are enduring, whereas transactions are finite and ever changing. During the course, trainees undertake a range of exercises and activities to develop their skills in general practice, litigation practice and professional responsibility.

On graduation, trainees have generic transferable skills and some transactional contextualising for those skills. They will be ready for supervised training in client transactions and should be able to make a valuable contribution to the workplace from day one. Employers and trainees should discuss the way in which trainees can apply the skills learnt on the IPLS course to transactions they are asked to perform in the course of their employment.

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The skills taught
The transactions covered