What a difference a year makes!

 In Comment, Gill's Blog

Disclaimer: LawSkills provides training for the legal industry and does not provide legal advice to members of the public. For help or guidance please seek the services of a qualified practitioner.

Gill Steel Blog prefAt the beginning of 2014 I was not sure what the future held. Personally my health was badly affected but I was one of the lucky ones who has been able to overcome problems with the help of all sorts of people but particularly my family, friends and work colleagues. So thank you for your expressions of concern, acts of help and words of support. It has meant a lot.


Businesswise training has seen the announcement by the SRA of the new CPD system for lawyers to come into effect by November 2016 at the latest; a less loud but similar change in the STEP CPD system and a quite different set of rules for members of CILEX. Personally, I believe standards will be raised eventually by putting practitioners in control of their learning and development under the new approach. Obviously, it will take time to feel familiar and it will be hard for firms to budget unless they allocate some budget to particular individuals to use in accordance with an agreed personal development plan.

The switch means more training companies providing only face-to-face learning will struggle. The diverse means of learning is well and truly upon us with skype, webinars, videos, podcasts, e-learning as well as reading books and discussion with peers. It is a challenge but I am hopeful that gradually people will appreciate that learning will be retained if it is of a subject matter which they seek; if it is via a medium they enjoy and if it is timely and of good quality. It does not follow that it has to be free or cheap!

With the CPD changes in mind I have created a new 3 hour training course designed to help firms get to grips with the changes.  Entitled “Achieving a competent team – the new CPD system for solicitors” course participants will have the tools to help them be more focused on identifying & addressing their learning needs.

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It feels like the opening up of the legal sector to competition has gathered pace this year even though some of the biggest suppliers, such as the Co-operative, have themselves struggled. Nevertheless the relentless demands of an educated consumer market will mean that more services will have to be delivered quicker and cheaper at one end whilst sophisticated and complex services will be needed at the other on a bespoke basis to consumers with complicated lives.  Innovation is the only way forward to future proof law practices.

LawSkills remains delighted to offer in-house bespoke training and consultancy to a wide range of practices large and small in every part of England and Wales as well as to professional bodies at national and branch level. We have continued to improve our website and know from our discussions around the country that you find it helpful and the articles of high quality provided by a range of experts.

We have also developed our working relationships with LiPs and Professional Conferences during the year providing many webinars and videos with our partners. We plan to do more of both and to present some e-snippets too under our own banner in 2015. Watch this space!

We continue to invest in the development of resources for the private client practitioner and plan to sell our materials as well as sell the delivery of courses using the materials in 2015.

Thank you for being a consumer of our services and please do let us know how we can continue to serve you in 2015 and beyond – we are all fired up and ready to go!

Best wishes for a relaxing Christmas and a vibrant 2015!


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Gill Steel Blog prefCase Summary from LawSkills | Private Client specialist trainers