Newsletter – March 2021

From the CEO

What skills do lawyers need to possess before they can practice unsupervised, deserving of their clients’ trust and confidence? What do Costs Lawyers need to know? How should they behave? How is this changing?

We have recently launched a flagship project to articulate, challenge and refine our answers to these questions, hand in hand with the profession.     

In January we started work on the first phase of the project, which involves creating a modern and comprehensive competency framework for Costs Lawyers. This will set out the knowledge, skills and behaviours that we expect a competent Costs Lawyer to possess and exhibit when they enter the profession (i.e. at the point of qualification).

We are currently gathering evidence through multiple channels, including:

  • one-to-one interviews with newly qualified Costs Lawyers as well as supervisors of junior Costs Lawyers
  • focus groups with subject matter experts from a variety of fields, looking at the future of the profession and how a Costs Lawyer’s role is likely to change
  • analysis of work diaries and role descriptions
  • a testing exercise with senior Costs Lawyers to rank the importance of the competencies we identify
  • ongoing input on our methodology from our specialist Expert Panel
  • formal consultation with the profession and wider public

The resulting competency framework will provide a benchmark against which to review the learning outcomes, content and structure of the Costs Lawyer Qualification, to ensure that qualifying Costs Lawyers are well equipped to meet the expectations of their employers and clients into the future. We want to ensure that our regulatory rules allow for a Costs Lawyer Qualification that:

  • can be delivered flexibly, to suit student need, while achieving consistent and relevant learning outcomes;
  • addresses the unique combination of knowledge, skills and behaviours needed specifically by Costs Lawyers.

Work is already well underway and we hope to launch a consultation on the framework in the early summer. You might have already been asked to participate, but if you haven’t and you’re interested, we would love to hear from you.

Kate Wellington

CEO

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