Continuing Professional Development – Let's Make this Meaningful

This morning the lawyers in our firm attended a great continuing legal education seminar about Civil Litigation in the Milton Court House. This was fantastic as it provided real information about our area of practice.

Unfortunately, meaningful seminars are difficult to find, particularly as we become more senior members of the Bar.

The Law Society of Upper Canada requires that every lawyer and paralegal complete 12 hours of continuing professional development (cpd) each year; however, there is no requirement that it be relevant to your area of practice.

This means that lawyers and paralegals can comply by taking courses completely irrelevant to their area of practice. Courses generally cost money: there used to be free ones but the Law Society is now charging $ 25.00 for these courses. Therefore, in the absence of making the cpd relevant to one’s area of practice, I submit, this is simply a tax on lawyers.

Let me be clear: I have no objection to relevant cpd and enjoy taking cpd that is relevant to my area of law and paying for it. What I do object to is the Law Society not actually making the cpd requirement relevant: it’s been mocked by the profession and that helps no one.

Inga B. Andriessen JD