Lawyers could be subject to competency based spot checks

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Has the role and expectation of lawyers changed? Are they under greater pressure to prove their skills and competency? Is it justified to introduce more comprehensive checks over the course of their service? These are the considerations for the Legal Services Board (LSB) in a letter from a Watchdog. In particular, the LSB are mulling over the prospect of introducing competency based spot checks to see if lawyers are, and continued to remain competent.

Over the last few months, we’ve discussed at great lengths, the adaptability of lawyers and, arguably’, their growing competency in this new technological era. Some lawyers have welcomed it, and others less so. The letter to the Legal Services Board was centred around the ‘leap of faith’ consumers now take in assuming their lawyer is competent and capable.

The role of a lawyer has changed in many ways and it is catching up with the modern day, cutting edge tech world we find ourselves surrounded with. The responsibilities and requirements to be emotionally competent and near entrepreneurial as a lawyer is becoming widely sought .

It is these interpersonal and tech skills that may require some development, but it is worth saying from a tech stand point that the legal profession is still many years behind where it currently stands. Stripping it all back and looking at the skills and legal knowledge of lawyers, it would perhaps be unfair to question these particular skills, given the extensive training and level of work required to even get a training contract and NQ position.

Lawyers, no matter the firm they are practicing at, or their previous experience, are constantly developing themselves through the Career and Professional Development points based requirements. However, they may now be faced with competency based spot checks.  Some lawyers are traditional, which is perfectly fine, but their knowledge and competence of the subject matter shouldn’t be questioned. Maybe their skills with legal tech is the real problem, than their skills and competence with the law itself.

This article is intended for guidance only and must not be relied upon for specific advice.

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Luke Eccles

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Luke Eccles has just completed his Masters in law at University of Manchester, but has always had a passion for Sports. He graduated in 2017 with a 2:1 in Business Law, from St Mary’s University, London and stayed down South for a further two years before returning home in August 2019. Having just completed his Masters, he proactively searched for opportunities and recently secured a position at Kissoon Carr, as a legal recruitment consultant. Through this, Luke has learnt a great deal about the legal sector , and is a keen writer and critique of legal articles across most practice areas. Looking into the future, Luke wishes to continue working with Kissoon Carr and also write weekly legal updates in wide-ranging areas of law, where he will provide a consistent, neutral and an unbiased view on topical legal news. He has a developed a deep interest in EU and Competition Law, and sees himself practising these areas of law in the future.
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