Lawyers could be subject to competency based spot checks

by Luke Eccles

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.