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Bond University’s Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLE) is proud to host the 2020 Professional Legal Education conference on the theme of ‘Harmonising Legal Education: Aligning the Stages in Lifelong Learning for Lawyers’, in partnership with the Australasian Law Academics Association (ALAA), the Law Wellness Network and Voiceless.

The 2020 Professional Legal Education Conference will be a virtual conference, with registration free of charge. Speakers will be able to deliver their presentations online, and attendees will be able to view the presentations, ask questions and provide feedback remotely. The program will be delivered as a combination of live streaming and pre-recorded videos able to be watched at any time.

UPDATE: General interest papers on any topic of general legal interest are also welcomed. ALAA is now a Conference Partner, and any paper initially intended to be presented at the unfortunately cancelled 2020 ALAA Conference can instead be presented at the 2020 Professional Legal Education Conference.

Conference theme

Harmonising Legal Education: Aligning the Stages in Lifelong Learning for Lawyers

The three main stages in the lifelong learning journey of the typical lawyer are the completion of the law degree (the Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor); satisfaction of the practical training requirements for admission with either a traineeship or a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (PLT); and post-admission education in the form of continuing professional development, specialist accreditation or postgraduate study such as a Master of Laws. All three stages have been subjected to criticism by various stakeholders. Employers complain that the content of the law degree does not reflect the reality of contemporary legal practice and that new law graduates must ‘unlearn’ what they have learned at law school. New lawyers complain that PLT fails to adequately prepare them for the legal workplace. Law schools allege that CPD is inadequately rigorous and law societies allege that formal postgraduate study is of little benefit to practitioners. Some criticisms are the result of ignorance of what occurs in the relevant stage of the learning journey. Other criticisms have merit and could be addressed by greater collaboration between those responsible for each stage of the journey

This conference will seek to facilitate greater alignment between the stages in the educational journey of lawyers by bringing together legal academics, legal practitioners, law students, PLT trainers, CPD providers, law societies, law librarians, regulators, administrators and others to share their insights and experiences, learn from each other, and collaborate on the harmonisation of professional legal education.

The CPLE and Conference Partners

Centre for Professional Legal Education

The Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLE) is a community of legal educators, researchers, practitioners and administrators who collaborate in defining, understanding and promoting best practice in the teaching of law. The work of the Centre has a particular emphasis upon the changing nature of professional legal education and training in the context of an internationalised, transformed and technology-enhanced legal services sector.

The CPLE is very proud to be hosting this conference in partnership with: