Neville Carter AM, CEO & Principal of The College of Law today announced that a package funded to $3M would be made available to support the legal profession in Australia and New Zealand, as it recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Carter explained the motivation for developing the package.
“We at the College have been thinking for some time how we can best support the profession during this difficult time. We know that many firms and practices have seen a decline in business and that many legal professionals have lost their jobs. The College exists to support lawyers and other legal professionals into and through their careers and we therefore have enormous sympathy for our colleagues who are coming to grips with challenges like these.
It is essential for the Australian economy as a whole that the legal industry emerges from this as strong if not stronger than before. However, we know that funds will be tight in the early stages and re-hiring may be slow to take off.
We feel the best contribution we can make is to assist the profession in upskilling, to assist individuals seeking employment or looking to reposition their careers, and firms to expand their skill base."
There are three main components of this package:
- Up to 300 scholarships to support training toward a Graduate Certificate in Applied Law within any of the College’s range of eleven specialist practice areas.
- Up to 100 scholarships to support training towards a Graduate Certificate in Legal Business or a Graduate Certificate in Legal Operations within the College’s Legal Business Management program.
- Knowledge and skill development around the changing nature of the legal profession and of legal services delivery, achieved via access without fee to the extensive range of programs offered by the Centre for Legal Innovation including complimentary membership of the Legalpreneurs Lab.
Both scholarship programs will provide credit towards Graduate Diploma and Masters level qualifications for those wishing to continue to higher levels of qualification.
Mr Carter explained that the package of up to 400 scholarships is an initial tranche valued at around AU $3M but that further tranches are anticipated.
The subjects available in both scholarship areas are delivered online and are designed to be flexible around work or home schedules. Successful applicants can choose from over 80 subjects across 11 areas of specialisation, taught by practising lawyers and other professionals in the legal industry.
Scholarship award criteria
There will be three criteria for the award of a scholarship.
Negative Impact of COVID-19
Demonstrated direct negative impact of COVID-19 related economic circumstances on career, broadly at the level of government endorsed guidelines (30%).
Commitment to Career Development
Demonstrated commitment to re-forging career utilising education strategies to build career-relevant knowledge, skills and credentials.
Positive Benefit for Profession and Community
Demonstrated likely positive impact of career strategy on the wider legal profession and the communities it serves.
“We have been very fortunate at the College to have enjoyed a number of good years and feel extremely gratified that we can make this contribution. I have our Board’s approval to fund this from our reserves. The Board is unanimously supportive of this initiative.”