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Qualified Lawyer Transfer Scheme (QLTS): client-centred assessment of qualified lawyers

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Slides for the presentation by Mandy Gill (University of Northumbria), Paul Maharg and Jenny Rawstorne (Solicitors Regulation Authority) at the Learning in Law Annual Conference 2011.

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Qualified Lawyer Transfer Scheme (QLTS): client-centred assessment of qualified lawyers

  1. 1. Qualified Lawyer Transfer Scheme (QLTS): client-centred assessment of qualified lawyers Paul Maharg – University of Northumbria Mandy Gill – SRA Jenny Rawstorne - SRA
  2. 2. Preview <ul><li>Define and analyse basic issues in the assessment of working professionals (PM) </li></ul><ul><li>Outline the regulatory issues facing the SRA working party (JR) </li></ul><ul><li>Summarise the architecture of the assessment and detail its genealogy in the assessment practices of other professions (MG) </li></ul><ul><li>Summarise the implications of this approach for assessment of outcomes-based education at undergraduate and postgraduate stages of legal education (PM) </li></ul><ul><li>Outline proposals for evaluation of the process and content of the QLTS assessment (MG) </li></ul><ul><li>Open discussion – 10 mins </li></ul>
  3. 3. Basic issues in assessment of working professionals (1) <ul><li>Q. What are we assessing? </li></ul><ul><li>A. Day One Outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>But this response is only part of the answer… </li></ul>
  4. 4. Basic issues in assessment of working professionals (2) <ul><li>Interaction of knowledge, skill, values </li></ul><ul><li>Client experience of lawyer </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness by the lawyer of cultural difference embedded in the assessment </li></ul><ul><li>The necessity for the lawyer to bridge legal cultures </li></ul>
  5. 5. Basic issues in assessment of working professionals (3) <ul><li>Assessment, unless actually carried out longitudinally in the lawyer’s workplace, can never give us a complex profile of the working lawyer. But it can give us evidence of how the lawyer might act in specific circumstances. </li></ul><ul><li>Interpretation of those actions is always problematic when considered post-hoc by experts, less so when experienced by a client </li></ul><ul><li>Even a trained proxy client can only assess some aspects of legal work… </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore a multi-part assessment is essential </li></ul>
  6. 6. Regulatory issues (1) <ul><li>QLTS is SRA’s transfer scheme for lawyers qualified: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>elsewhere within the UK </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>within the EEA and EU </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>in a recognised international jurisdiction </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Following extensive consultation and approval by Legal Services Board (LSB) </li></ul><ul><li>QLTS replaced the QLTR and QLTT on 1 September 2010 </li></ul>
  7. 7. Regulatory issues (2) <ul><li>All changes to the SRA’s regulatory arrangements must now be approved by the LSB </li></ul><ul><li>LSB will consider whether the proposed change: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>meets the statutory regulatory objectives; and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>adheres to the Better Regulation Principles </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Regulatory issues (3) <ul><li>Regulatory Objectives include: </li></ul><ul><li>Protecting and promoting the interests of consumers </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraging an independent, strong, diverse and effective legal profession </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting and maintaining adherence to the professional principles </li></ul>
  9. 9. Regulatory issues (4) <ul><li>Better Regulation Principles </li></ul><ul><li>Regulatory policies should be: </li></ul><ul><li>Transparent </li></ul><ul><li>Accountable </li></ul><ul><li>Proportionate </li></ul><ul><li>Consistent </li></ul><ul><li>Targeted </li></ul>
  10. 10. QLTS assessment framework (1) <ul><li>QLTS assessments in 3 parts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Part 1 – Multiple Choice Test (MCT) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Part 2 - Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Part 3 - Technical Legal Skills Test (TLST) </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. QLTS assessment framework (2) <ul><li>OSCE – primarily tests skills - in 3 subject areas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Criminal and civil litigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Property and probate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In each of these areas candidates will rotate through 3 stations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Station 1 – client interview and attendance note </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Station 2 – client interview and attendance note </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Station 3 – advocacy/oral presentation exercise </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. QLTS assessment framework (3) <ul><li>TLST – primarily tests skills - in 3 subject areas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Criminal and civil litigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Property and probate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In each of these areas candidates will undertake 3 assessed exercises </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exercise 1 – on-line legal research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exercise 2 – legal writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exercise 3 – legal drafting </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. QLTS assessment framework (4) <ul><li>Other features: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Angoff method of standard-setting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased validity of testing method due to: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Number of questions asked (in MCT) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Number of times a particular skill is tested (in OSCE and TLST) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Implications for outcomes-based education (1) <ul><li>Can be used for: </li></ul><ul><li>Professional remediation – see interview with Kevin Stirling, lecturer in Simulation, Clinical Skills Centre, U. of Dundee Medical Faculty, on simulation ward activity http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =NzB0oCbAia8&feature= player_embedded </li></ul><ul><li>Professional accreditation, eg work of WS Society on simulated clients, based in part on work of GGSL project – the Signet Accreditation, http:// www.thewssociety.co.uk/accreditation/index.asp?tm =24 </li></ul>
  15. 15. Implications for outcomes-based education (2) <ul><li>SCs + OSCE can be used for undergraduate learning </li></ul><ul><li>Currently being developed for year 3 of the exempting Masters programme at Northumbria University Law School, in part as a bridge between academic work in years 1 & 2, and clinical experience in year 4. Formative & summative assessment. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Implications for outcomes-based education (3) <ul><li>SCs can also be used in professional programmes, eg: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strathclyde’s Diploma in Legal Practice (formative as well as high-stakes assessment of interviewing) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University of New Hampshire’s Daniel Webster Scholars Honors Program, where SCs are being integrated with SIMPLE simulations to provide an environment that is at once a powerful learning and assessment environment – see Future Ed Conference, Harvard & NYLS: http://www.nyls.edu/user_files/1/3/4/30/58/1053/Garvey&Maharg.pdf . </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Future research <ul><li>Formal evaluation by the SRA – impact, form and content of assessment, implementation, use of SCs </li></ul><ul><li>Wider research </li></ul>

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