• Robert Spicer

Alternative practice: seminars open to the public without charge

Seminars. Practitioners must comply with continuing professional development requirements, involving a set number of hours. These can be fulfilled by holding seminars. There is no reason why clients cannot be invited to seminars where the topic under discussion relates to their own problems. Unfortunately, the authorities now charge for accreditation of seminars, whether or not an entry charge is made, and this makes holding free seminars problematic. Again, the free market dominates. Since compulsory continuing legal education was introduced for all barristers, we have seen a scramble to turn this into a money-making opportunity. All kinds of individuals and institutions offer training courses to comply with the new regulations, at a high price. The progressive lawyer should, in any event, have kept up to date with his speciality, so that he can take on traditional lawyers on equal or better terms. Seminars, which count towards the continuing education requirements, can be offered free of charge and open to the public. In this way, free advice and information can be offered without any element of the patronising charitable ethic.

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