The Society aims to make relevant CPD accessible for all Nova Scotian lawyers at no or limited cost. The flexibility of the Society’s CPD Requirement makes this achievable, as lawyers can design and deliver customized CPD programming through study groups.
What is a study group?
A study group is a group of two or more lawyers studying together for a primarily educational purpose. It is an eligible CPD activity toward the Society’s CPD Requirement.
The study group format provides endless scope for delivering creative CPD content. A few examples:
- Lawyers with a mutual practice area interest can review recent court decisions and discuss their implications.
- A colleague attends a conference and presents highlights to the practice group.
- A group of lawyers invites a LIANS representative to provide a group presentation and Q&A session on risk and practice management issues.
- Lawyers watch a video on advanced negotiation techniques, then practise through a simulated negotiation exercise.
How do I organize a study group?
- Start by identifying one or more gaps in your skills and knowledge (see Create a professional development plan).
- Consult the CPD Chart and the topics within the three areas of CPD:
- Substantive law and legal skills,
- Risk and practice management, and
- Consider your market. Are you a rural practitioner? Consider those topics or areas of shared interest among local practitioners.
- If the knowledge or skill you seek to develop is specific (e.g., recent developments in trademark law), propose a study group session with lawyers who have similar interests or practices: practice group colleagues, other practice area specialists across the province, etc. If, however, the knowledge or skill can be shared by a wider group (e.g., risk and practice management issues, legal ethics), the ‘pool’ of potential lawyers is much wider.
- Identify your objectives, such as enhancing skills or knowledge in one or more specific areas. Then analyze potential CPD activities: Read and discuss case law? An expert presentation? Watch and discuss a pre-recorded conference presentation? Is this appropriate as a single session or as a series of meetings?
- Consider the logistics for your study group session. Will you meet at your office, an external venue or by webinar? Which dates and times work best for participants?
- If appropriate, assign roles and responsibilities: Is anyone presenting? For how long? Who will make arrangements for technology, catering, etc.?
- Schedule the session(s) well in advance and send reminders a week beforehand.
- Prepare a draft agenda for your CPD study group meeting and keep the session on track.
For more information on how to form an effective study group, email us at CPD@nsbs.org or phone the CPD line at 902 422 1491 (ext. 371). Your queries will be answered within five business days.