In 2013 I became aware that the long awaited Legal Education Training Review (LETR) had been published and that it would inevitably impact on my work as a CPD speaker and as an associate lecturer.
I had already expressed an interest to help the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) with these changes and in 2013 I was invited to a series of workshops. I jumped at the chance to attend, as I felt that it would be a good opportunity to participate in the discussions.
In 2013 and 2014 I attended three meetings at the SRA offices in London and Birmingham, with dozens of other lawyers. The meetings involved solicitors, senior members of the bar and members of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.
By the third meeting we knew that the SRA intended to remove the mandatory 16 hour CPD requirement. Solicitors had been obliged to observe this requirement since 1985. The SRA wanted to adopt an outcome focussed approach as it is consistent with their approach to regulation.
There were a number of delegates who were from “magic circle” firms. I was surprised that their firms had already decided to adopt the new approach. These firms have specialised learning and development departments to properly assess the impact of the changes on their business. The specialists had internally reviewed the costs and benefits of the new scheme and were gearing up for the new regime.
Whilst discussing these practical matters over coffee I realised that small and medium sized firms could also reap the same rewards. However, not many firms have a dedicated team of people to weigh up the pros and cons and the impact on their business. As such, a great many of those firms would never realise that these opportunities were available to them, let alone implement them before the mandatory changeover date in November 2016.
Over the next few months I spoke to solicitor friends to conduct some informal “research”. As a result of those conversations, I had more conversations with people in different types of firms from the sole practitioner to niche Legal 500 firms. I spoke to COLP’s, partners, solicitors and latterly paralegals; in London and all over the country. As a result of these conversations I formed Law CPD Solutions Ltd.
My passion is learning, training and development. I want to help those who take pride in their firms and in their people to take advantage of these opportunities. I aim to raise awareness of the opportunities that the “magic circle” firms already know exist. I hope that I can use my experience and specialised knowledge to help firms grab these opportunities early.
Mena Ruparel is the Managing Director of Law CPD Solutions Ltd. Mena is a solicitor, arbitrator, associate lecturer and experienced trainer. She is a member of the LETG (Legal Education and Training Group).
Mena qualified as a solicitor in 1999, since 2003 she has worked as a freelance speaker for CLT, presenting CPD courses and webinars on financial remedy following relationship breakdown. She is recognised by Resolution as being a lead accredited trainer.
Mena has been invited to provide training for the Isle of Man Law Society and often presents training courses in house.
She qualified as an Arbitrator in 2012, she was the first Asian Arbitrator to qualify under the IFLA scheme. She has appeared on the radio discussing Arbitration and family law issues generally.
Mena has had a number of articles published for the Solicitor's Journal, Resolution's review magazine and a number of other publications.
Since 2010 she has been an associate lecturer at the University of the West of England where she teaches the family law elective on the LPC and the PSC.
Mena takes on one to one coaching with Law students, paralegals and solicitors of all levels. Mena has a certificate in Executive coaching from the Academy of executive coaches and is happy to take on coaching clients.
In 2013 Mena was invited to attend a series of Competence workshops with the SRA, which is where she has gained her in depth knowledge of the new training regime and competence standards.
In 2014 Mena was appointed a committee member to the Law Society's family law committee.
In April 2015 Mena takes on a new role with the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives as a reviewer.