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LIV building leaders of tomorrow


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Cite as: (2009) 83(04) LIJ, p.29

An LIV scheme to increase the skills of individuals is expected to have benefits for the profession and the membership organisation.

The LIV Personal Development Scheme (PDS) was launched last year with an ethos of improving the profession and the LIV by enhancing individual leadership skills.

The PDS partly funds personal development courses for individual members in recognition of contributions they have made to the LIV.

Under the scheme, the LIV provides 50 per cent of program or course fees up to a cap of $3350 per applicant.

The PDS, which has an annual budget of $10,000, is now accepting applications for 2009-2010.

The LIV is open-minded about the types of programs that can be funded, although they must focus on personal development and networking, and not be further academic study.

LIV CEO Mike Brett Young said it was anticipated that skills learned by practitioners would benefit the work of the individual, the LIV and the profession as a whole.

“It also guarantees a new group of leaders and improves the quality of those who take positions at the LIV and, in turn, provides a better service to our members,” he said.

LIV members who are also members of a Section committee or Council are eligible to apply for the PDS, which was developed by the LIV Education Portfolio Committee.

Under the selection criteria a member must have contributed to Section committees or Council for at least three years and be able to adequately demonstrate how they and the LIV would benefit from the program.

Last year, solicitor Chris Molnar received assistance to complete the Leadership and Decision-Making course offered by the University of New South Wales Australian School of Business.

Mr Molnar, a partner at McKean Park, said the profession, more than ever before, faced extensive challenges – to its market, its structure, its growth, its public face and the way it is regulated – to name a few.

“It is important to make the investment for the future in its leaders to ensure that these challenges can continue to be met,” he said.

“I am very appreciative to the LIV that I had the opportunity to participate in the PDS and I would encourage Lawyers to seriously think about becoming involved.”

A former LIV Councillor and Workplace Relations Section chair, Mr Molnar is currently chair of the Workplace Relations Specialisation Advisory Committee and an LIJ Editorial Committee member.

He said his course was particularly suitable for solicitors managing other practitioners in their work.

“A common difficulty faced by many practitioners, particularly as their career progresses, is that while they may have excellent written skills, they do not necessarily have the knowledge and experience to successfully manage others around them or lead an organisation,” he said.

“However, if practitioners are to succeed in delivering excellent legal services and ensuring that the people they work with are productive, engaged and encouraged to perform, training to develop that knowledge and experience would clearly be useful in many instances.”

Mr Molnar said successful management of others could improve retention rates, increase levels of work satisfaction and decrease stress levels.

After each development course the LIV expects an ongoing relationship with the applicant, whether the individual moves to an office bearer position or accepts a senior Section role.

The applicant or their firm must be prepared to pay the remaining costs of the course or program.

Applicants will be considered in July for programs taking place during the 2009-2010 financial year.

An application form must be completed and sent to the Education Portfolio Committee, C/– the Executive Secretary to the LIV Council by 30 June.

Further PDS information is available at http://www.liv.asn.au/about/structure/structure-Personal-2.html.

Jason Gregory

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