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Survey shows members value LIV support

 Survey shows members value LIV support

By Karin Derkley

Continuing Legal Education Ethics Practice Management 

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Staying connected to colleagues and clients, adjusting to new ways of working, and dealing with mental strain and stress have been the biggest challenges for LIV members arising from the COVID-19 lockdown, according to a recent survey.

LIV CEO Adam Awty says the LIV conducted the survey because it was keen to hear from members how it could best support them during COVID-19 and recovery. “We will use the responses from members to tailor further support for them, including COVID-19 practice resources and wellbeing and mental health advice, as they return to COVID-normal,” he says.

Satisfaction with the LIV has risen significantly since the last survey was carried out with members in 2018. Significant improvements were cited in the LIV's reputation, professional development, compliance and practice management support and resources.

“It was gratifying to see an increase in support for our products and services since our last survey two years ago," Mr Awty says.

The LIJ, CPD programs and LawNews were the top three LIV resources used by LIV members. Members said they sought out COVID-19 information relevant to the profession on the LIV website. The library, bookshop and ethics professional development services were also highly valued.

In the past year, nearly 60 per cent of respondents said they had participated in professional development activities held by the LIV, and 15 per cent had participated in committee, practice section or working group meetings. Other popular activities were networking in person or online, developing policy and law reform submissions, and writing legal features and other content for the LIJ.

More than half of respondents said their employment status had not changed during the pandemic, while 20 per cent said they were working less hours per week, and nearly 15 per cent were working more hours. Much smaller proportions had taken personal or annual leave or had been stood down or made redundant as a result of COVID-19.

The impact of the pandemic is likely to be long-lasting, with more than 80 per cent of respondents saying they expected a change in their working environment in the coming months, 77 per cent expecting more virtual contact with clients and 67 per cent saying they expected to change from face-to-face to online consumption of business services. Forty-two per cent said they would need to develop new skills and knowledge. Just 2.7 per cent said they did not expect any long term effects.

More than half of respondents (53.4 per cent) said they were receiving government support (ie, JobKeeper). Of those that were, most said they would be impacted by changes to the support. Nearly half said they would have to reduce working hours, nearly a third said they would have to make employees redundant, and a quarter said they would have to furlough employees. Twenty-nine per cent said they expected to increase remote working, reducing their need for office space. Twelve per cent said they may have to close temporarily and eight per cent said they would have to close permanently.

Members said that over the next six to 12 months they were looking to the LIV to help them stay on top of government updates and changes, for online provision of professional development programs, and to lobby on their behalf on issues of importance to the profession. They were also seeking support and information on wellbeing and mental health, return to office planning, using technology in their practice and guidance on ethical challenges and dilemmas.


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