Singapore, 9 January 2017 – Members of the legal community can soon chart a career path for themselves by identifying what requisite skills they need to acquire before they can move up to a higher-level role in their areas of practice or cross over to a different role within the legal sector.
The Singapore Academy of Law (“SAL”) is developing the Legal Industry Framework for Training and Education (known as “LIFTED”) in collaboration with key industry stakeholders. LIFTED enables a user to identify the competencies required for practitioners, in-house counsel and legal support staff and find a corresponding training programme to match his needs, whether in the form of classroom teaching or online media. (Please refer to Annex A for examples illustrating how LIFTED can be used.) Intended to be a “living” tool, competencies will be added or removed as the profession evolves. LIFTED can be accessed at www.LIFTED.sg.
In announcing the roll out of LIFTED at the Opening of the Legal Year today, The Honourable the Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon said that given the changing face of legal practice, “We must continue to invest in ensuring that our lawyers have the skills and competence that will be required of them in the years to come.”
For a start, LIFTED will identify competencies and courses for corporate and commercial law, family law, legal technologies and legal support roles. LIFTED is informed by the broader SkillsFuture learning initiative which supports individuals to adopt a holistic approach to their personal and professional development.
LIFTED will be implemented in phases this year, beginning with legal support roles. “Structured continuing training for legal support roles is a welcome development. While they provide an essential support role in the firm, many legal support staff are getting their training on an ad hoc basis on-the-job. LIFTED will enable the individual and their employers to plan their career progression,” said Temasek Polytechnic’s Diploma in Law & Management Course Manager, Mr Looi Kwok Peng. Temasek Polytechnic’s three-year law and management course is the de facto paralegal qualification in Singapore. Under LIFTED, there are five levels for those in the legal support roles. A person who starts out at the first level today can plan his career trajectory to the top level of a senior paralegal by using the LIFTED framework as a guide.
When completed, the benefit of LIFTED should go beyond those who are already in the legal profession today. “Anyone who is contemplating a career in the law, whether he is a student or someone who intends to make a mid-career switch, can also use LIFTED as a guide on how much time and effort he will need to put in to progress in his chosen field of practice” said Ms Serene Wee, Chief Executive of SAL.