Changes to Law Society Operations
12 August 2020
Please note the Law Society is temporarily restricting access to 28 Murray Street and as a general rule all meetings and CPD will continue to be held virtually until further notice.
The Society has otherwise resumed normal operations. Should you wish to speak with a staff member or arrange restricted access to the premises please telephone (03) 62344133 during business hours.
If you will be attending the Society under a restricted access arrangement, we ask that you read and comply with the instructions below:
· Stay home if you are unwell or if you have been directed to do so on the day of your scheduled visit. Please call and reschedule.
· Sanitise your hands prior to entering the building (including prior to door handle contact). Sanitiser is also available in the reception area for departures.
· Maintain social distancing in the reception area and during meetings.
The electronic delivery of documents is encouraged. If you need to drop off documents, please use the mail slot in the front door of our building or telephone the above number to arrange access and delivery.
In the meantime, we encourage everyone to take care of themselves and each other. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.
Launceston Law Library re-opening
As from Wednesday 12th August 2020, the library and meeting rooms on the ground floor will re-open to members subject to the following conditions.
· Hand sanitiser or antibacterial wipes must be used before entry in to the library [sanitising station in entry]
· Members must complete the register signing in AND out
· Maximum of 5 people in the library at any one time
· Books removed from the shelves must be left on table or allocated quarantine area – do not re-shelve.
· First floor rooms are unavailable until further notice from the Law Society
· Meeting rooms on the ground floor are available – maximum of 2 people – bookings preferred.
Library staff will:-
· Clean after each use the practitioner workstation, printer/copier, tables and chairs.
· Quarantine all books used for 72 hours (including books returned from loan).
For the safety of staff and members, social distancing and hygiene measures must be adhered to at all times.
Bronwyn King (Library Officer) will be available to assist you Monday – Wednesday 9:00 – 1:00 and Thursday 1:30 – 5:30.
Staff at the Andrew Inglis Clark Library are available each day from 9:00 – 5:00.
From the President
31 March 2020
Memo from the President – COVID-19 Restrictions
30 March 2020
Dear Members of the Profession,
I am closely monitoring the measures implemented by government to ensure the Law Society remains ready to act on the raft of operational matters arising for the profession.
The need for the profession to adapt, grow and upskill is clear, and I have been watching the approaches taken interstate to combat these challenges. I have worked over the weekend to identify key areas where further guidance would assist:
- practice management issues, particularly
around the way we engage and interact with clients and the profession in these
new times (including virtual appointment platforms, tips for taking
instructions in this manner, electronic and remote options for signing of
documents, and further safeguards for conveyancing settlements); and
- the change in the landscape as to the nature of the relevant issues within the law (such as estate planning, leasing and family law, including parenting orders).
I have started to secure assistance from our members to write articles and provide virtual CPD on topical issues in a timely manner to help the profession, and I will work with our Committees on this in due course.
Our resilience is crucial through these difficult times, and now more than ever I encourage the profession to work collaboratively and collegially. I look forward to updating you on our new wellbeing initiatives later in the week.
I am endeavouring to source options for the purchase of hand sanitiser for the profession. Stay safe, remain vigilant with social distancing, and reach out to me if you need assistance or have information that could assist the profession.
27 March 2020
Dear Members of the Profession,
We faced a difficult week with the ongoing impact of COVID-19.
I thank those members of the profession who provided input into the role the legal profession should have in the event of a full lockdown. I have outlined the Society’s position to the Attorney General by letter of 24 March 2020.
I continue to act swiftly to protect the best interests of the profession as we work through these challenges. Please take the opportunity to consider my Memo from 25 March 2020 as to this ongoing and crucial work if you have not already done so.
Stay safe and remain vigilant with social distancing.
23 March 2020
Dear Members of the Profession,
I write to you to outline the further action taken by the Law Society to address the ramifications of COVID-19 for the profession.
By way of update, I continued to work with Managing Partners of firms on Thursday afternoon to provide extensive guidance around work from home arrangements where appropriate, and on necessary communications to clients around social distancing requirements to keep our profession and the community safe. I then held a briefing on Friday morning with the Council by video link to outline the current work completed to respond to COVID-19, and to seek input from all Council members as to further steps. I started to action those steps over the weekend, including consulting with the profession on further safeguards that could potentially be implemented in our judicial system to reduce the spread of COVID-19; reaching out to the respective Young Lawyers’ Committees; and approaching the TasBar as to potential collaboration. I today intend to progress the work with our judiciary, Legal Aid, the Land Titles Office and our other key stakeholders to minimise the widespread impact upon the daily operations of all our lawyers. The work is extensive and ongoing given the fast evolving nature of this pandemic.
I understand the significant effect that COVID-19 will have upon firms and our profession as a whole, and I will be looking at alternate methods to conduct the Leaders Forums through an online format. Information will be provided around the economic stimulus packages available in the coming days to help, and I will be considering other ways that the Law Society might potentially assist. There will also be a focus on the wellbeing of our profession, and additional support that can be given to enhance our resilience in unprecedented times.
Please be vigilant in encouraging and advocating social distancing measures, and I urge you not to attend work at your firm if you are feeling unwell.
I will be regularly engaging to help our profession to navigate, and remain positive, to overcome these challenges.
18 March 2020
Dear Members of the Profession,
The Law Society is taking immediate action to address operational matters for the profession in light of COVID-19. Please find attached a Memorandum from the Executive Director addressing the urgent action taken by Council.
Steps have been taken to put the Society in a position to provide further guidance to the profession to assist in the management of the risk of the spread of COVID-19 within firms and to provide guidance on other issues.
I will continue to proactively lead and support the profession through these challenging times.
Delay to Commencement of New Committee Year
The commencement of the New Committee Year has been postponed to 1 May 2020.
Please note the closing date for EOIs has also now been extended to 23 April 2020
CPD Compliance – Blanket Extension to 30 April 2020
The Society has granted an extension to all practitioners to comply with their CPD obligations by 30 April 2020.
Practitioners are reminded that the cap under rule 3.3(b) of the Practice Guideline (viewing and listening to online media or recorded material) has also been lifted for CPD Year 2019/2020.
Physical Access to the Andrew Inglis Clark, Launceston and North-West Law Libraries
The Andrew Inglis Clark Law Libary in Hobart, Launceston Law Library and North-West Law Library will be closed to practitioners and the public from Tuesday 31 March 2020 until further notice in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The closure will also apply to after hours access. The library service will remain open for business however, and we will continue to provide a full range of services remotely.
Our priority at this time is the health and wellbeing of our staff, our customers and the wider community.
Consistent with Federal and State Government advice, we are seeking to reduce the risk of infection with the novel coronavirus by closing our physical premises until further notice.
Although the physical library space itself will be closed, as mentioned above, our services are still running. Library staff can still access the physical collection, and will endeavour to fulfill your information and research requests. We will be increasing the range of electronic content available to the legal profession over the forthcoming weeks and will keep you informed via this newsletter, the Law Society newsletter and via our website.
Please return all loan items (Hobart, Launceston and Burnie) as soon as possible, via post or DX to the AIC library for processing.
Please contact us for assistance with information and research requests during this period.
Tasmanian Law Library team
Andrew Inglis Clark Law Libary