QLS has communicated to members operational updates and changes as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
And we will be updating the profession weekly on COVID-19 through QLS Update.
We’ve made changes to some of our products and services:
- QLS Council has resolved to extend the annual CPD year to 30 June 2020.
- All QLS face-to-face events and courses from 23 March to 31 May have been cancelled or postponed. This includes our continuing professional development courses. We are however developing additional online CPD and learning content. Members can visit the QLS Shop to access our on-demand resources.
- External access to Law Society House will be restricted to mediation facilities only. Access will be limited to 20 participants on site at any one time. Strict hygiene protocols and social distancing measures will need to be adhered to.
- The Legal Practitioners Admissions Board will still be available to take applications for admission.
- We are taking sensible steps to help protect our QLS team. Many staff are working remotely. We have reduced face-to-face meetings, ceased staff work travel and presenting externally up to and including 31 May.
- Lawcare is still available – but the service has been altered. Face-to-face sessions have been temporarily stopped but phone sessions are still available and we encourage you to keep using this invaluable member-only service.
We’ve created a dedicated information hub.
Advice, from multiple sources is changing daily and to help you access the most critical practitioner specific information, we have created an online hub dedicated to COVID-19 and the legal profession . This is where you will find the latest COVID-19 information from the courts, external agencies and QLS.
To help you access the most critical practitioner-specific information, we have created an online hub dedicated to COVID-19 and the legal profession
We will also post information practitioners will need to consider in the management of their practice along with recently asked questions we’ve answered that we feel might benefit other members.
You will find more information in this edition of Proctor covering responses from state and federal courts, as well as practical guidance for firms from practice management expert Graeme McFadyen. There’s also an interesting article from QLS member Julie Guilfoyle, who was one of the first to be caught up in the isolation regime.
Attendance to statutory and Council meetings will be available by teleconference. And policy committee and working group meetings will also rely on teleconferencing.
In order to assist our staff, any falling within an ‘at-risk’ category will be working from home until further notice, and from 23 March we have restricted our on-site staff to those critical to maintaining our business functions.
These protocols will be reviewed and revised as required.
PC and membership renewals reminder
If you are practising law in Queensland, you must renew your practising certificate during May.
Check your details before 1 May by logging on to myQLS. Errors in your myQLS record may lead to delays in issuing your practising certificate and issues with your fees.
Your online PC and QLS membership renewals should be submitted and all prescribed fees paid by 31 May 2020.
Thanks to all
I would like to pass on QLS’s thanks to all those who made our Symposium 2020 and Legal Profession Dinner and Awards such a great success, including attendees, sponsors, presenters and QLS staff.
Unfortunately that may be the last large gathering organised by QLS for the foreseeable future. Our professional development program will certainly continue, with an emphasis on online participation and restrictions as outlined above. Please watch this space for more details!
Rolf Moses is the CEO of Queensland Law Society
This story was originally published in Proctor April 2020.