Our main objective during the COVID-19 pandemic is to help Queensland practices keep their doors open, and to help keep practitioners employed.
We also want to ensure that Queensland solicitors continue to be able to enjoy the many benefits of QLS membership.
For example, as part of our COVID-19 support package, we are offering full members for the 2020/21 financial year a minimum of 10 free continuing professional development (CPD) points, and very importantly, we are offering free full membership for any practitioner who is stood down or made redundant because of the COVID-19 situation.
You will find more details about all of the support we are offering on following pagesin this issue of Proctor. What I would like to discuss specifically here is three significant new services that we have introduced to assist our members and their practices during these difficult times.
These are the Employment Law Advice Service (ELAS), the General Manager Support Service (GMSS) and the Government Funding Assistance Service (GFAS).
Each service is provided via expert advisors and is free for members who meet the eligibility criteria. They will benefit with up to two (three for GFAS) hours of advice.
Employment Law Advice Service
ELAS is designed to help individual members with employment law issues arising from the impact of COVID-19, as well as supporting eligible small practices which need advice on how they can best manage their staff during the pandemic.
QLS General Manager Support Service
GMSS is designed to help eligible members with general practice management issues arising from the impact of COVID-19, for example, how to pivot the practice, and how to manage the budget and other commitments.
The service will help a member to navigate situations such as loss of cash flow and restructuring teams/personnel. It will also provide guidance on strategies to mitigate risk and how to come out of hibernation fully activated.
QLS Government Financial Assistance Service
GFAS provides assistance to eligible members who wish to access government finance due to COVID-19.
The service will guide a member through the different government financial assistance offerings, give them an understanding of what is available to them for their situation, and guidance on how to access/lodge applications.
For more information or to ascertain your eligibility for these services, please see the QLS Ethics and Practice Centre page (or call 07 3842 5843).
One of the drawbacks of any print publication, from your daily newspaper to a bus timetable, is the necessary delay in assembling, proofing, printing and distributing it.
When news is evolving rapidly, as it has been during this COVID-19 situation, the time delay becomes particularly serious, and yesterday’s news can be out of date very quickly.
The answer, of course, is the immediacy afforded by the online medium, which enables news and information to be distributed almost instantaneously.
With this in mind, QLS Council has considered how Proctor can be modernised to provide up-to-date news and information, yet retain some of the relaxed pleasure that many of us find when we browse a printed magazine.
I am pleased to announce that the Council-approved solution is now in development, and that the monthly printed edition of Proctor is to be replaced by Proctor Online, a news and legal information hub that will feature the latest daily news along with all of the regular features and columns that Proctor readers love.
And for those who still long to hold a printed publication in their hands, there will be a quarterly printed edition of Proctor which, naturally, won’t be carrying time-critical information.
We have currently stopped printing hardcopy magazines, but will continue to provide electronic copies up to the official launch of Proctor Online, currently scheduled for 1 July. The switch to electronic copies has in part been necessitated by the fact that so many practitioners are working from home during the pandemic while the printed magazines are being delivered to their firms.
I know there are many members who feel strongly about their magazine and who may well wish to contribute to this evolutionary change. I invite them to contribute their thoughts on what the new hardcopy Proctor should contain, and, of course, to continue to contribute the submissions and articles that provide the substance of Proctor. Please send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Queensland Law Society CEO
This story was originally published in Proctor May 2020.