7 April, 2008 – Legal firms offered business skills course from MMU in the wake of 'Tesco law'
Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) has launched the first course of its kind in the UK to teach vital business skills to law firms in the era of 'Tesco law'.
Introduced in 2007, The Legal Services Act gave the green light for non-lawyers such as supermarkets to operate law firms and deal with a number of limited legal services. Traditional firms of solicitors and barristers chambers have found themselves under increasing pressure since high street banks, automobile breakdown services, and high street shops now offer legal services such as D.I.Y wills, arranging a divorce, and conveyancing.
In response to the shift in legal provision, MMU’s schools of law and business – with the backing of the Law Society in the North West and funded by the Government – have developed a pioneering new Postgraduate Certificate in Legal Management for firms of solicitors to learn the vital skills needed to compete.
David Amos, Director of MMU’s Legal Practice Course, said: “There was a time when a plaque over the door explaining your legal credentials was enough to bring cases to an average firm. But in the light of these changes that is simply not going to be enough.
“Large commercial companies such as Tesco or the Co-op have advantages such marketing departments, high street presence and large cash reserves. Traditional legal firms have the knowledge and the expertise, but need proper training to help them adapt to the changes in the legal industry.
“Solicitors will be required to take on more strategic roles but there is a gap in the market for appropriate training.
“The new Postgraduate Certificate in Legal Management is the first course of its kind in the UK. We have already had feedback from The Law Society and several firms saying how they have eagerly anticipated a course such as this.”
Jo McLeod, North-West Regional Secretary of the Law Society, commented: “It is imperative that legal firms have access to this kind of knowledge. The Law Society fully supports any scheme that allows law firms access to the skills and tools to change their business models.”
The Postgraduate Certificate in Legal Management has been developed in partnership with legal firms in the North East, and will include modules on:
Contemporary leadership practice and theory
Employment Law, Equality, and Conduct
Financial Control and Legal Practice Accounting
Trends in the Legal Profession
An innovative feature of the programme will be the compilation of a Practice Portfolio. In the portfolio the students will be asked to reflect on the content of each module and relate that directly to the position within their own organization. The course has been funded by a £90,000 grant from the Government’s Higher Level Skills Pathfinder Fund.
The one-year part-time course was developed by David Amos and management experts from Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, and will be offered from September 2008.
For more information on the course contact MMU recruitment and admissions on 0161 247 6969 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: MMU press release