I believe that lawyers will be required to undertake 10 charitable hours a year under the soon to be introduced Charitable Legal Endeavours (CLE) points scheme. While previous charitable acts will be taken into account, my last one was in 1997, and I did not even win that raffle.
Is this not just another fad foisted on the legal profession like mediation and suspended sentences?
Many legal practitioners will not have any difficulty as CLEs are to include hours spent talking clients out of litigation which is a daily occurrence with some clients.
I understand that the management of some larger firms insisted on a Charitable Emissions Trading Scheme (CETS) so that extra CLE’s can be purchased from smaller firms and overseas to fulfil the targets of their associate lawyers to avoid any distraction. Therefore, CLEs may prove fruitful, although the extra paperwork could be burdensome.
Of course, this is being driven by those young things in legal marketing departments who have an unprofessional interest in the spandex covered buttocks of trainee lawyers. Gone are the cherished photographs of lawyers and judges standing at cocktail parties, as legal websites begin to resemble Club Med. Charity seems to start with expensive clothes and unrelated strenuous activity. Mother Teresa would not get a look in these days. The other day I saw a flyer for a fund raising walk for orphans which said “Bring the Family”.
My approach to charity is that it is good for the soul, if anyone finds out about your charitable deeds, it does not count. Of course, without a marketing department it has been tricky over the years to let clients and others know how discrete and humble I am about this, but with the right receptionist I have managed.
Note: Lawyers undertake Continuing Legal Education (CLE) points each year which are regarded as of limited use as the younger and older lawyers know everything already.
© Paul Brennan 2013. All rights reserved.
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