The Lawyers Exchange and Development (L.E.A.D) Program Guidelines(A Pilot Corney & Lind Lawyers (Brisbane, Australia) & Shekinah Law (Suva, Fiji) initiative)
Secondments can be used for a range of purposes including providing career and professional development opportunities for staff or to develop a staff member by providing the chance to acquire new skills and experience.
Successful exchanges grow out of careful planning and, consequently, require strategic groundwork developed in advance to sending a person on secondment. From a Christian law firm’s perspective, a secondment can be a fulfilling experience for the seconded lawyer and teach them to think broadly outside of their comfort zone and legal areas of practice in a foreign jurisdiction.
The desire is that KILN will introduce Christian lawyers and law firms to one another across international borders and that the stories of successful exchanges will encourage other lawyers and law firms to participate.
Pre-requisite: The lawyer wanting to participate needs to be employed by a law firm with at least one Christian Principal, who desires that the law firm participate in the program.
The objectives of the exchange for the Seconded Lawyer / Law Firm (Receiving and Sending Firm) are:
- Experience & exposure to another jurisdiction
- Cross-cultural learning
- Character formation & faith-building
- Opportunities for broader Christian Ministry
These guidelines provide a framework for the secondment exchange. They can be amended to suit the firms conducting the exchange. We use the Pilot Project as a practical example of the LEAD program.
Period of Exchange: 1 Month
Contemporaneous: It is desirable that the exchange happen at the same time.
Seconded Lawyer level for exchange:
Australia: Senior Lawyer level and above
Fiji: Any level post-admission experience
Australia: The seconded lawyer will be given an appropriate title in C&L for the duration of their secondment (e.g. Consultant – Fijian exchange practitioner).
Fiji: If permitted to receive (temporary) admission, the seconded lawyer can be held out to be a legal practioner, subject to receiving a practicing certificate.
- Billet with a host family (connected with the Receiving firm).
- The Receiving firm Principals to be satisfied on suitability of hosting arrangements.
- There is a need to consider other occupants of the billeting home.
- Assess transportation and other services accessible to the seconded lawyer.
- Principal to Principal satisfaction – Need to communicate and confirm that a Principal of the receiving firm has enquired and are happy regarding suitability of accommodation.
- Sending firms can also opt to bear own cost for accommodation.
- To be arranged by receiving firm.
- Australia: Temporary Work (short stay activity) visa (subclass 1400)
- Fiji: obtain temporary work permit
- Seconded lawyer to stay on the payroll of the Sending firm.
- The Receiving firm to keep any revenue generated by the seconded lawyer.
- Firms sending can agree to bear admission costs of their lawyer to the receiving jurisdiction.
WHS cover: Seconded lawyers are required to take out travel and professional indemnity insurance for the secondment period.
Internal Resources/Precedents: The seconded lawyer is to use the internal resources of the Receiving firm
Undertaking of Return: The seconded lawyer will need to sign an Agreement to return to their sending firm following the exchange. Both firms agree not to seek to retain the seconded lawyer they have received.
Feedback & Reporting
- CV of seconded lawyer to be sent to the Receiving firm
- Mid-exchange: Written reflections by seconded lawyer on the exchange program.
- End-exchange: Written reflections by seconded lawyer and the hosting firm.
- 1 month post-exchange: Written reflection by the sending firm (on changes noticed in the seconded lawyer).
- Ideally these reflections would be published on the KILN web site.
Identify staff member that will be points of communication:
During this pilot project, those staff members were:
- Corney & Lind Lawyers: Heilala Tabete (BDM)
- Shekinah Law: Laurel Vaurasi (Principal)
Nominated seconded lawyers (pictured):
- C&L Nomination for LEAD exchange: James Tan (at the time, Senior Lawyer)
- Shekinah Law Nomination for LEAD exchange: Seruwaia Nayacalevu Masi (at the time, Associate)