The College of Law has formed a high-profile board of legal experts to establish a master of legal business (MLB) program especially for legal professionals in Australia and New Zealand.
The MLB will feature 12 subjects that teach legal services professionals business skills needed to take on senior roles and tackle the challenges of tomorrow’s business landscape. The degree is being progressively launched by the College of Law, with the first subjects on offer early next year. The subjects can either be taken as stand-alone subjects or as part of a program towards the MLB degree.
“The lack of training in business skills is a major shortcoming in the education of most lawyers. And there are yawning gaps between demand and the supply of lawyers and specialists trained in management and leadership within the legal profession,” said Dr George Beaton, executive chairman of Beaton Research + Consulting. “While you may have excellent technical skills, this will only get you so far in your career. You need to understand where legal practice is heading, not where it’s been. The MLB will address this gap by teaching business, leadership and technology skills to the future leaders of the legal services industry.”
Beaton has been appointed by the College of Law to lead the MLB program board. Other members of the board are:
- Mark Cohen, CEO, Legal Mosaic (Washington, DC, USA)
- Fiona Croswell, learning and development manager, Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (Sydney, Australia)
- Janelle Kerrisk, director and co-founder, Helix Legal (Brisbane, Australia)
- Michelle Mahoney, executive director innovation, King & Wood Mallesons (Melbourne, Australia)
- Terri Mottershead, director, Centre for Legal Innovation (Brisbane, Australia)
- Bronwyn Pott, practice director, Griffith Hack (Sydney, Australia)
- Steven Walker, CEO and founder, Gen2Law (Sydney, Australia)
- Barry Wilkinson, founder, Wilkinson Read & Partners (Warwickshire, UK)
The College of Law said that the program is being introduced as a direct response to market research that shows that legal industry professionals need future-focused business and management skills to accelerate their careers as business leaders and succeed in the rapidly changing legal services industry landscape and marketplace.
The specialised program will teach business and leadership skills and will be tailored for professionals working in private practice and in-house teams in Australia and New Zealand, said Neville Carter, College of Law group chief executive.
“The MLB will be aimed at lawyers, general managers and functional specialists aspiring to lead in law firms and legal departments, or who wish to consolidate their current leadership roles,” he said. “The college has brought together some of the best business and legal minds to design a degree that responds to the transformational changes in the industry, including the impact of innovation and technology.”
“Clients expect their legal advisors to be trusted business partners who understand the commercial drivers of their businesses. They want lawyers and other professionals who can deliver faster, better cheaper services, prevent and solve problems, innovate and collaborate,” he said.