A survey on ethical training for new advocates

The ATC is asking for your help with a research project, which it is conducting in collaboration with the Centre for Ethics and Law at UCL and is being led by Professor Richard Moorhead. The project has received generous funding from the Legal Education Foundation and has the support of a wide range of professional organisations.*

The subject is the scope and teaching of professional ethics. In the first instance the project will be looking at the ethical capacities of new advocates and their ethical training. The aim is to deepen the profession’s understanding of how new advocates can deal with ethical problems and whether and how the training in this area might benefit from development.

Its principal end‐products will be a critique of the content and method of current teaching in this area and (if necessary) the development of new teaching materials and techniques.

The project involves project involving extensive collaboration between professional groups and the academic researchers.

The ATC’s research team will be seeking to interview recently qualified advocates who have received some relevant post‐qualification ethical training. They will be surveyed (by a short electronic survey) and interviewed about a sample of ethical problems to see how they reason their way through the problems and whether those problems fit with the types of problem they experience as new advocates. They will also be interviewed on current approaches to ethical education and training.

Participation will be voluntary and anonymous. The researchers have assured us that they are not scrutinising individuals but looking at how advocates as a group deal with ethical problems and how that might inform their education and training.

The research will be published and the relevant professional bodies will then consider and work on any improvements to ethical education and training that might be suggested by the results of the study. Expert practitioners are involved in the design of the project and the analysis of the interviews.

At the request of the ATC I am asking you, as one of SAHCA’s new practitioners, who has been in practice for the last three years whether you would be willing to take part in this survey click here to be linked directly to the research team who will then provide you with any further information you may need about the project.

If you are able to help it will be greatly appreciated.

*Organisations represented in the working group
Bar Professional Conduct Committee
London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association
Family Law Bar Association
Ilex Professional Standards
Criminal Bar Association
University College London
Legal Education Foundation