Using Technology to Increase Support for Rural and Regional Legal Professionals

Amanda Kennedy, Stephen Winn


An examination of available continuing professional education (CPE) opportunities for legal practitioners in rural and regional Australia illustrates that more can be done to ensure that practitioners receive a high quality and synchronous program that can be sustained and that is adequate to fulfil the ongoing needs of rural and regional practitioners. The provision of CPE is focused principally upon the delivery of professional knowledge relevant to legal practice. However, there is limited evidence of highly developed systems that draw on sophisticated educational pedagogy and synchronous interactive technology to deliver professional content. The use of synchronous interactive technologies which provide for a deeper, peer-to-peer interaction are not currently in widespread use. Moreover, there is currently minimal support for the broader issues of the management of rural and regional practice, the specific family or health and welfare issues of rural and regional legal professionals, and the particular problems confronting rural and regional professionals living in small communities where complementary services are lacking. This paper explores the potential to significantly increase support for rural and regional legal professionals in ways that address the above issues.

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