Get healthy, get CPD // News

Fitness and nutrition sessions, plus some new rules, make getting continuing professional development hours a cinch

By Diane Peters

On Tuesday September 24th, 2013


As the Law Society’s CPD requirement nears its third birthday, the program is growing up with increasingly interesting courses and more flexible rules.

High on the list for unique courses are two newly accredited seminars offered by the Cambridge Group of Clubs, which runs three health and fitness clubs in downtown Toronto (Cambridge Club, Adelaide Club and Toronto Athletic Club). These wellness seminars — one on nutrition and the other on fitness — count for 1.5 professionalism hours each and can be delivered on-site to interested firms.

The clubs have been running info sessions for Bay Street firms for years and doing personal training with lawyers.

Customizing a program and getting CPD accreditation was a logical next step. “It just made sense,” says Nancy Sawler, vice-president of corporate health for the clubs. “Our speakers are fantastic and they understand what lawyers want to know.”

In “Optimal Nutrition for the Beautiful Lawyer’s Mind,” nutritionist Tzabia Siegel will talk about supplements, neurotransmitters
and foods that impact brain functions such as memory and concentration.

In “Extraordinary Effects of Exercise,” certified personal trainer Patsy McLean will address exercise’s relationship to stress and how to cram in short workouts. Yoga instructor Josie Smith will also lead groups through “chair yoga” — poses lawyers can do right in the office.

Meanwhile, the Law Society has passed numerous changes to CPD requirements — some are already in place and others take effect in January 2014 — that make racking up those hours easier (read about them all at new rules permit a wider scope of writing to be eligible for professionalism hours: working with a co-author and writing for firm publications now qualify.

As of 2014, lawyers who don’t complete their CPD hours in time will face a late fee and new lawyers will be expected to complete
CPD hours on a pro rata basis beginning the month after they are licenced.

Also, separate CPD rules for new lawyers will be eliminated, making requirements the same for everyone. Previously, new members could only count programs or activities that contained at least 0.5 professionalism hours towards their 12-hour requirement of three professionalism and nine substantive hours.

Photo: Supri Suharjoto/iStockphoto