Online law school launches ‘O Shaped Lawyer’ course

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By Thomas Connelly on


College of Legal Practice teams up with project founder and Network Rail GC Dan Kayne to develop new module focusing on human and business skills

The College of Legal Practice (CoLP) is looking to help aspiring lawyers develop key ‘O Shaped’ attributes such as open-mindedness and originality through a new online module developed in conjunction with one of the country’s top general counsels.

The 12-week course looks to teach law students the principles set out by the O Shaped lawyer, a project which places greater emphasis on a more rounded approach to the development of lawyers and the legal profession.

The project began as a movement back in 2019, with Network Rail GC Dan Kayne going on to develop a framework of five O’s — optimism, opportunities, originality, openness and ownership — that represent the mindset of the well-rounded lawyer.

Optimism, for example, addresses the issue that lawyers are traditionally taught to find fault and are therefore often labelled as blockers. Creating a positive mindset, however, will allow lawyers to be seen as business partners, not business blockers.

The CoLP — the UK spin-off of Australia’s largest law school, The College of Law Australia — says the O Shaped principles have been built into the course design and are taught in the context of core business skills. At the end of the course, the students will have demonstrated their understanding of the competencies and their practical application within the sector.

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Dr Giles Proctor, CoLP CEO, commented:

“The transition to the SQE gives rise to the biggest opportunity in recent times to transform your future trainees and identify the skills that really matter to your organisation. Firms are starting to listen and incorporate O Shaped competencies into their development plans for their new entrants, this course gives you that opportunity.”

The module can be taken separately or as part of the law school’s LLM in Legal Practice that also incorporates training for the SQE assessments. The first part-time course will launch in August at an introductory price of £575, where students will study for 15 hours a week for 12 weeks alongside working. A full-time course is also available from November 2022, with future courses fees at £1,150.

Kayne added: “I am delighted that Giles and The College of Legal Practice share the O Shaped vision for a legal profession where everyone can realise their potential. In partnering with O Shaped, they are demonstrating the leadership our profession needs in co-creating such a forward thinking, innovative set of modules highlighting the mindset, behaviours and skills of the O Shaped Lawyer. It is a proud moment for all those connected with O Shaped and the start of something very special.”

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