e-Conveyancing is the way of the future. Here’s what Australia’s tertiary institutions are doing about it.
As the adoption of e-Conveyancing spreads rapidly throughout the country, Australia’s tertiary education institutions are modifying property law curricula to ensure their students are at the forefront of modern practice.
Victoria-based TMG and Melbourne Polytechnic have already rewritten their conveyancing diploma courses to give students the opportunity to practise simulated transactions. On the other side of the country, Western Australia’s NMTAFE and Curtin University Law School are promoting PEXA to their students and seeking to include it in their Practical Legal Training (PLT) Programme for graduate lawyers in 2018.
Curtin Law School Course Coordinator Eileen Webb plans to introduce PEXA training into the Real Property Law course as well as PLT.
“We want to introduce these skills into the curriculum at undergraduate level, then consolidate those skills when students do their PLT,” Webb says. “It’s important for students to have hands-on knowledge of all aspects of practical conveyancing, and the PEXA training offers that.”
Combining theory with practice
Webb is excited about being able to actually work through transactions with her students, in conjunction with teaching them the theory behind the process.
“The PEXA training offers a nice balance between theory and practice. Students will understand the theory better when they see what is happening in the transactions.”
Most importantly, being trained in e-Conveyancing will better prepare the new generation of property lawyers for when they enter the workforce.
“They will be more useful to firms if they have these skills. Later, when they establish their own practice, they’ll be more efficient and capable, offering greater value to their firm and clientele. If they’re at work after hours, for example, and need a document registered first thing the next day, they won’t be delayed by having to rely on someone else to get the work done.”
Students are eager and ready to learn
Webb plans to start introducing PEXA training in a series of workshops during the summer break, which will teach conveyancing students skills they can use once back in a formal classroom setting. But is there much interest for it? You bet.
“Trust me,” Webb says. “Our students will be there. They’re all very excited. Besides, since many of them are millennials, researching and transacting in that online space is second nature to them.”
The future of conveyancing is electronic
Having all the relevant paperwork available online, with checks and balances in place to ensure each step is complete before the transaction can progress, makes perfect sense to Webb.
“Once you get the hang of using PEXA, you can line up your settlements and have them just flow through the system. Unlike the old days, where you could spend hours scratching around for documents.”
With the old-style, paper-based conveyancing, if there was an error or missing file, the whole process fell over and you had to reschedule everything. Webb says PEXA will ultimately make the process far more efficient.
“And easier to teach,” she adds. “We’re moving towards a very efficient, streamlined system that’s going to make everybody’s life easier, and less susceptible to human error and fraud. I know that other law schools in Perth are looking into doing the PEXA training, because this is the way of the future and we want our students to learn about it. It just makes sense.”
With course curricula evolving to embrace e-Conveyancing across Australia, there’s no doubt more educational institutes will be in need of PEXA training.