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How Lawyers can Learn to Love Continuing Professional Development

All lawyers, no matter where they practise law, need to complete a specified number of hours of Continuing Legal Professional Development (CLPD) every year.

This CLPD is a form of continued training which might cover topics such as, management and leadership, tax, legislation, coaching or cryptocurrencies, and it seems to be loved or loathed by lawyers in equal measure.

There are some who argue that CLPD is a waste of time and money (the loathers) while there are others (the lovers) who believe that CLPD has the ability to help shape lawyers of the future so they are “technically capable, professionally nimble, and able to use broad, interdisciplinary networks to solve complex problems, of which law is but a component.”

For those of you reading this who may fall into the “loathers” camp, the following information has been collated so you can explore the positives of CLPD and see how it might work for you and firm.

 

CLPD and Technology

Many law firms were hesitant in adopting new technologies, so much so, that even in the mid-2000 there were still firms who were reluctant to use email.

However, firms have finally caught up with the modern world and have realised the benefits that technologies like, AI and data research, include, lower costs, time and manpower.

The only issue now is that there are still some firms who have been slow up the uptake and are failing to adequately train existing lawyers how to manage, and keep up-to-date with, technology.

Continuing Legal Professional Development is the perfect opportunity to learn, or revisit, technological awareness around elements such as, Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, E-discovery, accounting, and so on.

Automation in law firms can enable faster, more efficient working practices and can save firms money and time, but if lawyers have limited knowledge in these areas they can’t use or manage them effectively.

 

CLPD and Soft Skills

Law school teaches you the principles of law, the doctrinal and theoretical framework and critical legal analysis skills you need to become a lawyer, then a law firm helps shape the graduate into a specialist lawyer who best suits the firm’s needs.

However, training for certain skill sets are missing from both the law school and firm; soft skills, such as, communication, empathy, leadership, cultural intelligence, managing conflict, or coaching and mentoring, are not skills that are generally taught by firms or schools.

Instead, lawyers have tended to haphazardly pick these up throughout their career, or in some cases, by-pass them altogether!

CLPD offers you the perfect opportunity to cultivate your soft skills so that you can improve client relationships, effectively manage your team and increase resilience.

Finding new ways to approach problems, learning how to manage stress at work, or even how to recognize your own biases are highly advantageous skills for lawyers, all of which makes your job easier in the long run and improves career prospects.

Taking control of your own education and selecting training courses, alongside your required CLPD, that best fit your requirements and needs, can boost your confidence, productivity and happiness.

Consider your short and long-term goals, planning your CLPD around what will help you achieve your goals. In this way, you will be able to monitor your progress, check targets and ensure you stay on track.

If you would like to discuss the training courses we offer at Creative Word Training and assess how we can help you with your legal career, please contact us.

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