Best Practices for Training and Developing Lawyers

The September/October 2010 Issue of Law Practice Magazine focused on law firm professional development and how to build talent.

I think one of the must read articles from that issue is Building A Better Talent Game Plan: Best Practices for Training and Developing Lawyers by Marcia Pennington Shannon.

When making decisions about lawyer development and training programs, many firms focus mainly on how it will affect the short-term bottom line – especially when the bottom line is hurting due to a struggling economy. The article sternly warns against doing this: Giving the short shrift to professional development today can have a long-lasting negative impact on a firm’s ability to serve its clients which in turn means the firm’s future success is jeopardized.

Viewing lawyer training and development as an integral part of a firm’s long-term strategy is much more consistent with a vision of lasting growth and profitability. Putting a strong focus on professional development can also provide the edge firm’s need to compete. With this in mind, the article highlights these professional development “best practices” and what they could mean to your firm’s future:

  • Creating Individual Development Plans
  • Providing Expanded Training for New Lawyers
  • Following the Competency Model for Development and Training
  • Rethinking Mentoring Based on Advancement Level
  • Incorporating Soft Skills Training
  • Don’t Forget to Factor Retention into the Game Plan

Read this article to help your firm make professional development and training more of a priority.

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