The Importance of Continuous, Informal Training in Your Law Firm
The kind of education you’ll never get in a classroom (online or otherwise).
After law school or paralegal and court reporting education, most legal professionals engage in on-going training programs. The legal field, like many industries, continuously evolves, and you need to keep up with complex developments to be successful. But while continuing education programs and seminars will keep you up-to-date, there’s a certain amount of informal training that should be taking place at all times to foster the skills and knowledge that no official course can deliver.
Trial and error
We’re all familiar with the adage that sometimes the best lessons are the ones we learn when we make mistakes. This applies to training legal professionals, but with actual cases on the line, it’s often better to teach these lessons from experience rather than let young professionals learn them the hard way. Consider the wisdom you can impart to junior attorneys by asking simple questions after a trial, deposition, conference call, or even a new client meeting.
“What are your observations?”
“Do you have any questions about the way this was handled?”
“What can we improve upon the next time?”
Asking them for feedback is a great way to spur conversations that lead to valuable learning experiences.
Remember when you learned to ride a bike? It’s highly unlikely that your parents drew you a picture or tried to explain how to pedal and steer without actually putting you on the seat. Learning by doing is one of the best methods for mastering anything, including practicing law. Despite the massive volume of material that you memorized in school, it’s likely that you don’t remember a lot of it. In contrast, most lawyers will tell you that they never forget their first case or what they learned during marathon workdays when they first started out.
As a young attorney, you may have had to submit your work to a more senior member of the firm to ensure that it was accurate and well written. And if you were given the chance to see the revisions, you learned how to improve your writing and what to do differently the next time. If you’re in a position to offer this kind of constructive criticism to junior attorneys or other legal staff, you’re actually offering them informal, practical training—the kind of education they won’t get in any other setting.
While continuing legal education is a requirement in most law firms and remains pivotal to developing a successful legal career, there’s no substitute to hands-on learning through trial and error and constructive feedback. Law firms that foster an environment of continuous growth will reap the rewards with personnel who are well equipped to handle the ever-changing legal arena.
At Boss Certified Realtime Reporting, we promote a culture of constructive feedback and ongoing professional development. With more than a decade of experience and over 40 reporters on staff, we’re ready to meet your court reporting needs. Fill out our online form to request a quote or schedule a job today.