Since 1985 the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has made it a requirement for licensed solicitors and registered European lawyers to undertake a minimum number of hours legal training a year. While the SRA itself seeks to provide a benchmark for quality via its accredited training provider scheme – a fair indication of an informative and professionally-delivered course – are there other ways of making sure this time and money are not wasted?
Choose a Legal Training Team With Expertise
You’re looking for trainers with qualifications and solid experience in their subject. A company that offers CPD and legal training will be transparent about the credentials of their trainers.
Choose a Trainer Who Exudes Passion
Check out your potential legal training provider’s website and if it seems energised and enthusiastic about their work, that’s a good start. Call their lead training associate and have a chat – his or hers approach will be a good indication of the tone of the entire legal training team. When you browse or chat, is there any reference to enjoyment or engagement, either in the style of the trainer themselves or via the teaching activities they use?
How to Spot Professionalism and Excellent Organisation
Again, the legal training provider’s website is a good start – is it well organised and professional in itself? When you chat to the lead training associate, do they know the contents of each course? Ask about the course agenda – does it seem well-structured and thorough?
Don’t under-estimate the value of recommendations either: other firms may tell you how happy (or not) they were with a particular legal training provider. Some firms display testimonials on their websites which have fully traceable attributions – these can be very useful.
What Subjects are Available for CPD and Legal Training?
Common CPD accredited legal training courses include:
- Anti-money Laundering
- Conflicts of Interest
- Data Protection & Information Management
- Equality and Diversity
- COLP & COFA Practical Guidance and Advice
- Mortgage Fraud
- Anti-bribery and Corruption
- Risk Management
- Complaints Handling
- Outcomes Focused Regulations
- Financial services for Solicitors
How to Ensure Value for Money
This is very subjective and is dependent on what you hope to achieve through your CPD or legal training, though it’s safe to suggest that value for money is enhanced by a professionally-run course with enthusiastic trainers who give brilliant clarity to their subject.
An added bonus is finding a legal training provider that will deliver course at your law firm premises or a nearby venue of your own choice. This cuts down travel time and gives the added security of knowing the venue will be appropriate.
CPD and legal training and education may only have a 16-hours-a-year requirement according to the SRA, but in fact it can add immense value on so many levels. Once you find the right legal training provider, you may find yourself wanting to do more than the proscribed amount.
LBS Legal is a niche legal practice in the UK which provides CPD accredited legal training to solicitors in Scotland and Wales. To date its team has trained more than 3,000 solicitors, 96% of which rated courses as “excellent” or “good”.