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Teaching new tricks: How to help lawyers to learn new skills

Jill King discusses how to manage the key barriers to learning and ?help lawyers to develop new skills

15 October 2012

In many ways, law firms are the ultimate learning organisations. They are full of clever, self-motivated and ambitious professionals with a track record of academic success and a focus on developing expertise in their chosen field. Lawyers are typically A-grade students who pass exams with ease, absorb information quickly and relish the challenge of keeping abreast of changes to the law.

For young lawyers, private practice is, in effect, a postgraduate school where they can apply what they have learnt at law school in a commercial environment. The training contract, just like the ‘articles’ of the past, encapsulates the apprentice model of juniors learning from seniors.

Yet, with so much demanded of lawyers these days, the capacity required to develop wider commercial and interpersonal skills, alongside deep technical knowledge, is under sharp focus. Firms expect...

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