It’s not a secret that many lawyers believe that mandatory legal CPD often causes more stress than it’s worth. But there are plenty of reasons – besides renewing your practicing certificate – why you should take your CPD more seriously.

1.   Reinvigorate your role

One of the many benefits of continuing professional development is that it can help reinvigorate your role and fight career stagnation.

CPD is an opportunity to explore new areas of law, learn new skills, and possibly discover new passions. And by finding different ways of incorporating these newly found skills and interests you can reignite your passion for your job. You’ll feel more motivated and more engaged. In turn, this will also boost your productivity, and improve your performance at work.

2.   Advance your career

To get the most of your CPD, focus on aligning the CPD activities and topics you choose with your mid to long-term career plan. Once you have pinpointed your goals, it’s easier to identify potential knowledge gaps as well as the training you need to take to fill these gaps. For example, if your goal is a flexible schedule where you work part-time from home, a course in best practices for remote work or a guide on how to optimise online meetings could be a good place to start.

We all have the opportunity to shape our careers according to our wishes. By viewing professional development as a way of advancing your career you’re more likely to choose legal CPD courses that support your goals – and help you thrive in your legal career.

3.   Stay competitive

The legal profession is constantly evolving – especially with the rapid development of legal technology. And thanks to COVID-19 it’s changing faster than ever. Lawyers must work to stay relevant and competent if they want to remain competitive.

CPD not only ensures that you keep pace with current industry standards, but also build skills to strengthen you in your current role. It’s an opportunity to deepen your knowledge in a specific area and gain an understanding of emerging trends that might impact your work. All of this in combination will help you stay ahead of the game.

4.   Boost your wellbeing

Research shows that continuous learning and curiosity can be beneficial for happiness, intellectual growth, and overall mental health. Giving a boost to your curiosity can help you foster better and stronger relationships by helping you gain more empathy.

Your problem-solving skills, an essential skill for lawyers, are also likely to benefit from ongoing learning because curious people are often more creative and open to looking at a problem from different angles.

Overall, continuous learning can help you feel more competent, give you tools to approach new challenges and stimulate your brain to increase your general sense of wellbeing.

5.   CPD strengthens the profession

Continuing professional development is a hallmark of most professions, including the legal profession. When lawyers commit to completing legal CPD, they are committing to maintaining and improving their knowledge and skills. In turn, this ensures high standards are maintained in that individual lawyer’s practice – and in the broader profession. This builds trust with clients, the courts, and the community, who can feel assured of the competence of the profession.

This is why lawyers are required to complete continuing professional development – to uphold their obligations as a professional to clients, the courts, and the community. It can be easy to lose sight of this at times, but strengthening your own skills also helps to strengthen the profession as a whole.

Posted by Sarah Mateljan

Sarah Mateljan is a lawyer and co-founder of two tech startups - LawCPD and CourseGenius. LawCPD was the first company to provide online CPD to lawyers on any device - smartphone, desktop or tablet – in Australia, and continues to be an industry leader. For more information, please see LawCPD's website: LawCPD.com.au

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