Many people are of the opinion that once they’ve completed their initial training they don’t need to do anything more – that’s it, they’ve got the skills they need to get the job done. Of course, in the legal profession this is anything but true, and additional training is explicitly required to meet the mandatory number of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points each year. But there are other, perhaps more important, reasons to undertake further training, which we shall look at here.

Let’s start by recapping the mandatory requirements that are expected of all solicitors and lawyers working in the UK.

CPD requirements in the legal profession

Solicitors and lawyers who work for 32 hours or more each week are required to complete at least 16 hours of Continuing Professional Development every year, or less if they work only part-time. Newly qualified professionals are expected to complete one hour of CPD for every full month worked in their first year. The CPD year runs from 1st November to 31st October, and the scheme is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

CPD points can be accrued in a number of ways, and in addition to training, these include one to one mentoring, distance learning, research and writing for legal journals. However, 25% of CPD points each year must be gained by attending accredited training courses.

Despite the mandatory nature of additional legal training, it is not something that should be undertaken grudgingly or seen as a chore. Extra training provides opportunities to become a better lawyer or solicitor, and to expand your skills and knowledge. It is of course also particularly beneficial to your CV.

Keeping up with current developments in law

But there is another reason for undertaking extra training – a sense of duty and commitment to your clients. When people enlist the services of a legal professional to assist them with a claim, legal dispute or other matter, they expect to be served by someone who is on top of current developments in their field. Without constant training it can be very difficult to do this.

By its very nature, law is constantly changing, and rather than being a fixed set of rules and guidelines, it is fluid and forever shifting. Because law does not stay still, nor too should solicitors or lawyers – they must constantly develop themselves to ensure that their skills and knowledge are bang up to date and relevant to current law and the requirements of their clients.

The area of personal injury law is one example of a particular niche for which the demand for properly trained professionals has grown in recent years. Without the very specific knowledge and expertise required to deal with personal injury claims you will be unable to fully help clients who are relying on your expertise to claim the compensation that they both deserve and, in the case of serious injuries, may desperately need. Additional personal injury training therefore would enable you to provide a better and more comprehensive service to clients.

The reason for mandatory CPD is to ensure that solicitors and lawyers keep developing their skills and knowledge in line with current developments in law, and this should be seen a chance for legal professionals to hone their abilities, and provide the very best legal assistance and advice to their clients.

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