Keeping up with CPD points can be an onerous part of a lawyer’s responsibilities. It’s particularly hard to find resources for the core areas of Ethics and Practice Management/Business Skills.
If your lawyers are struggling to gain their points, we have a solution. Better yet, it’s a solution which offers you a unique change to market your firm’s skills to clients:
You can run your own.
Running a seminar counts towards CPD points for the lawyers who create and present the seminar. It also presents the perfect opportunity to offer value to your clients and position yourselves as knowledge leaders.
Count it towards CPD points
An activity counts towards CPD points if it:
“has significant intellectual or practical content primarily related to the practice of law;
is conducted by persons qualified by practical or academic experience in the subject; and
is relevant to the immediate or long-term professional development needs of the legal practitioner undertaking it.”
CPD activities include “attendance at or presenting material for a seminar, workshop [or] lecture” (Rule 8.1 of the Legal Profession Uniform Continuing Professional Development (Solicitors) Rules 2015).
There are several areas of interest that apply equally to lawyers and to your clients – many of whom themselves may have an ongoing professional development obligation.
Market to clients
Training sessions for your clients, on their premises, on the regulatory and legislative updates that affect their industries are a powerful marketing tool. They’re getting real value from the information, and it will cement you in their minds as knowledge leaders. Allow some time afterwards for questions and a bit of networking, and next time that client has a problem they’ll come straight to you. Better yet, they’re more likely to recommend their friends, helping you build your client list.
You can even develop a presentation with wide application – for example, how to identify and act on conflicts of interest – and tailor it for each individual audience.
Make it compelling
First, consider your client base. Are they mostly firms, or individuals? If you specialise in corporate or commercial law, or regularly represent large defendants, you are well advised to go to their premises rather than inviting them to you. More of their staff will attend, maximising your face to face interactions. If you’re a family law, criminal law or plaintiff firm, your clients are more likely to be individuals. In that case, consider hosting an event at your premises, or somewhere neutral, and inviting them along for an information evening.
Either way, keep your presentation snappy. When you’re explaining a technical field, avoid uninterrupted chunks of text, which are hard to listen to. Use graphics and charts to illustrate points on screen and keep the details to the accompanying hand out you should also bring along.
The language should be tailored to your audience. Avoid legalese in favour of plain, accessible English.
Case studies are always engaging. People connect to human stories, so tell them about cases that illustrate the points you’re making.
Allow time for questions at the end, and a period in which your presenter can mingle. The power of face-to-face marketing cannot be understated.
Tanya was admitted to the South Australian Bar in 2006 and practiced for several years in large and boutique firms before starting her own business in legal content writing and editing. Her areas of expertise include contract law, property law, personal finance and personal injury. She relishes the challenge of taking even the most intricate judgement and making it accessible to the interested reader.
Tanya is based in Adelaide. You can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at +61 400 972 354.