Along with the theme of learn by doing, a recent conference session on professional development stressed personal accountability: you know what you need and you have to push to satisfy your needs (See my post of July 22, 2009: professional development must be the personal responsibility of each in-house attorney.). It is not the responsibility of your manager or of the law department or the general counsel. They may enable some choices and channel your efforts, but identification of areas to improve and selection of how to go about it falls on you.
This sound advice comes from Practical Law, Dec. 2010/Jan. 2011 at 86, and its summary of a session at the ACC Annual Meeting last year.
Being likewise accountable to learn from my own writings, I assembled my posts on professional development since the most recent metapost (See my post of May 7, 2009: assumption that CLE skews toward substantive training not business training; May 13, 2009: professional development at Exelon includes board opportunities and Toastmasters; July 13, 2009: bring foreign-country lawyers to headquarters for training; July 13, 2009: if you invest in formal education for your lawyers, insist on repayment if they leave soon thereafter; July 16, 2009: soft skills are important to learn; Aug. 10, 2009: CLE accounts for about nine percent of the operating costs of a typical US law firm; Oct. 19, 2009: calculate the ROI of CLE; Oct. 22, 2010: on the job training is most common; Jan. 20, 2010: reverse secondments as a training method; and Nov. 13, 2010: send your lawyers to a firm for training.).