Legal Week, in association with LexisNexis, recently canvassed 430 US and UK-qualified lawyers — including an undisclosed number of in-house lawyers. The survey looked at their needs for continuing professional development (CPD), and whether they believe the training currently being offered to them is “up to scratch.” All solicitors and registered European lawyers (RELs) who are in legal practice or employment in England and Wales, and who work 32 hours or more each week are required to complete a minimum of 16 hours of CPD per year.
According to the article’s summary of responses, in-house counsels’ opinions were similar to those of their external-counsel counterparts. “Despite the higher demand on the part of their clients for non-legal business advice, a similar picture emerges among in-house lawyers in terms of their professional development needs. “Ninety-five percent see technical skills training as paramount, alongside one in eight who rate managerial skills and two-thirds who value leadership training.”
To know the law is a prerequisite, an assumption by internal clients, yet those in-house lawyers who excel have also become adept at many complementary skills (See my May 10, 2006 on rankings of the non-substantive skills needed for in-house lawyers.).