Young Lawyers Need to Train Themselves?

Young Lawyers Need to Train Themselves?

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You might have heard the long version, but here’s the snapshot – some clever people decided to announce that young lawyers should get their skills (somehow) BEFORE they got a job.

Apparently clients don’t want to pay for that.

Which is fine.

After all – not training young lawyers isn’t at all a short term view of things.

Our business will run just fine after we retire if we haven’t invested in our new lawyers – right?


Check out the Full Podcast Here on the same topic.

Transcript – Training for Young Lawyers – Who is Responsible?

Okay guys this is another episode of Non-Billable. My name is Chris Hargreaves and I’m from and Non-Billable is where I give you three minutes of either a rant, answer to a question, maybe some advice, a few bits and pieces.

Today I wanted to talk about training of young lawyers. Recently an article came to my attention and it kind of annoyed me, to be perfectly honest. I did in fact do a full podcast on it, you can find that at but here is the Cliff Notes version.

Some people, particularly high ranking people in law firms, have decided that it’s not the law firms problem to actually train young lawyers. Which I found a remarkable assertion. So who’s problem is it?

They were saying that the lawyers should skill themselves up because clients don’t want to pay for it. I don’t think perhaps the clients don’t want to pay for it as much as the law firms can’t be bothered doing it properly and they want to get back to what they were trained for which is being a lawyer.

What is the answer to the conundrum? Who should be responsible for training young lawyers in their professions.

If it’s not the law firms, then maybe it’s the universities. The universities don’t want to do it, they just want to educate people about how they should actually go about working in legal practice so far as they think and that involves research, that involves academic papers. Not very helpful.

Who is going to skill up the young lawyers? There’s not many people left so according to these individuals it is the young lawyers themselves.

That’s right. In order to be employable young lawyers apparently you need to go and you need to skill yourself up. What the skills are, who knows? They weren’t mentioned in the article, I’m not sure what skills they were talking about.

I know what I think. I don’t know what they think and that’s part of the problem. No one knows in fact what they’re talking about.

What is the answer? The answer is everybody’s wrong.

Nobody wants to take responsibility and in reality, everyone should take responsibility.

Law students, young lawyers, you are responsible for what you do. You are responsible for what you learn, you are responsible for how far you can get in your careers.

Universities are responsible for training young lawyers appropriately so that they are useful, functional contributors, adding value to firms and being useful in the workplace.

Law firms? Guess what. You are responsible too. There is at no point in legal practice where you should be able to stop learning where you should not have a mentor available to you in your practice or at least in the broader legal community.

So far as everyone saying it shouldn’t be our problem it should be someone else’s problem, it’s everyone’s problem.

You all have the problem, you all need to take responsibility. Everyone should be getting involved in this at that is my view on this.

Go to if you want more information. That is Non-Billable for today, the Cliff Notes version of a much longer rant that I got involved in recently. Thank you, have a good day.

Happy Lawyering!