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Apr
26
by Jessie Spressart, Founder and Managing Director, Optia Consulting LLC Do you know what a mastermind is? Simply put, a mastermind is a group of peers who gather to learn from each other, offer support and advice, and pool their collective wisdom to tackle challenges that its members face. If you stop and think about it, this sounds a lot like the broader purpose of the Professional Development Consortium! When I became a Trusted Advisor in late 2020, I proposed that the PDC...
Apr
19
By Kendra Brodin, CEO, EsquireWell Well-Being Week in Law is coming up May 2-6, 2022! Is your organization ready? According to the Institute for Well-Being in Law, Well-Being Week in Law aims “to raise awareness about mental health and encourage action and innovation across the profession to improve well-being.” During Well-Being Week in Law, law firms, law schools, and legal organizations highlight the importance of well-being through activities, events, resources, and more. ...
Mar
23
by Rachael Bosch, Managing Director and Founder of Fringe Professional Development   Like every business decision since the onset of COVID-19, workplace re-entry policies are forcing organizations to grapple with the very human experiences of their attorneys and business professionals. These decisions make the work of PD professionals messy and complicated. But it also provides excitement, as we get to play an essential role in helping define policies, drive implementation, and...
Feb
16
By Stacey Schwartz, Professional Development and Legal Recruiting Manager at Katten Surely the vast majority of us have seen at least one episode of Friends. One of the episodes that makes me laugh the hardest includes the iconic scene where Ross buys a new couch and decides to carry it up to his apartment instead of paying a delivery fee. With the help of Rachel and Chandler, Ross tries to navigate the couch up the stairs, shouting “P-I-V-O-T!” frantically, as the three of them struggle to...
Jan
27
By: Jessica Hernandez and Jessica Natkin Attorney Evaluations. They are the bane of existence for partners, associates, and professional development professionals alike. They can take up a lot of attorney and staff time, and are often still not very useful in meeting their primary purpose: to help attorneys develop. Perhaps this is because it is common for attorney evaluations to be expressed in a format that highlights if a partner believes an associate is “above/at/below the level”...
Nov
16
By:  Shannon Burke, with special thanks to Jody Rosen Knower of Sidley Austin In case you have not heard, the Professional Development Institute (PDI) is right around the corner, taking place December 2-3 in Washington DC!  The PDI is sponsored by NALP in collaboration with American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education and the Professional Development Consortium.  Who should attend? PD professionals of all experience levels will come away with new ideas and...
Oct
18
By: The PDC Board and DEIB Committee It’s that time of year when firms and schools are thinking about end-of-year gifts, and many PDC members have purse-string influence over those purchases for their teams or even for their entire organization.  As part of our ongoing efforts to support Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging goals, the PDC has teamed up with Start Small Think Big (SSTB), a national nonprofit supporting small businesses, to promote SSTB’s shopping guide as a...
Oct
15
By Tamesha Keel   As part of this year’s fantastic Summer Conference Planning Committee, it is hard to believe that the Summer Conference was three months ago! It seems like just yesterday that the Diverse Vendor Showcase debuted with over 50 diverse vendors, a collaborative brainchild between the DEIB and Summer Conference Planning Committees sponsored by SkillBurst Interactive.  After the introduction, I challenged everyone to follow the PDC and SkillBurst Interactive’s...
Aug
12
By Members of the PD Providers Network: Rachael Bosch, Christine Clapp, Jessica Hernandez, Steve Hughes, Kiko Korn, Jessica Natkin, Dianne Rosky, Jessie Spressart (For pictures of these PD providers and others in the PD Providers network, please visit the PD Providers Network roster page. The PD Providers Network, a group of consultants who serve the legal industry, met recently to discuss the transition from the all-remote teams of the COVID-19 era to the inevitable mix of remote and in-...
Jun
23
By Katie Aldrich, Fringe Professional Development   Whether we welcome it or run from it, interpersonal conflict is all around us, and being physically separated from our colleagues over the last 15 months hasn’t helped. Without the casual run-in at the coffee station after an intense meeting to “check the temperature” with a colleague, even seemingly small disagreements can result in high levels of fear and anxiety.  The good news is that we can change how we relate to...
Jun
23
By Christelle Dorcil It's January 2021 and the world remains in the throes of a global pandemic.  You're reeling from a recent assault on the nation's capital and wondering what it means for the upcoming inauguration of a new President. Between reeling and wondering, you've just returned to work after a holiday season where you may not have been able to celebrate with loved ones or carry out time-honored traditions. It barely feels like you had a break because you're dealing with...
May
26
By Reva Pollack   Getting my coaching certification in 2020 was a transformative experience, as it showed me a new way to approach problem-solving and goal-setting. As the new Volta coaching survey demonstrates, many law firms are investing in coaching as the value of having trained coaches on staff becomes more apparent. A coach serves as a judgment-free sounding board to help move past obstacles or more generally promote growth and development. Coaching is a difficult skill...
Oct
22
By Kiko Korn As a PDC member, you are a goldmine of information. Why not share it? Or start a conversation? Or let people know you're thinking about what they're thinking about? The PDC Blog is the perfect place for you to write about what's on your mind. With your help, the blog will be a wealth of institutional knowledge—a library of support, ideas, stories, answers, and connection. This blog post is designed to inspire you to start writing. It's a blog post about blog posts (how...
Sep
15
By Devin Lintzenich On a call with PDC members in June 2020, I shared my experience developing firm-wide core competencies and practice-specific expectations (a.k.a. benchmarks) for associates. Thanks to the PDC Communications Committee for the invitation to build on that presentation in a blog post. PDC members can review the slide deck here, so I won’t rehash the presentation. In summary, I included lessons learned about and guidance on how to accomplish the following:...
Sep
03
By Dr. Sharon Meit Abrahams Previously we discussed virtual training and what you need to do to adapt. New associate training should be paired with mentoring programs which provide an opportunity for young associates to build a trusting and meaningful relationship with a senior associate and/or partner who will guide, monitor, and enhance their professional growth. Virtual mentoring should be easier to implement than training because you should have mentoring concepts in place....
Aug
26
By Dr. Sharon Meit Abrahams Incoming associates have enough stress starting a new job and now they cannot run down the hall to get an answer to a legal question, or guidance on how to navigate the law firm world. Other priorities rose to the top these past months, but now we need to address the arrival of our newest associates. Conscientious development of associates through training and development enables them to become dynamic, professional, and ethical attorneys who provide high...
Aug
11
​ By: Marian Lee In the past five months, the world has changed in ways we never imagined.  In addition to the fear, stress, and other personal impacts of the pandemic, our working world has been rocked.  We’ve seen a rapid transition to remote work, increased volatility and uncertainty of the business environment, and dramatic economic impacts.  For many law firms, these impacts have resulted in layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts for staff members and attorneys, in addition...
Jul
22
Thought Leadership, Highlights, and Insights from the Legal PD Community At the PDC our mission is to provide leadership and direction in the development of programs, materials and resources to help our members do their jobs well. The PDC Blog is an extension of this mission. The blog serves as a community-based forum to share thoughts and ideas related to the legal professional development community.   In keeping with our mission, we invite blog posts from PDC members,...
Apr
03
Contributed by Dr. Larry Richard, PDC Trusted Advisor and founder and principal consultant at LawyerBrain LLC Law firm leaders are intensely focused on responding to the CoronaVirus crisis. However, despite their best efforts, many leaders are telling me that their people are experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety, fear, and emotional overload. That’s not surprising, given the pace and magnitude of the changes affecting us all. This crisis definitely has psychological...
Sep
26
The PDC is pleased to announce a new Speaking Guide Resource, provided by Trusted Advisor Brian Johnson.  Hear about the resource in his own words:   "It is gratifying to serve as a PDC Trusted Advisor, and I appreciate the opportunity to provide this new guide for PDC members. Speak with Confidence: A Guide to Deliberate Practice for PDC Members will give you a solid technique to control and coordinate your body, brain, and voice to help you communicate confidently...
Aug
08
By Ian Nelson, Hotshot   A summary of the tips and ideas shared by PDC members at the 2019 Summer Conference in Nashville, TN. Kristin Heryford and I had a big job at the Professional Development Consortium’s 2019 Summer Conference: delivering a session that would engage a room full of people on a Saturday morning, many of whom (including yours truly) had karaoke’d their hearts out the night before. Good thing that PDC members love to participate and share! We just sat back and...
Jun
19
By Marty Latz Blog post orginally published on www.expertnegotiator.com. “This will be a difficult negotiation. We’re sitting down with people who want to see us both headless… You need to take your enemies’ side if you’re going to see things the way they do. And you need to see things the way they do if you’re going to anticipate their actions, respond effectively and beat them.” — Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones. After years of hearing about Game of Thrones, I just finished...
Apr
09
By David H. Freeman, PDC Trusted Advisor and Founder of the Law Firm CultureShift This article was first published on ABAJournal.com in the ABA Journal’s Your Voice section. Lin-Manuel Miranda performs with the cast of “Hamilton.” Photo by Joan Marcus.   Ever get a song stuck in your head? Have you ever felt inspired by exceptional composition, powerful lyrics or the virtuosity of a vocalist or musician? Personally, I check all three boxes when it comes to the soundtrack...
Apr
03
By Katie Walter, Hotshot   How does a 10-office firm spread out across Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia equip its attorneys to practice globally while delivering top-notch results locally? For Kinstellar, the answer lies in a thoughtful mix of foundational online learning and local conversation and materials. This combination helps associates gain a consistent foundational knowledge of generally-applicable concepts and practice skills and then discuss similarities and...
Apr
03
By Katie Walter, Hotshot   How do you keep a new crop of associates engaged for a full week of orientation and “Lawyering 101” training? Anna Thea Bridge, Director of Professional Development at Kramer Levin, tackled this question by using the flipped-classroom concept to enrich the onboarding experience for incoming Corporate associates. It’s a learning model that Anna is passionate about, having led sessions on how to succeed with blended learning at the 2018 PDC Summer...

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