Should you be going back to school?

It’s definitely back to school season and a good time to ask yourself if you should be continuing your education. I am often asked if you need an advanced degree to succeed in law firm marketing or recruiting and my answer is no. If you already have an MBA or JD, great, but getting one once you are in the field is not required. I would rather you spend your time and money taking career-related classes that you can apply at work immediately. Bottom line is that you don’t have to be enrolled in a formal academic degree program to learn.

Here are a few ideas for increasing your knowledge and skills this fall:

1)  Register for a certificate program. For example, a number of recent placements completed Coaching programs through iPEC and the NeuroLeadership Institute.

2)  Commit to attending one monthly educational program sponsored by your professional association or a related one. For example, if you are a member of LMA, check what’s on the calendar. In addition, you might want to ask your firm administrator what’s on the schedule this fall for ALA. It’s good to expand your learning to other areas of law firm management.

3)  Learn something completely new or expand your expertise further. Columbia Journalism School offers courses in social media and NYU’s School of Professional Studies (SPS) has programs in public relations.

4)  Have fun and study something you are passionate about! I have taken a number of on-line classes with Alison Armstrong (Understandingmen.com) to help me be a better partner in my almost 30 year marriage. A client of mine just took a Transcendental Meditation class, while another is taking cooking classes!

You may be thinking that this all sounds great, but where will you find the time to take classes? Here’s the thing: When you are learning and growing, you get energized. You will be more focused during the work day because you’ll know you need to leave in time to get to class, which tends to make you more productive throughout the day. So, what are you signing up for?

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