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Legal Education and Training: a practical guide for law firms by Melissa Hardee

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BOOK REVIEW. LEGAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING. A practical guide for law firms By Melissa Hardee ISBN: 978-1-4057-4622-9 Lexis Nexis www.lexisnexis.co.uk EDUCATING LAWYERS? HERE'S THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE -- APPLICABLE IN BOTH ENGLAND & WALES AND SCOTLAND An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers The title of this book, as author, Melissa Hardee states, 'does what it says on the tin' and 'still fits on the cover,' -- except that the subtitle: 'A practical guide for law firms' actually encompasses in-house lawyers as well as those in private practice such company legal departments, as well as law firms themselves. 'Guide' is certainly the operative word here. The author's objective to create a 'guide' rather than a textbook, is amply fulfilled as she and her learned team show you, the practitioner, in systematic and methodical detail how to deliver efficient and effective training... how to evaluate its results... how to integrate it into other functions of your department or organization... and how to assess its benefits in terms of enhanced staff morale, increased productivity and most importantly, measurable return on your training investment. If you run a law firm, or dream one day of doing so, this is the guide for you. Indeed, this is the first 'how to' book we've seen on every imaginable aspect of implementing it, running it and assessing training it, either in a law firm, or legal department, not only in England and Wales, but in Scotland. One section in particular deals in depth with the subject of 'regulation' in the two jurisdictions which is of great importance at the present time. Even if you consider yourself knowledgeable on the subject of training, this book is a handy source of specialist information and insights with which you may -- or you may not -- be familiar. Having this book on your library shelf is almost like having your own management consultant in print permanently to hand. Logically structured in five parts and 500 pages, the book covers a range of management issues, including 'how to waste money', (joke here, we presume) which provides salutary examples of how not to waste it. Other sections deal with everything from the over-zealous regulatory requirements currently around, to the design and delivery of training, to the strategic issues, as well as the practical operations and financial responsibilities involved in producing the expected return on your investment which you might expect to accrue from training. Training is, of course, a vital aspect of efficient resource management, which means, in the words of Tony King, Chairman of the Education and Training Committee of the Law Society of England and Wales, that 'this is an important book', especially in an economic downturn. You'll see from the detailed Table of Contents and six appendices (over 20 pages long) that this volume is extensively and meticulously researched -- a collaborative work in which many learned contributors have had a hand. Certainly it's a brilliant guide to helping you invest in training and education sensibly and wisely in 21st century. Every law firm or legal department should acquire a copy because they will need it.