Hello family lawyer,
Do you find it hard to get out of the office to training? Do you feel the pressure to be at your desk and responsive to clients? Maybe your firm doesn’t have much of a learning culture and this is something you’re expected to do around the work? One of the main responses I’ve been getting about training is that people would like to attend in person, but they feel unable to come out of the office for a whole day (or even a morning). I hate the idea of lawyers not being able to learn things that would benefit them and enhance their work, so I’ve come up with Learn at Lunch. The idea is to offer training in one hour chunks via online webinars. You can join the training live at lunch time, but if you’re snowed under you get the link to the webinar to watch when it’s convenient for you. That way you get to learn but you don’t have to feel you lose the benefit of training because you’re worrying about the work piling up.
All you have to do is sign up on the link below and I will let you know when something is running. You can then sign up or not. There’s no obligation. If you do sign up you get a link a couple of days before the webinar so you can join live. If you can’t a link to the recording is sent to everybody in any event so you can watch later. If you have questions you couldn’t ask live you can always email me after.
In the fullness of time I would like to create an online group where you can share online training ideas with me; and where you can get confidential support around issues you’re facing; and share experiences with other professionals in the same boat.
How many times have you heard the word “unprecedented” in the last few weeks? Perhaps an unprecedented number of times! We all know we are living in uncharted waters. The current situation presents many challenges for family lawyers and mediators. These might include:
– Technology challenges dealing with tech you may not be familiar with (and broadband problems you might be experiencing at home)
– Creating a rapport with new clients when you can only meet them online
– Ensuring that you have dealt with any safeguarding issues that might affect your client
– Maintaining confidentiality and GDPR compliance working in a house of more than one person
– You may not have the support you normally get in your office and may be feeling isolated and a little out on a limb. Perhaps on a personal level you are struggling with the lack of human contact?
Do you dread having to have difficult conversations with clients? Do you worry that they will turn on you? Do you find that they don’t take away the messages you wanted them to? Do you find they don’t properly hear what you’re trying to say?
In this webinar we will look at:
– your own relationship with conflict – is this something you thrive on or actively seek to avoid?
– the art of good communication and ensuring you are clear in your key messages
– why your client might not be able to hear you right now (for example if they are in fight or flight mode)
– how to stand firm in a non-confrontational way
This has now run but if you would like to purchase the webinar then please get in touch.
Do you send clients to family mediation and not hear from them for ages? Would you like to know how to support the clients unobtrusively? This will enable you to stay in the loop and flag any issues at an early stage. It also ensures the client returns to you to prepare the Consent Order. In addition to this following a process for this (that I outline in the webinar) you will find yourself working in a more rewarding way supporting your client at this difficult time, and managing the inevitable stress that comes with working with separating clients. The webinar also provides a quick overview of the mediation process to ensure you understand how it all fits together.
This has now run but if you’d like to purchase the webinar please get in touch.
Do you use social media to help raise your profile and would you like to know how to do this better? Or would you like to start but are too afraid of doing it badly? This one hour webinar will talk you through the dos and don’ts of using social media and talk about strategies you can put in place. We’ll also talk about the aim or purpose of doing this so you have a clear purpose. We’ll cover Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook and also touch on Instagram, Youtube and Pinterest. Social media, done well, can be a great (free!) way of raising the profile of your services (to get more clients) and yourself (to get you noticed by other employers).
This webinar was postponed to a date to be announced in the future.
Practitioners are aware of the need to be aware of any abuse issues but often don’t understand the full extent of issues that can be encompassed in this. This webinar gives an overview of safeguarding and explains the professional obligations lawyers and mediators have. There will also be practical guidance on how to have these difficult conversations with clients in a sensitive way that builds rather than jeopardises that professional client and rapport.
Why do I want to do this?
Essentially because I have been the lawyer sat in an office with ambitions of working in a different way, or doing some form of Dispute Resolution training, or just dreaming of a less stressful way of life. I know what it’s like to work in a place where training doesn’t have a very high value and any request to do training is scrutinised and rejected if the numbers aren’t right. That’s why I have set this up and that’s why I am keeping the training really affordable so it’s open to everyone regardless of your firm’s culture around training.
I also know what a huge difference it made to my life freeing myself when I set up my own practice. It is an impossible dream to so many people. Yeah right how would I pay the mortgage? Give up holidays? That’s what gets me through the year. I hear you. I had those internal conversations over and over again too. But I also felt that yearning to make a difference and to work in a way that lights a fire in you, not a dimming bulb.
In fact let me be completely honest with you I actually had a mini breakdown in my first job as a paralegal. I’d been rejected from nearly 100 training contracts, and I thought that was the only job I could get and I was absolutely terrified when I thought I couldn’t do the job because I was hopeless and falling apart. The reality was that I was burnt out from trying to please all my clients and everyone at the law firm where I worked. I was always saying yes to everybody and no to everything I needed.
As time went on I got better with boundaries but I still felt I lacked the skills to help me really help clients to tackle the difficulties they were facing. I also felt I couldn’t learn what I wanted to because there wasn’t a high emphasis on training and self-development where I worked. I also felt bullied and intimidated because I was trying to manage family commitments alongside my work and be a good mother and a good lawyer. I was permanently in conflict.
Fast forward to 2020 and I’ve been running my own mediation firm for 7 years this year. I have learned so much and continue to learn all the time. When I say learning I don’t just mean I’ve trained as a mediator, or I have got to grips with pensions. I have spent a huge amount of time talking to other professionals from a wide range of backgrounds who help separating couples. I’ve also done training in focusing with is a counselling technique designed to take you into your body and look for clues about what is going on for you at any given moment. I have read like I have never read before. I’ve also been curious and I don’t remember being overly curious when I was a lawyer; probably because I didn’t have time, inclination or head space. But my curiosity has led me to explore anything that might benefit me or my clients. I have undertaken my second Reiki degree simply because I was curious about Reiki and what it could bring me (and then my clients). Through doing this I have discovered something I love and is an awesome hobby.
I bring all I’ve learned into my work so I can really help clients address the challenges they are facing to truly find resolutions that are constructive, peaceful and tailor made to their families. But I don’t believe I’m the only person that can do this. Anyone can. You just need to be clear about where you are now and where you want to be and then carve out a path (baby steps) to get where you want to be.
“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams”. Oprah Winfrey
Trust me that you could do this just like I did. The training I intend to provide isn’t just about ticking boxes and CPD requirements (although I will always send out certificates of attendance), it’s designed to enhance YOU and your skillset and to help you become the practitioner you want to become. Whatever that looks like. So if there is training you want I will offer it, and if I can’t I will bring someone in who can. This is absolutely about you filling out the true potential you have and doing the good work in this world that you were born to do.