Being a lawyer requires upkeep. Three years of law school and Bar admission courses certainly prepare future lawyers for work in the legal profession, but any lawyer will tell you that that is not enough.
Since the law is in constant evolution, lawyers must keep up to date on the changes. They must also develop better techniques for dealing with the pressures of the job. Although many of the skills and instincts required to effectively practice the law are developed in the heat of the action, on a day to day basis, there remains a need to take part in more formal education sessions.
That is why law societies in Canada have made it a mandatory requirement for lawyers to follow continuing legal education programs. They require lawyers to annually dedicate a minimum of 12 hours to courses, training sessions or research projects. Most lawyers will dedicate many more hours than the minimum requirement.
For example, next week in Ottawa, the National Criminal Law Program will welcome close to 700 lawyers and judges from across the country for over 32 hours of education sessions. Many of Canada's leading criminal defence lawyers will be on hand, most of them sharing their knowledge and experiences in a variety of lectures, practical training sessions and other activities.
I will be taking advantage of these sessions along with several other Moncton area lawyers.