Litigation experience: why it’s valuable to trainee development

21 Dec 2018
business-2884023_1920

As a trainee solicitor, you may be looking to arm yourself with additional qualifications alongside your Professional Skills Course (PSC), especially as you’ll be competing with over 146,000 other practising solicitors in the UK (as of September 2018). This is increasingly important if you set your sights on contentious areas of law, which is why many learners turn to additional courses such as a Higher Rights of Audience (HRA) or if required, a Trainee Litigation Programme (TLP), to help gain experience of the litigation process. For our blog this week, we’re discussing why litigation should be a crucial consideration and how it can benefit careers in the legal industry.

 

Gain first-hand experience
Sometimes, simply learning through listening is not always enough and first-hand experience can help to make the learning process more effective – after all, Richard Branson swears by the approach of ‘learning by doing’. Within many litigation courses such as TLP or HRA delegates will gain first-hand experience of litigation alongside a qualified tutor, utilising the learning sciences approach of both construction, where we learn by buildings things, and cognition, where we have to think things through. For example, it will allow you to work through realistic case studies to improve your case management and decision-making skills, dealing with any potential issues and making decisions as though you were undergoing a real-life scenario. 

 

Improved communication skills
As well as enhancing technical professional skills, litigation courses can also prove essential to improve personal skills such as communication. No matter your position within the firm, work can be completed more effectively if you have strong communication skills. According to Live Strong, when supervisors, employees and co-workers are able to effectively communicate needs and listen, transparency increases along with the mutual trust that often underlies innovation and team work. This concept can also be applied to client communications and can prove crucial when looking to initially establish yourself in this professional environment.

 

Enhanced advocacy skills
Although advocacy will be a major focus within a PSC course, enhanced advocacy skills can help any practising solicitor excel in their career. Whether you’re looking to join the 6,873 solicitor advocates (as of November 2018) in the UK with a HRA qualification, or whether you’re simply looking to bolster your skillset, a litigation-focused course can help you to progress and add to your professional arsenal, which will prove essential when practising contentious areas of law.

 

Further your knowledge
During your PSC, you may not be learning about contentious areas of law as much as you might like. Especially if your focus is to operate within commercial law, you’ll need to be exposed to more of these areas of practice in order to give you the best chance of ongoing success. Working closely with experienced tutors can help learners to further their knowledge and understand what their strengths are and what areas will need improvement. This additional learning is also more likely to create happier legal professionals, as research published by Forbes explains that continued education can help individuals focus on their career goals and also improve mental clarity, memory and drive.

 

Ultimately, litigation experience can bolster your professional skillset with improved advocacy and communication skills. Not only can this help you to future-proof your career, it can help you to stand out and showcase your dedication to a career in the highly competitive law industry. So, if you’d like to sign up to our upcoming litigation courses or to speak with a member of our team, contact us on 02920 451 000 or email us at altior@kaplan.co.uk