Dear Jane: Can I Blow Off "Mandatory" Programs?

by 352admin 28. February 2013 12:03

Dear Jane,

The firm does a lot of professional development programs and recently started labeling them “mandatory” for certain groups.  Of course, all of the courses are non-billable.  When my demographic is included in the “mandatory” list, do I need to go?

Signed,

Rather Bill My Time

 

Dear Rather Bill My Time,

The attitudes of law firms toward attendance at professional development programs have steadily moved towards supporting their value.  In addition, the economic meltdown’s impact on billable hours has made non-billable hours a better measure of commitment than they used to be.  You are making a strong statement if you choose not to attend “mandatory” training so make your choice with that fact in hand.

Jane DiRenzo Pigott is the managing director of R3 Group LLC, specializing in working with professional service organizations on leadership and change in connection with diversity and inclusion. Before founding R3 Group, she practiced law for more than two decades at large law firms where she chaired a practice group, served on the executive management and compensation committees, and founded and ran diversity initiatives and affinity groups.

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