Continuing Professional Development Programs

Deborah is an experienced program designer who creates bespoke educational programs for law firms. Let her create a program for your firm that is specific to your firm’s needs. 

A sample of recently presented programs appears below. 

The Associate Manager

Associates typically do not think of themselves as managers, yet they are constantly managing students, assistants, clerks and clients. This seminar addresses the management skills associates need to foster respectful, high functioning working relationships with all their constituents.

Manage Your Own Career

Associates need to be proactive in managing their own careers to fulfill their potential. This program addresses the following points:

  • managing how you are perceived by others
  • leaving your comfort zone: stretch assignments
  • the art of giving and receiving instructions
  • getting the work you want
  • “managing up”: managing the partners with whom you work
  • setting goals 
  • client relationships
  • taking the long view

Take the “Difficult” out of Conversations

It is a challenge to deliver hard messages to colleagues. This program equips lawyers to take the “difficult” out of difficult conversations by learning how to prepare for the conversation, confidently knowing what to say and when to say it and learning how to respectfully disagree.


The sentence, “If you want something done right, do it yourself”, is never uttered by efficient lawyers. Good delegation skills lead to timely, accurate and cost-efficient legal services and better work-life balance. Learn how to skillfully and efficiently delegate to your colleagues. 

Running an Effective Meeting

Clients and others will judge you by your ability to run a polished meeting. We will review methods to ensure that your meetings (both virtual and live) are time-efficient, productive, inclusive, and results-driven.

Getting the Feedback You Need

You’ve trained your partners on how to give feedback, but have you trained your associates on how to receive feedback? Do they know how to elicit feedback, and how to learn from it even if it’s unfair, confusing or just plain wrong? Ensure that your associates use this crucial skill to advance their professional development.

In this program, we will discuss the following:

  • how feedback seeking behaviour leads to career progression
  • determining which of the three types of feedback you need
  • how to elicit feedback
  • what to do if the feedback you receive is confusing or wrong
  • feedback in a virtual world

Back to the Office: Best Practices

Lawyers are beginning to trickle back to the office and finding a changed workplace. Their management skills may need to be modified to suit the new normal. We will discuss how to effectively employ the following skills in a hybrid work environment:

  • mentoring
  • supervising
  • delegating
  • communicating 
  • conducting meetings
  • managing teams
  • assessing performance, particularly through a diversity, equity and inclusion lens.

Preparing for Your Performance Evaluation Meeting 

The firm has painstakingly gathered feedback with the goal of helping you advance your career. But are you taking full advantage of the feedback? Are you getting everything you need out of your evaluation meeting? Are you open to course corrections, or do you feel defensive? This program will help you prepare for your performance evaluation meeting and get the most out of that meeting. Learn what to do if the feedback is confusing and learn how to prompt feedback in a hybrid work environment. We will review SMART goals and consider how to set goals that you’ll actually follow. 

* Accredited by the Law Society of Ontario