Out-of-town seminars

April 13, 2009
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Given today’s economy, is now the time to be spending big bucks to send attorneys to seminars in other cities? I recently received a brochure about a litigation/workplace strategies seminar presented by a law firm with multiple locations in the U.S. that’s happening next month at a resort in Miami.

The organizers even acknowledge that now’s probably not the best time to be flying attorneys around the country to attend a seminar, but reach out to prospective attendees by saying because of the economy, it’s even more important to invest in learning about employment law changes.

Another way to entice attorneys: the event is offering registration of three people for the price of two.

It’s a deal then to be able to send three attorneys for the price of two, so why shouldn’t a firm take up the offer? Perception, mostly. A long weekend in Miami sounds nice, but is it necessary for an attorney to travel there to obtain the information from the event? Couldn’t he or she get it in another form, i.e. webinar, a local CLE or seminar, instead of traveling to a resort?

Plus, depending on what firm you may work in, if there have been staff layoffs recently or whispers of struggles in the firm, what message does that send to employees if some attorneys are sent to Miami or another far-off location for a seminar?

Seminars in a nice location over a long weekend are great – you get to learn while enjoying a new city or relaxing in your down time, but right now may not the best time to attend one.

What do you think? Is now really a bad time to attend an out-of-town seminar (especially one at a resort) or because of the discounts and struggling economy, should firms attend to get a leg up on the competition?
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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