Paralegal Podcast Episode 47

How to Get Your Attorney to Invest in Your Career Development

In this solo episode of the Paralegals on Fire! Podcast Show Ann Pearson gives you tips on how to ask your attorney to invest in your career development and what to do before you ask. She also gives you some insight from a manager’s perspective on things like when to ask and how to increase the likelihood of getting a yes.

Show Highlights

  • What if your law firm doesn’t have any specific budget dollars set aside for paralegal professional development?
  • What is the worst time of year to ask for funds when you work in a law firm?
  • Nine questions that you need to be prepared to answer when you ask for professional development funds.


You can fast-track your career with our 3-Step Roadmap to Manage Cases Like a Rockstar Litigation Paralegal! If you are new (or fairly new) to litigation, this free guide will help you get a handle on your cases and be able to anticipate what the attorney needs before they ask for it.


Your Actionable Strategy

Your one actionable strategy is to be prepared before you ask! The 9 questions that Ann wants you to be prepared to answer before you ask for your attorney to invest in your career development are (be sure to listen to the episode for more details on each of these):

  1. What is the name and a brief summary of the program that you want to attend?
  2. What is it that you expect to learn or take away from that program? In other words, what skills will you be gaining?
  3. What is the cost?
  4. Is there a discount if the firm wants to send more than one of you?
  5. When and how will you access the training?
  6. Will it require you to travel?
  7. Are you going to need to take time off to attend? If so, are you wanting to get paid for that time or use your PTO time?
  8. What is the ROI to the employer and to your attorney specifically? What problem is it going to solve for them? Instead of telling them what you’re going to learn, be able to explain how what you are going to learn is going to benefit them. 
  9. Not so much a question, but a bonus step to do in advance of asking…prepare your written career development plan! Here is where you can get a template for one to get you started.

Up Next Week!

Next week we’re focusing on litigation, and specifically for new (or fairly new) litigation paralegals – things you can do today to jumpstart your case management skills.

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Support the Paralegals on Fire! Podcast Show

Did you get a tip from today’s episode to help you fast-track your paralegal career? Give the show a review and let me know what you enjoy most about the Paralegals on Fire! Podcast Show. I’ll be reading every one of them! –Ann Pearson

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