Professional Development Program
Employers want graduates knowledgeable about the professional and business practicalities of practicing law. Recent law school graduates have likewise expressed the need for this type of training. Both groups have specifically suggested more guidance in client relations, law firm economics, financial management, legal billing, time management, legal marketing and networking, professional organizations, leadership opportunities, navigation through common ethical issues, job search strategies, and professional writing. We aim to produce genuinely “practice-ready” professionals prepared to succeed.
Practicing attorneys are required to attend 15 seminar hours of continuing legal education each year. We built a Professional Development Program based on that model, with three significant differences:
- Instead of requiring 15 seminar hours per year, we require 21 seminar hours (students matriculating in Fall 2022 and later) or 18 hours (students entering before Fall 2022) spread over three years of law school.
- Instead of charging for these seminar hours, we provide these seminar hours to students without charge.
- Instead of structuring the program to cover every aspect of practice, we focus the program on the most critical professional development skills needed by new attorneys.
Additional information about Baylor’s Professional Development Program:
- You will swipe your Baylor ID card through a card reader to track your hours. However, the Professional Development Committee will track attendance if the program is offered online. Students must join any Professional Development Program presentation on time and stay for the duration of the program to receive credit.
- You will be asked to turn in an evaluation form at the end of each seminar to help us evaluate the quality of each seminar speaker.
- Multiple seminars and workshops will allow students to meet professional development requirements from a customized selection. However, some program offerings are considered crucially important, and attendance at those offerings will be required.
- We will periodically post a selection of offerings eligible for Professional Development credit, identified by the Practice-Ready logo. In addition to information about time, place, and subject, each offering will show how much credit it provides and whether it is mandatory. Keeping up with your hours is essential because the professional development requirement must be met as a graduation condition.
- Keep these limitations in mind:
- For Students matriculating in Fall 2022 and after that: Although you are welcome to attend as many seminars and workshops as you choose, no more than five (5) hours of credit may be earned in one quarter, so it is essential not to delay attendance. We believe information is best absorbed over the three-year course of law school. Please note that you will earn six (6) PDP credit hours in your first quarter through the mandatory Introduction to Law and the Legal Profession course. In your first quarter, you may earn up to two (2) additional hours of PDP credit outside of the Introduction to Law and the Legal Profession if you choose to participate in other programs.
- For students enrolling before Fall 2022: Although you are welcome to attend as many seminars and workshops as you choose, no more than five (5) hours of credit may be earned in one quarter, so it is essential not to delay attendance. (We believe information is best absorbed over the three-year course of law school.)
- In planning the sequencing of attendance, plan to attend approximately three (3) seminar and workshop hours each quarter. You are not expected to participate during the third quarter amid moot court exercises or during your Practice Court quarters. This leaves six quarters to earn your professional development hours.
- Although most offerings will not be mandatory, make sure to attend those which are noted as such in this policy.
- There is also a category of Introductory-level offerings (essentially “Day-in-the-Life” seminars) for which a maximum of three (3) seminar hours may be credited. However, students can attend as many of these offerings as desired.
- Students may earn a maximum of one (1) hour of professional development credit for hours worked for the Estate Planning Clinic, Veterans Clinic, Immigration Clinic, and/or Trial Advocacy Clinic. One-half (.5) hours of professional development credit will be earned for every three hours of work performed for a clinic or team that the faculty supervisor approves. See the clinic director for guidelines.
- Effective Fall 2022, the continuing legal education (CLE) credit option is no longer available.
- All students must attend the following mandatory programs:
- For Students matriculating in Fall 2022 and after that: All programs scheduled within the Introduction to Law and the Legal Profession course in the first quarter, for which students will receive six (6) hours of credit.
- For students matriculating before Fall 2022: Three (3) programs are scheduled within the Introduction to Law and the Legal Profession course in the first quarter. Professor Serr will provide students with a list of these mandatory programs.
- Career Development Orientation in the second quarter.
- Effective Business Communications in the second quarter or later.
- Most seminars will be scheduled during lunch hours or afternoons, with occasional evening seminars.
- Students are responsible for monitoring the proper recording of professional development credits, and they will have until the first day of the next quarter to alert Assistant Dean Kristine Bridges if there has been a failure to credit them with attendance at a program. Students seeking credit for a program for which attendance was not credited will be required to provide a note from two other recorded attendees confirming their attendance at the program.