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IT Professional Development… Yes, it’s Still Important

March 13, 2012

A couple of things happened this past week that started me thinking about Professional Development for law firm IT professionals.  The first was the reminder that my Microsoft Certification (MCT) was up for renewal. The other was a conversation I had with a trainer currently on project with one of our clients in Philadelphia. We had a meet and greet in Philly and she arrived with her CPS (Certified Professional Secretary) and Microsoft Certified Application Specialist pins proudly displayed on her lapel. As we chatted about her journey towards her certifications, it got me wondering about what credentials hold value in law firm IT professions today.

As the primary recruiter for talent in our organization, I know what I look for as an employer. Work experience is definitely high on the list, but I also look for what people have done while they are employed. Pursuing certifications and degrees is part of what I look for, but I also look to see what conferences, seminars and professional groups are they part of. Which LinkedIn groups they are members of? What contributions do they make to the groups? What do they do day-in and day-out to remain relevant. How do they invest in themselves?

So what do you do to keep up with trends in legal IT? What publications do you read? Whose tweets do you follow? Which blogs do you read? Which conferences are on your wish list for attending this year? Which certifications, degrees or recognitions are you most proud of? What do you have hanging on your office wall or cubicle partition? For me, I think I’ll track down my kindergarten diploma and get that framed. That’s the one I probably learned the most in achieving. My apologies to Debbie Sparber for clocking her my first week there, but I did learn something very important that day. And I continue to grow and learn every day. How about you? Share with me your Professional Development plans and what you value most.

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