Training for Attorneys: not as much fun as the firing rage
Every year, I attend mandatory training to maintain my license to practice law. Most states require continuing legal education (CLE) on an annual basis. As you may have guessed, there are many companies willing to provide the required training for a fee-often a large fee! The questions arises every year for every lawyer, what type of training should I seek?
There are many schools of thought on this. Many attorneys look for classes that discuss the areas of law in which they practice on a regular basis while others attend conferences sponsored by professional organizations. I do a combination of both.
If you have attorneys who help your department, your FOP lodge, or your officers on a regular basis, consider sponsoring training to help them help you. Many lawyers I meet would love to get more involved in helping LEOs but they are unfamiliar with many legal concepts unique to LEOs. Issues of Garrity, use of deadly force, and the effects of an officer involved shooting on a LEO are not taught in law school and it is nearly impossible to find a CLE on these topics. Make certain that the classes qualify with the state bar requirements for a CLE and make certain you advertise this fact in all training materials. As a side benefit, lawyers pay a lot of money annually for CLE so you should be able to charge tuition to these classes.
The Fraternal Order of Police hosts an excellent seminar every February for attorneys. If you are in an FOP lodge, you should be sending your lawyers to this conference every year. You can learn more here.
Putting more attorneys on your list of designated hitters is always a good idea. The Fraternal Order of Police Legal Defense Plan allows members to select their attorney or use an attorney approved by the plan. However, when you are involved in a shooting or your job is on the line, you want a lawyer trained in your particular issues who is both ready and willing to help.
Plan now to train your team of attorneys. The classes are not as fun as sending rounds down range, but when you have fired rounds in the line of duty, you’ll be happy your attorney knows why you pulled the trigger. Stay safe.