Companies are always looking for fresh, cost-effective ways of keeping their staff training up to date. Many may like the idea of sending their staff to seminars relating to their business, however, they tend to need a fair chunk of the day travelling, not to mention the expense that can be involved. In recent years the trend has been turning more towards the “internet seminar” or Webinar as it is more commonly called.

A webinar is a conference held over the Internet and can be either one-way, with a speaker talking to their audience and minimal audience interaction (sometimes called a web cast) or with full audience participation with question and answer session. Likewise, they could be for a one-on-one session or for a large group of people.

Depending on the company hosting the webinar, it could be done completely online with the participant going to a specific URL to attend the conference, or by downloading an application onto the attendee’s computer prior to the webinar starting. The other common way webinars are conducted is with the speaker on a telephone whilst guiding participants through the information displayed on the screens before them (which again could be in the form of a URL or downloaded application). The information can be anything; including PowerPoint style slide presentations, web tours, or “live” text chat.

Webinars are used by a variety of sectors, but are particularly useful to Solicitors, Barristers and others in the legal professions as they can count towards their CPD (Continuing Professional Development). It is important to note though, that even if more then one person was involved in a law webinar, if only one place was paid for, only one person can use it towards their CPD.

There are many companies offering legal webinars as part of the training available to professionals – some companies specialise their training to specific sectors, while others offer a broad range of training. Most try to arrange that the webinars run in lunchtimes or early evenings to allow people to participate without disrupting their working day or offer pre-recorded webinars that you can participate in at your convienance.