Five years back, hardly any additional online or distance learning courses were available to fill up specific skill-gaps for law students.
Today the situation is different. Everyone and their aunt have heard that online education is easy to make money with, so you have a proliferation of online courses like never before.
With so many courses available, which one should you choose?
Let’s say you want to learn practical lessons around corporate law. How can you accomplish that?
The standard advice of seniors has been to read business newspapers – like Economic Times. In the absence of systematic training, some of us have done that in the past – but it did not really help.
You will come across a lot of new terms – you can look them up – but it did not send my knowledge of commercial law skyrocketing. It will probably make a marginal difference to your understanding. Far from making you the new corporate law stud.
Reading more cases is also not a solution. Nor is performing better in class. Many who do well academically are utterly confused as to what can be done to drastically improve their skillsets as a commercial lawyer.
Reading the same textbooks, journals, blogs, newspapers, attending classes and optional guest lectures feels woefully inadequate in rapidly improving one’s lawyerly skills.
This is a systemic gap. I would have taken an extra course only to fill this gap, and for nothing else.
And this is why you will probably consider an online course too.
Naturally, you need to know that what you are opting for is actually filling a gap like that.
Be very clear – what value is being offered by a course? What do you gain from it? Is it aligned with your goals?
A 7-point checklist you can use for choosing the right course
1. Always prioritize skills over knowledge
Giving you some information is easy. However, teaching you a skill is difficult. You can find information on your own, but learning a skill will take more time, and needs a systematic approach. It also needs practice, time and guidance.
Information will lose relevance, but skill will serve you for long! Go for a course that teaches you skills, not just gives you information.
2. Talk to people who have already taken the course
You should try to talk to several people to understand what are the pros and cons of a course. People often have varying understanding of the same thing – it is a good idea to talk to multiple people rather than relying on only one or two. Try to ask objective questions about the course rather than just their subjective opinion.
Do not ask people who have not done online courses yet, because they have no idea what they are talking about. Also, there are some people who signed up for cheap-ass online courses that are of terrible quality, and now have a stereotype that all online courses are terrible. Do not fall for their uber negativity either.
You need balanced, credible feedback from people who have actually done a course.
3. Ask for demonstrations and samples
If someone has really built something valuable – they would not mind giving away a bit of it for free.
Ask for free sample chapters, demand to see material before you buy a course. See the quality of their free content on their social media. This would really help you to assess the quality of a course.
4. Stay focussed on YOUR goals
Before buying a course, talk to someone who has built the course or teaches in a course – not just a call centre employee who knows nothing about the profession or the skills you are trying to learn.
Ask him or her how the course will add value to you, what skills will be taught and what will be the procedure. See how all these can help your career objectives.
5. Make sure you have the time and motivation
A large number of people seem to be subscribing to courses that they do not really study, because of hectic schedule or some other reason.
This is not good at all. If you cannot commit to a course, do not take it.
Understand how much time is needed to pursue the course first. For instance, we planned the LawSikho courses in such a way that it would not take more than 6-8 hours in a week and it can be accessed at any time one wishes. Even if you miss a few classes, you can watch recordings later.
6. Engagement and ease of communication
This is also crucial. Do they engage you during the course or just send some modules to you? There should be some engagement – if you are just given some material and asked to go away and study, it’s not good enough.
How approachable are the people behind the course? If there is a glitch, or if you need help, how soon will they respond? It is always better to deal with human beings when it comes to this rather than an entity hiding behind call centre workers.
This significantly affects your experience with a course.
Also, will you get any personal coaching or attention? Will your doubts be answered? How? Who will show you where you are making mistakes and how to correct them? How many live classes will you get? Will you get to interact with alumni and other students?
Will there be any recruitment or placement or internship support? Will they refer you some relevant clients? Everything matters!
7. Do they have a money-back guarantee or instalment options?
It takes a lot of confidence in your own product to offer a money-back guarantee. Same for instalment options. If your course does not work, or the sales are better than the delivery, then you will not dare to offer a money-back guarantee. You will also not offer instalment options.
This is a telltale sign that a course is probably not worth it. Do not opt for courses that do not have a money-back guarantee. Ask them for one, and depending on how they react, you will know if they are any good. LawSikho has a proud 45-day money-back guarantee. Click here to read the refund policy.
Want to find out more about LawSikho courses? You can check our courses catalogue here.
Just give us a call on 011 4084 5203 and have a talk with our career counsellors.
Or comment below to this article with your phone number and a message, “I want to know more about LawSikho courses.” We will reach out to you.
Remember, a course should not add a mere paper certification to your CV.
It should help you progress in your career and build a better future.
To your success.
P. S. LawSikho is running hour-long webinars every day. Want to learn how to improve your learning skills? Prepare an LLM application to a foreign university? Career opportunities in new, upcoming areas of law? Don’t miss these high-quality webinars with industry and academic experts.
P. P. S. The enrolment for the following courses are ending on 15th June 2020. Hurry now!
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