By Deborah Hopkins, October 19, 2018
If you’re like me, you don’t have the fondest memories of law school. Sure, there were classes I enjoyed and professors who challenged me (in a good way), but there were a lot of things I didn’t enjoy. I think I started my countdown to graduation before first-year orientation was complete. Among the worst memories are those times I was called on, required to stand up in front of 60 classmates, and grilled about the minute details of the assigned class reading as sweat rolled down my back and I internally prayed for a fire drill or power outage.
Those days are behind me. I still spend most of my time in a classroom, but I now have the privilege of being in the front of the room. I still have to answer questions and some of them are stumpers, but all in all I absolutely love teaching classes on employment law for FELTG and haven’t once had a nightmare about anything that has happened during one of our programs.
Participants often give feedback about our trainings and many times the feedback directly correlates to how FELTG training is nothing like law school. Here are a few of the recent areas that students have commented on.
FELTG doesn’t use the Socratic method. That’s right, we don’t. All of our instructors know the horror of the being put on the spot, so we will never do that to you in any of our classes. We will ask questions and see if anyone would like to answer because we love in-class discussions, but we won’t ever force you to stand up and talk about what you know – or reveal to the class that you don’t know anything because it’s your first week on the job. Rest assured that when you come to our classes, you don’t have to say a word all week, if you don’t want to.
FELTG’s intent is to teach you, not screen you out for failure. We’ve all seen the bad movie that takes place in law school. On day one, the professor uses some version of this speech: “Look to your right and to your left. At the end of this semester, one of the two people next to you – or maybe it’s you – won’t pass this class and will be kicked out of law school.” Well, at FELTG it is not our goal or desire to kick you out or to have you fail the class. Our goal is to teach you things – law and strategy – that you might not have known, in order to make your job easier and the government run more efficiently. And if you earn CLE or HRCI credits and happen to have fun while doing it, then we consider the class a success.
There is no homework or pre-reading required. Some participants of FELTG programs have been in the business a long time, while others come to training right after starting a career (or career change) in federal employment law or federal supervision. With that understanding, we never give you a reading list or pre-work for any of our seminars. You can show up on day one with zero knowledge, and you will be just as welcome as if you have 20 years of experience litigating before the MSPB or EEOC. One of the most common things our participants say is that they always learn something new from our classes.
We don’t have forced group projects. We won’t do that to you. There are times you have the option to have group discussions or mini-workshops, but if you prefer to work alone, that’s no problem for us. (Exception: Our MSPB and EEOC Hearing Practices Week requires you to work with your litigation team to prepare and deliver a hearing in front of a judge, so you do have to work with others a bit during this class.)
All questions are welcome. There are no stupid questions, and our instructors will assure you that all questions – no matter how silly or basic you think they are – are welcome in our classes. After all, if you’re thinking it, chances are that at least a handful of your other classmates have the same question. So ask away!
There are no final exams. FELTG offers an optional Federal Employment Law Practitioner Certification for a number of our classes but we NEVER require participation, and the testing mechanism takes the form of quizzes rather than exams. The longest quiz takes about 15 minutes to complete, so there’s no reading period required.
We have fun. Yes, it’s true; we have fun during class. We love what we do, and our instructors will make you laugh by telling jokes, or talking about details from wacky cases. The best part of our business is that we never have to make anything up. Any wild scenario you can imagine has happened in some agency, somewhere, over the last 40 years.
Don’t take my word for it; come to a class and check out why FELTG training is different from any other training you’ve ever attended.
We’re now taking registrations for 2019 classes. We hope to see you soon.