The External Trainer’s Perspective

Barb Ragsdale founded The Consortium and she’s been training at law firms for over 30 years. The woman is connected, uber-smart and, well, savvy! Let’s hear her thoughts, shall we?

Q: What is the biggest training trend in law firms today?

A: I work with law firms of every size, from two attorneys to those with over 1000, but mostly I work with firms that have 50 to 500 attorneys. I see one thing happening everywhere: they are getting rid of their in-house trainers and shifting those responsibilities to the human resources department.

To the firms, they think this shift makes sense. HR professionals are “in the people business.” They like helping people. But I can tell you that those poor folks already have enough on their plates and they are not keeping up with things like Microsoft Office releases.

Q: What have you recommended to the HR people you’re helping?

A: I don’t care how big a law firm is, they need to get all of their training materials and communications in one place. I see these firms reinventing the wheel every time they need a new training program. They also create entirely different materials for their satellite offices, storing them on random drives that only a few people know about. It’s madness! Imagine the wasted time and money involved in this inefficient process!

Q: So what’s the answer?

A: They need a robust learning management system because they are doing more with less. With a cloud-based LMS, they can store all of their training materials in one place, provide access to it for everyone across the firm no matter where they work, push communications consistently, and even track who is using it successfully.

Oh, and an LMS provides an easy bridge to the IT folks at the firm, who can add their own training protocols, such as security trainings.

I tell these HR folks, “Imagine how much easier your life would be with an LMS when you have new hires. You can create an entire curriculum, put it on the LMS, and send new hires there for trainings. You can even track who is diligently taking classes and learning your firm’s protocols versus those who aren’t.”

And can you imagine how much easier life would be during a law firm merger if you have an LMS? Both HR and IT folks are overwhelmed during mergers. An LMS takes a huge load off the help desk, not to mention all the questions the HR and IT teams get asked over and over and over. Everything can be on the LMS.

Q: So, what do you think of the SavvyAcademy LMS for this purpose? (Come on, I had to ask her opinion!)

A: SavvyAcademy LMS is perfect: uncomplicated and affordable. I recommend it all the time to my clients. I come in and I see that they have training materials and documents and systems scattered everywhere. I say, “Let’s simplify and organize. You have systems and docs all over the place. Let’s look at an LMS.” And I recommend Savvy, not only because it’s a great product but because the customer support that they get from you and Terry is phenomenal.

Also, if they hire outside trainers, like me, we can put all of our materials on the SavvyAcademy LMS and cue it up, make assignments, create curricula – from anywhere! I can help them manage their trainings and keep everyone moving forward so much easier.

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Savvy Training & Consulting works with leading companies and technologies to deliver the most up-to-date training solutions and curricula to law firms. Savvy recently unveiled an award-winning Learning Management System (LMS) for law firms, SavvyAcademyTM, which delivers scalable training capabilities, reportable data down to the individual user and 24/7 support, all for a fraction of the cost of traditional LMS services.


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