Learn More, Earn More in 2016
By Doug Striker, CEO, Savvy Training & Consulting
‘Tis the season of New Year’s resolutions! Generally, we all start the new year with shiny hopes for improving our lives, but often those plans fade as old routines and habits take over. That’s why it’s important to keep it simple and to also keep in mind the deeper motivation behind your goals: to be healthier, smarter, more competitive in the marketplace, and so on.
If one of your goals is to advance your legal career or to maintain (or create) an edge in the very competitive legal industry, you should strongly consider improving your technological capabilities.
Consider this wake-up call written by D. Casey Flaherty and published in the ABA Journal: “I am corporate counsel at Kia Motors America, Inc. I have developed a basic technology competency audit that I administer to my outside law firms. The firms have not fared well, and I have, among other things, cut their billing rates unless and until they pass a subsequent audit.”
This is a perfect example of the client demanding a lower hourly rate due to technological incompetency, a trend I foretold two years ago when the legal industry finally started to emerge from the slump that started in 2008.
So, how can you move your career forward and achieve technological prowess? Follow these steps:
- Identify your weaknesses: Be honest with yourself and list your tech-flaws. Does your paralegal have to fix all of your documents before they see the light of day? Is your entire firm using a version of Microsoft Office that you have refused to adopt? Do you know how to quickly store and retrieve old files from your firm’s document management system? Your reluctance to learn more is costing you and your firm money.
- Seek learning resources that you can read on a regular basis: Legal Administrator Daily and Law Technology Daily Digest are two outstanding resources that you could scan daily for topics that could advance your knowledge. You may also subscribe to the Savvy Tips & Tricks newsletter, which comes out monthly and includes super-quick tips for improving your skills and efficiency with many software tools, from Outlook to Excel to Word to OneNote.
- Take advantage of learning opportunities in your firm and online: If your firm has a training professional, ask that person to help you learn the specific skills you seek. (The trainer will probably pass out from excitement.) Also, consider online options available to you at any time such as the webinars that my company offers on a regular basis.
These efforts are easier than hitting the gym every day because you can do them all from the comfort of your desk! Having a quick sandwich in your office? Take a webinar while you eat. Riding the train to work? Study a topical newsletter before you hit your destination. Ten minutes here and 20 minutes there will add up to a lot of learning over the course of 2016!
ABOUT SAVVY TRAINING & CONSULTING
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. For a free demo, click here.