I’ve written a lot lately about the law firm industry’s ethical duty to stay on top of technological advancements. Of course, the American Bar Association weighed in on this topic a few years ago in a change they made to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. This change makes clear that lawyers have a duty to be competent not only in the law and its practice, but also in technology. Here is the earth-shaking new rule in full:
Model Rule 1.1 states: “A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.” And now Comment 8 to Model Rule 1.1 states: “ To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology, engage in continuing study and education and comply with all [CLE] requirements to which the lawyer is subject.”
Now, it’s one thing to require technological competency, but what exactly does that mean? Does it mean you no longer use WordStar? Does it mean that you know how to dictate your thoughts to the cloud without ever moving your lips? (No, that’s not a thing… yet.)
It can be easy to get tech-overwhelmed in your quest to become tech-savvy!
One organization that has been ahead of this curve is LTC4, the Legal Technology Core Competencies Certification Coalition. It’s a huge mouthful-of-a-name but basically it’s a nonprofit organization that lays out standards for law firms to use as guidelines in their quest to become tech-savvy. There are also learning paths, tests and certification programs available through LTC4.
Here is a list of the LTC4 focus areas for law firm attorneys and support staff. (LTC4 calls them “workflows.” I call them content areas.)
- Legal Documents
- Managing Documents and E-mails
- Collaborating with Others: E-Mailing and Sharing Documents
- Time and Billing
- Road Warriors
- Data, Reports and Exhibits
- Working with Clients (CRM)
Ok, this is all well and good, but in order to offer certification to attorneys and staff, a law firm trainer needs to map their existing learning materials* to LTC4’s workflows, map them to LTC4s skills requirements, receive LTC4’s “blessing” on their map, train their employees, and then apply for certification. (You can see the full certification process here.)
*The hardest part for a lot of firms is the “existing materials” piece. Firms may have no materials. Or they may have some materials but they don’t adhere to the topics demanded by LTC4. Or the trainer doesn’t have the time to complete the mapping process.
But wait! There’s an #LTC4hack! Work with Savvy Training & Consulting! All of our materials are already mapped to LTC4 certification standards and ready for you to load onto your learning management system (LMS)! (If you don’t have an LMS, we have one of those, too, and it’s really robust, user-friendly and affordable.)
Once loaded into your LMS, the training content is already organized in learning paths that match the LTC4 certification requirements. Sooner than you think, your staff, your attorneys and your entire firm can receive LTC4 Technology Certification!
If you are a law firm trainer and you need help getting your firm launched on the certification journey, call me to chat about the content you’ll need, how to manage your learning paths, and the rest of the process. I can take a huge load off your shoulders! 303-800-5408. Doug@SavvyTraining.com