Gartner recently came out with their research-based predictions for how technology will increasingly impact law firms and corporate legal departments. In a nutshell: law firms must embrace emerging technologies to be competitive and, when they embrace technologies, they must also ensure that their people know how to use it. The Savvy takeaway: As technologies advance, law firm training programs are more critical than ever.
Here are Gartner’s Five Trends
- By 2025, legal departments will increase their spend on legal technology threefold.
- By 2024, legal departments will replace 20% of generalist lawyers with nonlawyer staff.
- By 2024, legal departments will have automated 50% of legal work related to major corporate transactions.
- By 2025, corporate legal departments will capture only 30% of the potential benefit of their contract life cycle management investments.
- By 2025, at least 25% of spending on corporate legal applications will go to nonspecialist technology providers.
For me, numbers 1 and 4 go hand-in-hand. It basically says that law firms and corporate legal departments will triple their spending on technology but will not get anywhere close to the full value of those technologies because they won’t be utilized properly. Enter: Law firm training programs, which can help you capture more value from your technology investments.
- “Legal leaders are seeing that other departments have found success with their tech investments and also significant advancements in the legal tech market. This is driving their appetite to expand their use of technology to support workflows and meet productivity demands.”
- “The most expansive, highest-potential solutions … carry a great deal of complexity in the underlying functionality. Moreover, most legal departments plan poorly for such initiatives. A common mistake is to pursue a legal technology roadmap without sufficient regard for business or end-user needs.” (Bold is mine.)
Integrate Training into Every Technology Acquisition
It sort of boggles the mind to think that a firm would invest thousands – sometimes well into the 6 figures – into technology platforms and then invest very little in the people who need to use it. Training should be fundamental to every single technology purchase we make today. Heck, we just bought a fridge and the company we bought it from sent us a video tutorial on all the features and how to use it! If a new refrigerator requires training, I think it just makes common sense that a new document management system will require training.
In fact, these platforms are so complex and become so critical to a firm’s work product that training should be available on an ongoing basis. New hires need to be trained in “the firm way” of using them. And existing employees should be rewarded for “leveling up” in their skills over time. (Seriously, a lot of people don’t even use Microsoft Word to its fullest extent. Don’t you think ongoing training for your DMS or AI-powered contract manager is in order?)
Learning Management Systems Make Law Firm Training Programs Run Smoothly
If you want your firm to embrace and utilize technology, you need to establish a learning culture in your firm. Learning should not be something you roll out once a year to check an HR box; it needs to be an organic part of your culture and something that is rewarded and celebrated.
The only way to manage an ongoing law firm training program is by using a learning management system (LMS). And it should come fully loaded with training content that is designed specifically for the legal industry. The only solution out there with these specific features is the SavvyAcademy Learning Management System.
Why do you need a learning management system loaded with content? Because your trainer can’t create content, store the content, assign the content, track the usage, build training paths, quiz learners… using Excel spreadsheets. That will lead to failure of your law firm training program, and then failure of your technology acquisitions.
If you are planning to purchase any big technology platforms for your law firm, you should involve your trainer in the process, plan pre-rollout training, post-rollout training and ongoing training. This sounds exhausting and like it will interrupt work, but done right with an LMS, your training program can seamlessly weave into your workflow with on-demand training opportunities that support users as they work.
If you would like to learn more about the SavvyAcademy LMS, which is loaded with the industry’s only training content created just for law firms and corporate legal departments, book a demo today.