The writing is on the wall: In order to keep up with technology advancements in the legal industry, you need an LMS for law firms. A learning management system (LMS) enables you to create, deploy and maintain a robust training program on all those expensive tech tools that you expect your attorneys and staff to use. Truly, an LMS should be part of your master plan when purchasing and rolling out any new platform at your firm. You invested in it; make sure your people know how to use it!
But it can be hard to know how to choose an LMS for law firms. Shoot, sometimes it can be hard to define what a learning management system is and what it should do for your firm!
Our partners at LearnUpon, the platform upon which the SavvyAcademy Learning Management System for law firms was built, recently wrote an article addressing these questions. I’ve adapted it for our law firm audience below. I hope it helps you discern the features you need in an LMS and how to go about selecting one. If you have any questions at all, contact me (Doug at SavvyTraining dot com or 303-800-5408) or book a demo using my Calendly link. I am at your beck and call.
What is an LMS Used For?
Most law firms today offer training to their employees and attorneys. Studies show that training is becoming more critical to law firm success as the legal industry embraces technology advancements. I mean, COVID moved the needle on tech adoption in law firms tremendously, and it appears that the pace is here to stay.
Most law firms that offer consistent, effective, efficient training do so with an LMS. (If you are still managing your training process and content on an Excel spreadsheet, it’s like a CPA using an abacus. You need a better tool.)
So, if you need an LMS for your law firm training program, let’s start with the basics.
Types of Learning Management Systems
The term learning management system is a broad tag attached to a lot of different tools. Under closer inspection, these tools have some major differentiators and serve very different users. For example, an LMS used by a university is a very different piece of software from one used by a software company. Let’s examine some key factors that determine the type of LMS you’ll need.
Corporate vs Academic Systems
Simply put, a business usually opts for a corporate LMS, while a school or university typically opts for a higher education or academic LMS. The main difference is the number of features and tools each offers. A corporate LMS is frequently updated and enhanced with new features, and offers functionality like white-labeling, as well as the option to integrate with other tools. Whereas an academic LMS won’t provide frequent feature updates and is unlikely to support integrations.
Cloud vs Hosted Systems
The choice here is whether to install an LMS on your organization’s hardware or to use a cloud-based service. This conundrum is becoming easier as most organizations have fully moved over to the cloud.
Who Needs and Uses an LMS?
When purchasing an LMS for your law firm, you also need to consider the users. First and foremost: your trainer! An LMS makes delivering your law firm training more manageable and streamlined by reducing the time your trainer spends on course creation, delivery, and reporting.
Then, depending on the size of your firm, you may need use an LMS for different reasons, including:
Small to Medium Law Firms and Corporate Legal Departments
In this case, an LMS is usually used to reduce the amount of time people spend on training. They often find training can be laborious and time-consuming to do manually. With an LMS, employees have training and “how-to” materials at their fingertips when they need it. Basically, an LMS frees up your employees to complete other tasks, but with the right skills and knowledge from the completed training.
Large Law Firms and Corporate Legal Departments
In large firms, you can use an LMS to develop and manage complex training programs that track different individuals or departments on their progress in various learning paths. Some of the most common training programs delivered by large firms include new hire onboarding, software upgrade training and Procertas/LTA certification training.
What are the Benefits of Using an LMS?
An LMS for law firms is a valuable tool for helping you to meet your organization’s training needs. Not only can it help your learners attain and use new skills, but it can also significantly benefit your organization as a whole. Consider the following benefits of using an LMS for law firms at your law firm or corporate legal department:
- Save Time
Compared with traditional training (face-to-face sessions in a classroom), an LMS for law firms optimizes your training process. With traditional training, your learners must take time out of their day to attend a training. But with an LMS, learners simply log into your platform and complete courses wherever they are (even on planes or in hotels during travel). Whether it’s on the bus to work, during a coffee break, or at their desk, employees and employers reap the benefits of significant time savings by using an LMS.
2. Reduce Costs
Traditional learning is time- and cost-intensive. Instructors, training days, travel costs, training materials, location booking – the list goes on and it really adds up. An LMS for law firms reduces these costs for your organization. By creating economies of scale, you reduce costs even further. Your training is all online, meaning your learners can train anywhere, any time. Even if you want to run face-to-face sessions, you can support a blended learning strategy with an LMS by offering a mix of online and offline training activities, all tracked through one system. It’s a valuable bonus that impacts your bottom line.
3. Demonstrate Training Impact
One of the biggest benefits of a learning management system for law firms is the invaluable training data you get. You’ll have access to reports like exam completion rates, training histories, course progress…the list goes on. These are stats that give you real insights and will help you prove that training is impacting your firm’s return on investment.
ROI of Training
An LMS can tell you more than your learner’s progression or engagement rates. You should be able to demonstrate the return on investment of your learning programs to your organization, too.
How to calculate LMS ROI
If you do a quick Google search, you’ll see that there’s no shortage of formulas for calculating return on investment, ranging from quick tip calculators to sophisticated, mathematical equations. But let’s keep it simple. Start by discussing training goals with leadership. Maybe your Success team wants improved NPS, or the Sales team needs higher customer retention. You’ll need to identify the training programs that will help to achieve these goals. Next, prioritize what to measure. For example, for the goals above, you might measure retention rates or increased product upgrades. Then find the data that correlates to those measurements. Armed with this data, assessing it over the lifecycle of your training program, you can directly measure the ROI on your training program. (Clearly, an LMS with robust reporting capabilities will make this entire process easier.)
4. Extend Your Training Program’s Reach
With an LMS you can choose a number of different approaches to training and use the most appropriate one for each different situation or subject matter. Choose from various media types, assessments, and even blend live webinars and on-demand content to suit your firm’s needs.
5. Efficient Training Management
One of the big pain points for many law firms needing to deliver training is organizing it. From notifying learners of their assignments, to enrollments, to tracking completions – it’s a lot to manage, especially if the team responsible for this is small. With an LMS for law firms, laborious management tasks are automated. You can automatically add learners, enroll them in the appropriate courses, roll out exams, issue certificates, and develop useful reports, leaving trainers time to work with individual users, or to develop new content.
6. Centralized Training
With an LMS, your course content, data, and training materials are all in one handy place. Your learners can effortlessly access courses from anywhere, and you can efficiently deliver consistent, effective training to everyone across your organization, no matter how many offices and cities your employees might live in.
7. Track Learner Progress
How do you know if your learners are engaging with their training? With a robust LMS for law firms, you can track each user’s progression through your courses. You can see a learner’s profile information, if they have started a course, when they started, if they have completed the course, and if they passed or failed, as well as their score.
Certification ensures that your learners are learning the right skills and knowledge. Many LMSs give you the option to create reports based on certification. This type of report drills down to all the certifications held by a given user, while the course report generates a list of all users that are certified in a specific course. You may need to recertify your learners, depending on the type of training you’re delivering. For example, some compliance training needs to be carried out annually. Luckily, most LMSs allow you to automatically enroll users to recertify. You just load the content, set the date for completion, and sit back!
If you are seeking an LMS for law firms, I urge you to book a date with me on Calendly. I can give you a pressure-free (dare I say: enjoyable?!) demo of the SavvyAcademy LMS, which is the only LMS that comes fully loaded with training content written solely for the legal industry.