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TRAINING

Prove tech competency at your law firm

By Doug Striker Clients are increasingly asking law firms to prove tech competency before signing contracts for work. Why? Because they know that good tech skills translate into more efficient production, which translates into more bang for their buck. Simply put: Clients don’t want to pay high hourly rates if the people producing the work don’t know how to, say, format a Word document. That is a very fair expectation. But how do you prove tech competency at your law firm? So much of law work today is in the production process: producing products around legal arguments  —briefs, trial documents, contracts, etc. Therefore, if you can prove that your team efficiently uses the document production tools at their disposal, then you can prove that your billable hours are jam-packed with value. One… . . . read more

YOUR CAREER

8 ways to make your meetings zoom by

By Lynne Curry If you dread meetings–attending them, hosting them–and long for meetings to become more than a necessary evil, you can make it happen. Not long ago, I hosted a two-day, 15-hour meeting that the 17 attendees said “zoomed by,” “was fun, kept me engaged the entire time,” and “made an hour seem like five minutes.” Here’s how we did it. 1. A “you” start We started with the “real,” with questions like “how is remote working for you this week?” 2. Real value Before I launched into the first topic, I asked everyone what they hoped the meeting focused on and what results they wanted from it. Everyone listens to the same radio station, WIFM, “what’s in it for me.” If your meeting attendees know from the start,… . . . read more

COMMENTS WELCOME

Bar exam proposed for 2026 emphasizes lawyering skills

A new bar exam, slated to debut in 2026, will test more skills and fewer subjects than its current incarnation. The legal community is now invited to comment on preliminary outlines of exam content that, once finalized, will guide future test takers, law schools, and exam drafters as the new exam approaches. The bar exam is the test of legal skills and knowledge that most US attorneys must pass prior to licensure. The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), which develops bar exam content for 54 US jurisdictions, has published the preliminary Content Scope Outlines for the next generation of the bar exam on its website. The outlines focus on the breadth of material to be covered on the new exam in eight areas of legal knowledge, known as Foundational Concepts… . . . read more

EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE

Florida’s new “Stop Woke” law impacts workplace training

By Mike O’Brien “Stop Woke” Act passes Florida Senate New legislation in Florida (HB 7) prohibits any teaching that could make students feel they bear “personal responsibility” for historic wrongs because of their race, color, sex, or national origin. But the legislation’s reach doesn’t end in schools. In the workplace, employment practices or training programs that cause an individual to feel similarly guilty could be considered an unlawful employment practice, giving rise to legal liability. The Florida Senate voted 24-15 along party lines to approve a measure labeled “Individual Freedom,” and was seen to be in response to Governor DeSantis’ demand for a “Stop WOKE” Act. You can see more here. New guidance from the DOL on FLSA, FMLA, and Visa programs On March 10 the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)… . . . read more

TRAINING

Law firm training: Treat the injury, not the pain

By Doug Striker I have a broken foot. I’m 100% positive that it’s broken but initial X-rays showed nothing. So, I am booting for a couple of weeks until I can get another X-ray, which will surely show a stress fracture that was indiscernible in the early days of the injury. So, now I’m taking pain meds to get me through to the real diagnosis. Why am I telling you this? Because it reminds me of how some law firms approach training. Namely: There’s a pain point! Let’s train it away! But they need to figure out the structural/systems problems first. Otherwise, training is like ibuprofen— it will mask the pain, but it won’t make the real issues disappear. They need systematic training for law firms. The Harvard Business Review… . . . read more

TRAINING

Target top 5 compliance and HR topics this year

By Doug Striker It has been incredibly challenging to keep up with changes in compliance laws for law firms and corporate legal departments over the past couple of years. COVID-19, social justice movements, consumer legislation, and employee expectations and attitudes have all contributed to a fraught compliance landscape. Consider these compliance priorities—identified by training companies Savvy and Traliant—for 2022. 1 Attracting & retaining talent The impact of “The Great Resignation of 2021” is being felt by many organizations, and the labor shortage will remain a business disruptor in 2022. As a result, CEOs say that attracting and recruiting talent is their biggest challenge (57%), followed by retaining talent (51%), according to a joint study by Fortune and Deloitte. HR departments will be under pressure to lure multi-generational candidates who have… . . . read more

TRAINING

Use an LMS to get your new hires up to speed

By Doug Striker New hire training at your law firm: It can seem like Groundhog Day. With the revolving door of today’s marketplace, law firms are constantly saying goodbye to employees and hiring their replacements. While new blood can infuse a firm with energy and new ideas, it can also disrupt systems and efficiency. Seasoned attorneys who join your firm have their own way of doing things, which may throw a monkey wrench into your firm’s systems. Fresh-faced new attorneys may know all the latest technologies and software programs but have zero idea how to apply it properly in your environment. Your new hires need to be trained in “The Company Way,” and fast! Use an LMS to streamline new hire training The most obvious way to streamline this constant… . . . read more

LEARNING MANAGEMENT

Spring a pop quiz for your training program

By Doug Striker Remember tests in school? Pop tests? Quizzes? And the dreaded finals? As students, they were the bane of our existence. As trainers, however, we need to test ourselves and our programs constantly. If they aren’t working, our firms may fall behind. And that is a big deal. It is critical that you know how to evaluate your training program. (I know our teachers thought diagramming sentences was a big deal, too, but I’m thinking this might be bigger.) But do you know how to evaluate your training program? Often, our training is so uber-responsive to attorney and staff needs that we hardly have time to be strategic about the future, let alone what we’ve achieved in the past. Well, I’m here to tell you that, with just… . . . read more

LEADERSHIP

Embrace on-job learning and listen to employees for more resilient teams

Leaders who encourage their employees to learn on the job and speak up with ideas and suggestions for change have teams that are more effective and resilient in the face of unexpected situations, according to new research from Rice University and the University of Windsor. “A Resource Model of Team Resilience Capacity and Learning” will appear in a special issue of Group & Organization Management. Authors Kyle Brykman, an assistant professor at the Odette School of Business at the University of Windsor, and Danielle King, an assistant professor of psychological sciences at Rice, studied what makes employees more resilient and fosters learning in the workplace. The researchers specifically examined the interactions of 48 teams from five technology startups. “Understanding what organizations can do to help employees become more resilient is the… . . . read more

ONBOARDING

9 tips for virtual onboarding of new remote employees

Designate someone who will communicate with the new employee in terms of the expectations of their first day, first month, and beyond. Consider assigning the new employee a mentor or ‘buddy’ in their department who will check in regularly and answer any questions. Consider having a representative from upper management meet the new hire. Showing they are valued in the organization will help new employees feel welcomed and motivated. Ensure consistent communication and updates from company leaders. Digitize your onboarding process. Utilize the tools available to you by amalgamating onboarding documents and welcome packages into organized PDF documents that can be easily shared digitally. Arrange to have a laptop configured and shipped to their home in a timely manner, and coordinate secure sharing of any profile logins or passwords. Avoid setting… . . . read more


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