Fladgate builds IT competence to improve client service using Capensys LTC4-approved courseware

In September 2015, Fladgate introduced LTC4 up-skilling and certification using the Capensys courseware and skills evaluation tool. This continuous performance improvement program has been successfully maintained for the past 18 months and is still going strong.

 

Why LTC4 and Capensys?

Fladgate’s principal goal was to ensure that they achieved a consistently high-level of IT competence in areas that were useful to lawyers and support staff.  They wanted an innovative, workflow-based learning program that focused on the day-to-day work of lawyers and staff.  They also needed a robust long-term solution to ensure that they could build on initial successes.

After researching a variety of options, they were pleased to find that the competencies covered by the LTC4 certification program mirrored those that they had already identified via their initial training needs analysis.  They were also impressed by how the modules focused on the workflows that lawyers undertake on a daily basis.

Another advantage was that LTC4 required skills could be taught, and proficiency measured, via Capensys courseware and evaluations tools. The Capensys Goal-Based Approach ties training to business and user goals and delivers training modules that are process-driven rather than application driven.  This approach was perceived as very flexible solution, allowing lawyers to learn when and where they wanted to do so, rather than via fixed classroom sessions.

The LTC4 Up-Skilling and Certification Program

Michael Wells, the senior trainer at Fladgate led the charge, and it’s been 18 months since the program launch. As of this date, they have completed the Working with Legal Documents learning plan. Michael estimates that over 90% of the firm are now certified in Working with Legal Documents.

In just a few weeks, Michael will begin the certification process for the LTC4 Security learning plan using the Capensys Sentinel security awareness modules.

The third learning plan, Working with Documents and Emails, is already planned, developed, and ready to go. It will be launched later in the year - around July or August.

 Training Gains

According to feedback from stakeholders and users as well as observing performance in the workplace, some of the significant training gains Fladgate has seen are:

  • More interest from users in IT training and the benefits of learning to streamline their workflows
  • More interest in self-learning — using e-learning content as just-in-time learning rather than ringing the helpdesk
  • Attorneys have become more self-sufficient when creating documents, causing a reduction in basic revision requests — this allows secretaries and others to focus on major document production
  • A measurable difference in improved efficiency in document creation and editing and the substantial reduction in “how do I?” Help Desk calls

Michael was pleasantly surprised when “Contrary to expectation, tutorials and assessments are undertaken at all times of the day and night. People are really using the flexibility to train when it suits them.”

About Fladgate

Fladgate is first and foremost, experts in law. Many of their lawyers are recognized leaders in their field. They serve their clients as partners in business with a focus on implementing practical solutions that deliver results. Fladgate offers advanced legal expertise across all major legal specialties, combined with a detailed understanding of the dynamics and pressures of their clients’ business sectors.

About Capensys

Capensys Ltd. is a full-service training company for law firms. Capensys provide all types of training for the legal industry including classroom trainers, webinars, on-line learning, evaluations and a security awareness program. Capensys training philosophy is to link training to achieving business goals.  Capensys were also the founders of the Legal Technology Core Competencies Certification Coalition (LTC4). To learn more about Capensys please visit www.capensys.com.

About LTC4

LTC4 is a non-profit organization, that has established legal technology core competencies and certification that all law firms, law schools and legal departments can use to measure ongoing efficiency improvements.

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Cybersecurity Beyond Traditional Risk Management – Article by Justin Hectus

"...It's critical that your employees or coworkers understand the severity of the risk and their role in preventing compromise. Every employee with access to a computer has the responsibility to undergo training covering the risks associated with that access, and every employer has the responsibility to make sure that communication is timely and relevant and mandatory. Employees need to raise their guard and pick up the phone any time something seems out of the ordinary. ...If you want a good turnkey solution for that in place, check out Capensys' Sentinel, which can map to the LTC4 core competency framework. The cliché that you are only as strong as your weakest link has never been more accurate than it is here...'

Read More

Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt LTC4 Core Competencies Certification Case Study

Business goals

Our purpose for implementing a firm-wide training program for attorneys and staff focused on competency ‎based performance standards, evaluation and ongoing training that would have a meaningful impact ‎on firm morale, productivity and profitability. The program offered the opportunity to become ‎‎LTC4 certified in various workflow based core competencies which were relevant to how users work.

Why we used LTC4 (Legal Technology Core Competencies Certification Coalition)

We knew that an attorney up-skilling program based on LTC4 would provide us with an industry standard of legal IT core competencies, a benchmark for them to achieve — a benchmarkExpected Outcomes and Objectives.
There were multiple objectives and expected outcomes for ‎implementing a certification program at pir firm:

  • Attorney and Staff Performance: This initiative allowed us to support attorneys and staff to improve skills, gain efficiency in all tasks, and to measure baseline skills and continuous performance improvement using industry standards.
  • Staff Ratios: Better skills and greater efficiency result in higher productivity, therefore improving our attorney to staff ratio, resulting in reduced overhead.
  • IT Department Client Service: We achieved a reduction in Help Desk Calls which meant that Help Desk staff could serve clients more proactively.
  • ROI: We produced Efficiency Dashboard reports with calculated ROI which were provided to the Board on a predetermined schedule.
  • Goals achieved
    • Improved skills
    • Improved efficiency/productivity
    • Improved quality of work product
    • Provided objective measurements for performance evaluation
    • Reduced calls to the Help Desk
    • Improved staff ratios
    • Elevated attorney satisfaction with staff
    • Improved employee satisfaction and retention

How we got buy-in

The Director of HR spearheaded the initiative. We formed a small committee and presented a package to the managing board which included an executive summary of what we wanted to do, outcomes and objectives, and an efficiency impact table for those areas of improvement we would track. Once the board approved the program, we made sure that everyone knew about the benefits of the program and how it was going to be implemented. We created FAQs for the participants so they would receive the same information as the stakeholders.

Program Structure

The audience was attorneys, paralegals and staff. We assembled two learning plans based on the LTC4 core competencies: Legal Documents and Document Management. We phased the program over one year, giving people two months to complete the learning plans and skills evaluations and one month off for review and consolidation. Certificates were given for every phase, which users really appreciated and displayed at their desks with pride.

Results

The following LTC4 Learning Plans have been completed and are getting LTC4 certification:

Legal Documents
Legal Professionals: 54 (21 attorneys and 33 paralegals)
Legal Support Specialists: 79
Managing Documents & Emails:

Legal Professionals: 33 (paralegals)
Legal Support Specialists: 95

Going Forward

We are one of the first firms in the world whose users are certifying for LTC4. We are currently working on certification for two more LTC4 Learning plans: Customer Relationship Management and Data, Reports and Exhibits learning plans. We will be submitting our results for LTC4 Certification as soon as we are complete.

Downs Rachlin Martin Attorneys and Staff “Step It Up” to Stay Ahead of Client Demands.

Industry trends inspire DRM to take action.

Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC (DRM), a New England based law firm, has always counted innovation among their brand’s key characteristics. When, however, IT Director Karen Norman learned that Kia's in-house counsel D. Casey Flaherty was using attorney technology testing to drive down rates, she knew she needed a way to turn that core trait into hard data, and fast.

In order to achieve the highest level of compliance, Ms. Norman knew she’d need the full support of the firm’s management. She engaged the Managing Partner around the concept of being able to demonstrate the firm’s commitment to innovation through the use of technology. Fully aware of the changes in the market place, the management team was quick to engage the Practice Group Chairs in support of this program. The Practice Group Chairs then nominated a representative from their respective groups to form a committee whose purpose was to identify the specific core competencies they believed were of highest value to clients.

The committee had made notable progress defining the core competencies when Norman learned about the Legal Technologies Core Competencies Certification Coalition (LTC4). LTC4 is a non-profit group consisting of 80+ law firms who have developed industry-standard legal technology core competencies. Ms. Norman felt this helped her cause significantly because it gave DRM an industry standard path to follow.

It was around the same time that Ms. Norman met Capensys, a training company for law firms, LTC4 founders, and vendor members. The firm chose to partner with Capensys because they offer a delivery system that supported 130+ staff and attorneys from 5 different offices accessing the Learning Management System. Equally as important are the KnowledgeChecks, which allow the firm to evaluate the skills learned at different stages of the core competency program, with tools to manage and report on the success of the training program.

How did they implement the program?

Once the core competencies were decided upon and the learning materials and tools from Capensys were in place, the firm promoted the program internally. They applied the firm’s brand standards and named the core competency program ”Step It Up." Most importantly, they devised a reward system that encouraged timely participation. Using monthly incentives, the firm saw a very high level of participation with 100% of staff and paralegals and 80% of associates completing Level 1.

The firm delivered 2 levels of the core competency program. Level 1 consisted of core competencies that were common to all users. Level 2 was customized to align with the jobs and specific roles of users.

The training and IT team reported that the program was going really well. After the Level 1, they sent out a survey to ask for feedback. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive with respondents saying that they had learned something. People commented that it was "Very helpful" and "Not repetitious".

The firm is also using the program very successfully for their new hire program, where they are incorporating a lot of the skills from the Step It Up program. For example, IT trainer Marsha Kuhn makes sure everyone completes the FileSite online learning before they come to new hire training. When users are already prepared it allows her to cover more in her face-to-face sessions.

Capensys’ Resource Gateway was rolled out by the firm to provide reference materials that users could utilize after the training. To encourage self-service behaviour, Kuhn wrote an article about the Resource Gateway and how it can be used for just-in-time support and coaching.

DRM is a now member of LTC4 and will continue to use it as the basis of their core competency program. They feel that working towards LTC4 certification will be very helpful to associates.
The firm was also awarded CLE accreditation for the Security online course provided by Capensys, and attorneys will be going through this to get one hour of CLE.

“All of this serves to help us provide even more value to our clients”, says Ms. Norman.

The firm will be moving to Capensys’ new tool “LIA” (Learning in Action) to continue to build on the core competency program and to measure multiple methods of accomplishing tasks. The firm is also working towards including the completion and mastery of the core competency program into the annual appraisals of the staff and paralegals.

The management team at DRM is pleased with the outcome of the program and feels that continual training in technology provides a competitive advantage and improves the firm’s ability to serve their clients.