Peer to Peer Magazine

Winter 2016

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 35 of 83

37 WWW.ILTANET.ORG Achieving Technological Competence CASE STUDIES How did competency-based training become a priority in your firm? Tony: Our goal has long been to deliver a highly defined and effective training program, and we are now leveraging competency-based training to achieve this. We initially asked, "What competencies would make an immediate impact on the firm?" We chose a specific pilot group test case –– reducing the time it took users to save and search for documents –– and measured against this. The value realized by the initial pilot encouraged us to put competencies at the core of what we do. This is now moving beyond technology at our firm and into leadership and mentoring skills and how to develop professionals for career advancement. This approach has led to more proactive training. Instead of randomly picking courses or trying to learn in a panic when a job has to get out the door, learners can now be more self-directed, focused on a training goal. Robert: As an LTC4 Certification Pod member, I've seen many training and testing approaches. These have ranged from "stealth" training, where students do not know their training is part of a tracked competency, to firms that align training with core competencies, have students take tests or exercises to demonstrate competency, and then receive a certificate to be used for marketing purposes. What is the role of vendors in technology competence? Robert: Technology vendors play a critical role. Not only do they build the technology that law firms leverage to increase productivity and ultimately deliver beer client service, they are also in possession of key usage data that can help firms beer diagnose technology lags and issues and expose more data to firm clients for increased transparency. Virginio: Like Rob mentioned, as vendors, we collect a tremendous amount of data. With timekeeping, data can be used to replicate a "day in the life" of a timekeeper, analyzing technology usage to expose "so spots" in users' timekeeping habits. How can we use this information to beer equip firms to meet their timekeeping goals? We can analyze a metric like velocity of time capture and see how long it takes to capture time aer work has been performed. The quicker users can bill for time worked, the higher the likelihood billings and collections will match up. Also, to give firms the ability to create more accountability with their clients, we give them key timekeeping metrics they can share with clients at any point in time. The more vendors can become a part of the ecosystem, provided they share vital data and metrics, the beer we can collectively address aorney technology competence. Professional development programs and training efforts are only as effective as the ability to get buy-in. How have you achieved this with attorney proficiency and technology certification initiatives? Tony: It wasn't hard to demonstrate to our management that increased proficiency would improve our profitability while reducing costs and errors. My goal was to create an environment where certifications became something our staff would want to pursue, rather than being mandated. To accomplish this, we have engaged our staff around themes like "summertime is security time" to create excitement. We have also established learning cohorts and held contests and promotions. Robert: Buy-in is not only critical from the management level but among the entire user base. If we can provide technology tools to help our staff work more efficiently and beer serve their clients, and provide related training and competence, we should be able to hold the firm to a certain standard as it relates to technology responsibility and proficiency. With that said, we take timekeeping and billing very seriously. Each Orrick associate knows that their time lag impacts bonuses and is motivated to use timekeeping technology to help achieve efficiency goals. Virginio: It all starts with data and showing firm leadership how data can help measure technology progress, which helps users increase their proficiency. It is a technology vendor's responsibility to give firm clients access to this data and then show them how it can be put to use. Aer all, you cannot manage what you can't measure. P2P JOBST ELSTER Jobst Elster is the Head of Content and Legal Market Strategy for InsideLegal. He has served as a legal market strategist for the last 17 years, advising companies entering the legal market, involved in mergers and acquisitions, and expanding operations overseas. He brings extensive experience in market analysis, market research, public relations and product marketing to the legal industry. Jobst regularly writes and speaks on legal technology trends, technology innovations and futures, legal marketing, big data, and cloud technologies, and he is a member of the ABA's Big Data Committee. Contact Jobst at

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