Huddle Up! How Technology Competency Drives Firm Profitability
Members of LTC4™ (Legal Technology Core Competencies Certification Coalition) lead the discussion on how successful firms become more profitable through technology competency. In this presentation, we learned how technology competence impacts profitability through onboarding new hires effectively, improving billable time collection, and reducing security risks.
What We Learned from Our Coaches:
Onboarding New Hires Effectively
One of the key areas law firms should look to focus on is their new hire onboarding programs. This is another area where technology competence can help firms become more profitable.
When we take on a new hire and go through the onboarding process, the firm is investing in the new hire. They are costing the firm money. The sooner we can get them trained to carry out their role, the sooner the firm will be benefitting from the investment they have made.
Redesigning the onboarding process:
- Roles and Personas: We want to support people to thrive through identifying their roles and personas.
- Training Programs: Keep your program workflow based with blended learning that is learner center focused with a flexible approach.
- Proof of Competency: Understand and know if your new hires are working efficiently through skill and knowledge checks with a continuous learning cycle.
We can add value to prove that technical competency relates to firm productivity by measuring the tickets logged to IT Support as a training need, reduction in training related calls to the help desk and feedback from attorneys.
Improve Billable Time Collection
Time is our most precious commodity. And it’s the life blood for firms who live on the billable hour. But for all the hours that an attorney may work, only a small percentage of that time is billable. And for meeting billable goals, that’s the only time that matters. So attorneys work more and more to keep up.
- Working Late: 75% of lawyers report often or always working outside of regular business hours.
- Losing Time: Lawyers who do not record time contemporaneously may lose as much as 25% of the billable time.
- Pre-bill Delays: 84% of law firm respondents reported the number 1 cause of delay in pre-bill generation was “lack of contemporaneous timekeeping habits”.
Attorney burnout is on the rise, but taking small steps to improve efficiency can have a great impact. Making small incremental improvements build great successes over time.
Reducing Security Risks
Ultimately, a firm’s profitability is affected by hourly billing in the form of technical proficiency and contemporaneous time entry. It is also directly affected by reducing cybersecurity risk.
Law firms are frequent targets for cyberattacks because lawyers are the guardians of data ranging from corporate secrets, business strategy and trade secrets to the employee data held by a labor and employment firm like FordHarrison. Employee data could include everything from an employee's personal health information to their social security numbers.
Successful firms align securities training with LTC4’s Security Awareness competency, because it is important to have a measurable sign of success.
LTC4 founders recognized that the best way to get most attorneys to engage in the training needed for technology adoption, efficiency and proficiency is to format the training in short, direct modules that include only the core information an attorney needs to do their job. No attorney sits in training that teaches all of the features and functions of an application. However, if your training module teaches the very workflows they do every day, they will engage.
The industry came together in what was at the time, an unprecedented collaboration, to create competencies containing the core workflows for legal professionals and legal support staff.
Global Technology Training Manager, Squire Patton Boggs
Rachel is the Global Technology Training Manager for Squire Patton Boggs and has 20 plus years’ experience in the technology training industry. Rachel is a Fellow of the Learning and Performance Institute and is certified in the design and delivery of online learning. Rachel’s principal accountabilities are the strategy and leadership of the Technology Training team as well as ensuring that all lawyers and staff have the technology skills they require to do their jobs and practice law in an efficient and effective manner. Rachel believes that training must focus on real world tasks and be workflow based in order to facilitate the transfer of learning from the classroom into the real world. Rachel is one of the founding members of Legal Technology Core Competencies Certification Coalition (LTC4) and serves on the board of directors. LTC4 is a not for profit organization who have established a set of legal technology core competencies and certification that have become the industry standard for both lawyers and support staff.
Bonnie L. Beuth
Information Systems Trainer, FordHarrison
Bonnie is the Information System Trainer for FordHarrison and has over 15 years’ experience in the technology training industry. Bonnie is a versatile manager, instructional designer and workflow trainer who can assess the organization’s needs, prepare a comprehensive workflow training plan, and deliver training via eLearning, webinars, interactive content or classroom. Bonnie is one of the founding members of Legal Technology Core Competencies Certification Coalition (LTC4) and she contributes technical expertise combined with over 20 years of business knowledge to her role as Chair of LTC4’s board of directors. LTC4 is a not for profit organization who have established a set of legal technology core competencies and certification that have become the industry standard for both lawyers and support staff.
Director of Knowledge and Innovation, Offit Kurman
Tony Gerdes works as the Director of Knowledge and Innovation at Offit Kurman, P.A. In this role, he aims to improve the work lives of his colleagues. These improvements may appear as professional development and certification, increased billable fees and client origination, or more effective communication. He also serves as a Contributing Member of LTC4™ (Legal Technology Core Competencies Certification Coalition) where he has been able to support trainers around the world.