Socially distanced learning for your implementation

Dorigen Sykes, managing director|iTrain Legal

We’re now living and working in a world that has changed forever. Noone knows what is going to happen, what the macroeconomic impact will be, or how long it will last. These are challenging times to be implementing new systems in a law firm.

Given the pace that firms have needed to use to migrate to remote working, lawyers have quickly adapted to using technologies such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom, and become more self-sufficient in their working practices. In the provision of legal services, some new norms are already starting to manifest themselves. Longstanding views that lawyers had to work in an office environment, that law courts couldn’t be online, or that lawyers could not function without large business support teams to assist in service delivery have been debunked in just a few days.

For the legal sector, the genie is now out of the bottle and it will never go back in. How law firms manage IT system implementations and upgrades is very much up for debate, and one of the key areas where face-to-face is seen as an imperative is training. Do we have to accept that these projects must go on hold because of the current restrictions?

iTrain Legal, a specialist legal IT training solutions provider, believes that carefully planned remote learning programmes can be as effective as face-to-face training, and that firms may also even look to these methods in the longer term. The constraints of remote working can lead to great learning experiences when designed thoughtfully with the person at the centre.

Training delivery is already now seen as being only a part of a change programme that law firms undertake, meaning that there is flexibility to deliver training, blended with communications. Customised bite-size videos and e-learning can be interspersed with interactive training, webinar delivery and collaborative sessions. These solutions are time-efficient, so enable more training activities to be spread out, culminating in a learner feeling ready and confident in tackling the new system. Even floor support can be delivered remotely, with clever systems employed to ensure that every person is virtually visited by a trainer.

Perhaps the most important innovation is the AI chatbot technology in support of training needs that we have introduced to the legal tech industry. The chatbot delivers instant answers to ‘how do I?’ questions that feature so heavily in the first weeks of rollout, and can refer to a real floor support trainer if required.

Furthermore, our chatbot can proactively contact people, checking knowledge and confidence levels with the system, and crucially then respond with the right support where needs are identified. It’s accessed through Microsoft Teams and continues to provide training support long after the physical trainers have gone.

We would therefore urge firms that, if training is your only barrier to change, to think again, as new ways of training will be part of the new norm. Wherever the legal sector ends up in the next few years, law firms will need to innovate, to think differently and to accept new ways of working. Those who start this process sooner are likely to do better overall.

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