Trainers Talk "Halloween Edition" Roundtable Notes - 10/31/2019

By Asima Macci posted 11-05-2019 15:08

  • Moderators:
  • Asima Macci - Manager, Training and Quality, Bennett Jones LLP
  • Greg Tomlinson - Training & Development Coordinator, Robinson Bradshaw

  • Core Competencies
Tips and tricks, how are you keeping things fresh, and demand on you attending training?
  • Had a lunch meeting and a 45 minute discussion of how core competencies is done, used LMS university site, it was a seamless rollout (90 minutes to complete) once everyone was certified we opened the door for security & etc…
  • Started a Q&A Breakfast every month
  • LTC4 learning plans that are upcoming

How to measure improvement:
  • Is my raise or bonus dependent on my participation –
  • Links their assessments to increase
    • It is a portion of the administrative assistance increase
  • Had secretaries complete a document making corrections to show that they had learned core competencies
  • Update classes every year. Some are special requests by attys/HR. 
  • Using copies of "real world" documents - REDACTED - the users are hand on and learning how to troubleshoot their own issues. (We don't have Word Processing.)

How did you allow staff time to take all these courses?
  • Staff must have approval to take the courses
  • Admin assistance are given a year to complete the courses
  • We work with HR when creating our Core Skill learning plans for each year, but don't do an assessment. HR gets approval from the attorneys for staff to attend this training and when completed, earn 8 hours of additional PTO! :)
  • Our firm just implemented testing prior to certification and the staff's annual evaluation is impacted.
  • We do Lunch & Learn sessions - typically. The firm buys lunch.
  • Our administrative assistants are given several chances to take the assessment and receive a passing score.
    • We also include an incentive program where you get points for taking classes that you can turn in for firm logo items.

How do you measure improvement?
  • Measure Help Desk calls
  • I do not believe that we did a baseline. So we do not know if they are improving.  Only know that they passed the assessment.  Again, they are given several chances to take the assessment and pass.
  • This usually comes from atty praise (or NOT praise. Also comments from HR)
  • Mangers should be responsible for users, but this falls to the trainers which is an unrealistic expectation
  • In class, I have intermediate and Advanced classes, so it's easy to see who caught on.
  • I sometimes ask via email what they have been able to implement at their desk from the class.
  • We also did an assessment to each office with specific questions - the results were on target.
  • Checking random documents for correct styling, monitoring help desk and word processing
  • By the questions that I'm being asked by past participants in one of my sessions
  • checking workflow during checkins
  • Before creating the course create performance measurements to establish the baseline.
  • Feedback from users to know that training was effective

What works well in training?
  • What does your new hire need and follow up afterwards with 30, 60 and 90 days goals
  • I've had attorneys complain to me about other attorneys not using proper formatting in their documents, but I've explained we can only teach but can't FORCE others to apply what we've taught. So, it should be assessed, and compliance enforced by managers.
  • In the past I have given team leaders a pre training brief to read to their team before the training, what is expected before of them and after. this has worked well
  • I'd love for all attorneys only to have access to NOTEPAD and not able to format their documents. Formatting controlled by secretaries and doc processing would make life so much perfect world dream
  • Our firm doesn't have word processing and with 4 attorneys to 1 secretary, expecting only secretaries to format documents doesn't work for us
  • Change Agents instead of Trainers?
  • Some firms have their instructors change certified. Incorporating the ADKAR change model
  • Do they have the ability and reinforcement?

What is the difference between an instructor and tech specialist?
  • Tech Specialist Change agents work on projects just in IT that doesn’t have to be new.
  • They provide day-long session for our IT department managers and trainers. Also provides a change management plan for our projects to identify stakeholders, etc., and outline a communications plan.

How do you keep things creative?
  • Technical courses
  • Firm wide learning expectation program
  • Firm Universities
  • Partner with some LPAs to create content
  • Themes:
    • Based on the actual work we do at the firm. For example, a brief:  Best Authority training
    • Creating a TOC - MacPac schemes training
  • We use Savvy LMS. Our program is called CARE (Consideration, Awareness, Responsiveness and Education)  We use for security awareness, assessments, sexual harassment, policy acknowledgement, etc.
  • Called new hire learning plans ODEngage
  • Sit with a user and watch how they work and provide productivity tips on the spot.
  • I would love to see LESS of the "new topics" and more on "Back to Basics!" So many don't understand basics of Word.  Give me someone who understands Styles any day of the week

  • How do you manage different roles?

  • Basically I only get to train the new hire attorneys - other attorneys rarely attend or ask for help. They rely on their legal assistant
  • Tackle it on a case by case basis
  • GNH (Global New Hire ) virtual 2 hour introduction for everyone - Then we assign Role Based Learning Plans (6 were created for US and 6 for EU offices due to specific differences).
  • Accidental 1on1 training (walk into an office to as a question and correcting an issue you see)
  • We use LegalMind 3 and assign them the applicable Learning Paths based on their classification, e.g. Contractor, Staff, Attorney, Secretary, etc.
  • Pop up cafes
  • Help Desk so I am lucky enough to be able to offer lots of help and training on the spot when they call for one topic and it leads to something else ;)
  • Learning Labs once a month
  • Floor Support Fridays
  • I am the SME for multiple applications, so I'm constantly contacted by IT Support. I use the questions that I am asked as topics for learning
  • we have 11 offices and used to do monthly training at other offices. Would have maybe some idea of what we were going to train and let them know and rest of day was for support and similar "pop up" availability.
  • we call it Tech Bits and Brews or Coffee with a Coach. This is a drop in style training where the trainers sit in our training room for an hour or so and users can come in and ask questions as needed.  We serve light snacks/drinks.   We have had a great response from this so far. 
  • We call ours TechBabble; an open house to cover various topics. :)
  • Walk about Wednesdays (walk the floor and check on everyone)
  • Technology Listening Labs - employees can come along and tell me what they think of software and what technology is needed - they are able to gather feedback from colleagues

  • Tips for training those that don’t have legal training

  • Look into Law Firm 101 -
  • Watch ILTA law firm 101 podcast series -
  • We are thinking about having a webinar on Wednesdays for anyone who wants to ask questions about applications, How do I's, etc. We have not come up with a name for it yet.  Maybe something like Tech Talk, Ask LED, etc.  Anyone have any good names?
  • We broke it up into bit sized models to make it more appetizing. :)
  • Best name I've heard for On-Demand learning was a weekly series Tech Talk Tuesdays....Logo shortened to T3
If you have any suggestions for Trainers Talk talking points for the year 2020 or wish to participate as a moderator - please reach out to Danielle Noon at