Want to know the topics that are trending in custom development? Among the Top 20: Attorney-Client Privilege, Timekeeping Best Practices, and Overview and Structure of the Firm. Check out the full list below.
Firms are increasingly recognizing the potential of on-demand interactive self-contained resources and are beginning to leverage them in ways that support more of the strategic objectives of the firm. What was once viewed as just a way to memorialize and expand the reach of a recorded one-hour live CLE presentation is now being used as a much more strategic asset to accomplish a variety of firm-level objectives. Beyond professional development, we’re seeing firms leverage on-demand interactive resources to promote internal initiatives and policies, to promote relationship-building, to communicate processes and drive greater consistency across the firm, and even to make the most of limited in-person time at partner retreats.
Here are just a few recent examples of these more strategic applications:
Firms are pursuing new on-demand approaches for elevating the professional skills of their associates (ALL of their associates – not just juniors). In addition to the traditional approach of engaging external experts to conduct live in-person training, many firms have embarked on initiatives to create their own on-demand professional skills programs and libraries. A variety of topics rose to the top of our “most requested custom topics” list, including timekeeping best practices, delivering feedback, and working with a mentor. (In one six-month period, for example, we talked with more than 10 different firms looking to create a custom module on their timekeeping policies and expectations.)
To get their on-demand professional skills resources in place, many firms are beginning to leverage a series of off-the-shelf, customizable programs – like our QuickCustom™ Business and Professional Skills Library – so that they can be up-and-running quickly – while others continue to develop these topics from scratch. (Still others are finding that a mix of customizable off-the-shelf and custom makes for the best approach).
However their libraries come together, it is obvious that, to quote Jayne Brackett (a Partner at Fieldfisher LLP in London, “It won’t be easy to rewire lawyers, but if law firms and businesses employing lawyers want to succeed, they must. Lawyers must work to become better business people.”
It seems that law firms agree and are focusing on these areas in a way we haven’t seen before. And we’re delighted to be a part of that solution.
Let’s face it: no one has the attention span that they used to. And it’s not just millennials or Generation Z. It’s all of us. (It’s why we have transitioned this trends coverage to a shorter, more frequent bite-sized format; with a quick one or two-minute investment, you’re more informed, inspired (perhaps?), and can get on with your day.)
It’s also why we’re seeing a noteworthy transition in the types of online programs that firms are creating. We’ve been observing the trend toward bite-sized learning for quite a while now, but the trend continues toward ever smaller bites. Less than two years ago or so, hour-long CLE programs made up the vast majority of the custom programs we created for our law firm clients.
Now, the vast majority of on-demand learning that we’re asked to create is 15 minutes or less. Where longer programs are warranted or requested, we’re making the programs modular, so that each section—chosen from a main menu—is no longer than a few minutes.
Some firms are finding that even 15 minutes is too long for their taste and are moving toward 6 to 8-minute programs. A few are even doing super short bites at two to three minutes each.
What’s the preferred duration for you or your firm? We’d love to hear.
About the Trends! blog
One of the most frequent questions we get from our law firm clients is “What are other firms doing?” or “What kinds of projects are you working on for others that might spark some innovative ideas for us?”