Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren meets the ever-evolving needs of today’s business with innovation, focus, and commitment. The firm provides accessible, responsive service to public and privately held corporations, financial institutions, family-owned businesses, Taft-Hartley retirement plans, exempt organizations, and individuals.
As part of the firm’s ongoing commitment to professional development, Reinhart embarked on a training program to certify the technical skills of its associates and administrative assistants. The goal of the program was for people to gain a better understanding of overall workflow processes and to be more productive in the use of several software solutions including iManage, Microsoft Office, and associated legal applications.
Choosing a proven training solution
To meet this need, Reinhart selected a turnkey SkillUp! certification program, offered by the Wilson Allen training and adoption practice, formed following the acquisition of Capensys. The SkillUp! program maps on-demand content and evaluation tools to the Legal Technology Core Competencies Certification Coalition (LTC4) core competency learning plans, enabling attorneys and staff to become LTC4 certified.
Mary Fredrich, IT training coordinator at Reinhart explains why the firm selected the SkillUp! program to meet its needs. “I was referred to Sue Pasfield with Capensys by one of my contacts. Sue was very engaging and took the time to learn about our needs and walk us through the training process,” she says. “The fact that the program is approved by LTC4, along with training team’s knowledge of the LTC4 certification process, solidified our decision.”
Kicking off the program
Fredrich got buy-in for the training program after explaining the initiative and its benefits to key members of the firm, including its board of directors, department chairs, administrative directors, managers, supervisors, and regional office managers. “We provided them with background information about the LTC4 certification process and the scope of the project,” she says. “For simplicity, our approach was to divide each competency into different phases and deadlines.”
The training team held a kickoff event for the assistants and staff – complete with several giveaways, including headsets and water bottles – to outline expectations and the timeframe for each certification path to help build excitement for the program.
Supporting client service through greater competency
Reinhart made use of the many online courses in the SkillUp! program, using KnowledgeCheck to evaluate skills. “We uploaded all of the courseware into our learning management system (LMS), which allowed us to track completion and submit results to LTC4 for certification,” Fredrich says. “Having this information in our LMS also allowed us to track progress for skills reviews and ongoing training.”
All users were trained within the timeframe established for each competency. In total, the firm’s assistants, staff, and associates completed a total of 452 learning paths (see figure).
|LTC4 – Managing Documents and E-mails||102|
|LTC4 – Legal Documents||94|
|LTC4 – Data, Reports, and Exhibits||91|
|LTC4 – Managing Documents and E-mails for Associates||9|
|LTC4 – Presentations||84|
|LTC4 – Collaborating with Others||72|
|Total Learning Plans Certified||452|
Figure: Learning Paths Enabled by the SkillUp! Program
“It was an easy program to implement to deliver the targeted training our people needed. It also gave us a baseline for each person to build knowledge as we offer more training,” Fredrich adds.
As an added plus, staff members can apply credits earned during the SkillUp! training program to their annual requirement to attend 15 hours of live training. Even without this incentive, people seem to be more interested in attending training sessions than before. “Investing time in training not only makes a big difference in our performance, but it has also made our people more eager to learn in general,” she adds.
Accomplishing tasks more efficiently
While there was some initial hesitancy from staff about going through training, the rollout and implementation has been deemed a tremendous success.
“Initially, some of our assistants were not happy about having to go through training, but that changed pretty quickly,” Fredrich explains. “They started to see how much easier and faster it could be to complete some tasks, which motivated them to keep learning.”
Several attorneys reported a significant improvement in their assistant’s knowledge of the software applications and ability to accomplish tasks more efficiently. “Their knowledge and understanding became very apparent when people began working from home due to the pandemic,” Fredrich adds. “It was clear how well most assistants knew their applications and were, therefore, able to adapt quickly.”
Planning for additional training
In the future, Reinhart hopes to develop Continuing Legal Education (CLE) training content for time entry certification. In the meantime, it plans to create targeted training materials using the Learning in Action (LiA) tool after the firm upgrades its instance of Microsoft Office.
Learn more about Wilson’s Training & Adoption practice.