An ambitious and innovative approach to skills improvement at DLA
At a time when technology skills are more vital than ever DLA have set themselves an ambitious target of offering all fee earning staff across the world the opportunity of 60-minute one-to-one sessions with one of their IT training team.
The DLA IT Learning Team is marketing their lawyer curriculum as part of the firm’s wider education drive. As enthusiastic advocates of LTC4 since its inception, the firm believes in these industry standards for tech skills. They are concentrating on several key LTC4 Learning Plans – the very popular Working with Legal Documents, Managing Documents and Emails, and Time Recording.
They are also encouraging the use of spreadsheets by focusing on Data & Reports and on presenting to clients with the Visual Communications Learning Plan. All LTC4 Learning Plans are workflow-based and therefore totally relevant to the way fee earners use technology and they are generic or “app-nostic” so provide a structure for training delivery no matter what systems are in use.
DLA’s Legal Technology Trainer for Phase One, Jane Hardcastle explained: “I’ve been promoting the curriculum via the various practice group meetings, to ensure my target audience have an opportunity to ask questions there and then. The promotion touches on the benefits of what each module provides and the overall efficiencies gained. I also focus on the sessions being one-to-one, the diary of available sessions is only a click away. If there doesn’t appear to be a suitable session for their needs, as we are a flexible team, fee earners can contact us and we will look to offer a session at a time more appropriate for that individual“.
Each session starts with clear objectives so that the lawyers know exactly what they will get out of it. This 1-to-1 approach to delivering skills improvement has proved hugely successful throughout the firm’s LTC4 programmes. All training is followed up with links to additional content using knowledge articles, topic-specific eLearning videos, and further tailored sessions to support their learning”.
This three-phase initiative is being managed by 3 members of the firm’s IT Learning team – Jane Hardcastle, Jane Dobson and Kylie Robins. The training sessions are supported by a full curriculum of e-learning topics which can be accessed through the firm’s Learning Management System. The current phase ended at the end of November when the next trainer, Jane Dobson has stepped in for 3 months.
The combined total of sessions delivered during this first phase make up more than 4,800 hours!