Law firm training
Law firm training is changing as the market develops and responds to the still challenging trading times. Lawyers and business services need to be capable of more business, or soft skills than ever before. Commercial and practical business management is particularly essential for today’s successful lawyer.
Law firm training in 2015
In 2015 the training of both lawyers and business services in law firms needs to deliver exceptional impact in both learning outcomes and value for money. Training needs to work as a useful experience for participants, but more than this training for lawyers and business services, in large and small firms, has to lead to actions being implemented to achieve any kind of ROI.
Law firm training from ITD
We have been working with law firms for over 15 years, including large international firms, medium sized specialist firms and smaller UK based firms.
Our training is practical and gives participants what they need to develop their approach and improve performance.
Our approach is a blend of training and coaching in that we deliver interesting and relevant training content, and then apply this to the context of the participant’s situations. This means that whatever the practice area, lawyers leave training with actions they can put into practice straight away.
We focus on delivering the skills and knowledge the participants need to know. But we go father than this. We have developed a unique approach to training implementation. Working with our behavioural scientist we have created an action implementation tool, which is giving great results.
Implementing actions from law firm training
We’ve all experienced and even organised great training, only for it to fall short at the implementation stage. Why don’t people put into practice what they’ve learnt? They give the training great scores. They say it has been fantastic, practical and useful. But then they don’t change. Why? At ITD we have been working hard for many years to try to understand this. Now having worked with our behavioural change scientist we have a solution.
We have developed a unique action implementation tool which help participants to put their action into a real life context. To see how this might work for your training call us now.
Roles we have worked with in our law firm training
Fee earners / lawyers
- Senior associates
- 3/4 year PQE
- Newly qualified
- Senior managers
- Team leaders
- Staff in all functional areas including:
- Business development
- Secretarial / PA
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Some of the cool clients who have benefited from training with ITD
To find out more on our training for law firms, lawyers and business services call +44 (0)800 804 8086
Training we have provided law firms includes:
(click on the links for more)
Senior Lawyers / Partners
Senior Associates / Associates
Newly qualified / Trainees
Business Services Managers
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Training for law firms from ITD can have an immediate impact on performance
Law firm training from ITD has the following characteristics
- Practical methodologies, models tips and ideas.
- Focused and time efficient.
- Innovative, to bring the very latest research ideas into the training room.
- We take the best ideas from our work in other business sectors and apply these to professional services.
Law firm clients we have or are currently providing training for:
Lawyers from the following countries have participated in our law firm training
- United Kingdom
- United States
- United Arab Emirates – Abu Dhabi & Dubai
- Saudi Arabia
- Honk Kong
To discuss how we could tailor training for lawyers to suit your needs call +44 (0)800 804 8086
Law firm training – case study
This international law firm has offices throughout the Americas, Europe and the Middle East. The Abu Dhabi office contacted us for a specific and urgent need.
The firm helps clients expand and invest in the middle east through their offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. They specialise in a wide variety of services to business sectors.
The need in this case was to provide a series of business skills training interventions with a very short deadline.
We develeoepd a series of two hour webex based sessions with pre and post session activity.
Each session was on one subject with a number of key learning points and specific outputs.
The sessions were delivered in plain English with paper workbooks to refer to.
We separated the workshops with a seven day gap to allow for the participant working on their actions.
To ensure learning had been achieved, the participants presented their learning to colleagues in the firm.
With any on line learning intervention the expectation is that it will not work as well as the class room technique. But we are constantly surprised by just how good the learning is with on line activity. In this case the learning outcomes were excellent as demonstrated by the participants’ presentations and application of what they had learnt.
Thank you for a swift response and for delivering such high quality via webex meetings. The feedback has been excellent.
“Thank you for your training. It was very interesting and useful.”
“Thank you, I will use this very useful training in my career.”
Call us on +44 (0)800 804 8086 to discuss your needs for training for your lawyers or business services
Why choose ITD for your law firm training?
1. We have been working with law firms for 16 years and with both lawyers and business services.
2. We have delivered training in one day sessions, retreat sessions, one or two hour sessions and on line WebEx sessions.
3. We tailor the training to suit the requirements of your firm and the needs of the participants, so you get what you want.
4. Having worked in UAE, Europe, US & Honk Kong we are used to adapting the style to suit the local culture and needs.
5. Our flexible approach to fees means that you get the training you need to suit your budget.
6. With our unique action planning tool we help your people to implement their actions from the training.
Some more cool clients who have benefited from training with ITD
Sales tips for lawyers
- Every prospect has needs and wants. The needs are those logical aspects, such as the need for legal counsel for their employment issues. The wants are more emotional drivers, such as wanting to work with a lawyer they like, or wanting to work with a lawyer they see as similar to themselves.
- Remember that most clients want to make sure you understand their needs and wants. They do not want you to explain how competent you are. They already take that for granted, after all, you’re a lawyer so they assume you know the law. They want to see if there’s a fit with you.
- Don’t push features and advantages on them which you assume are benefits, but which may well not be.
- Feature – is a fact or point about your service
- Advantage – what that feature can do.
- Benefit – what the feature does for a prospect linked to one of their needs or wants.
Presenting tips for lawyers
- Start with your objective from your audience’s perspective. What do you want to achieve? What d you want your audience to be thinking or doing after your talk? Why are they attending your talk?
- Use as few slides as possible, because it is you they want to listen to.
- Don’t clutter your slides with long sentences and lots of information. One slide, one point. They won’t read most of it and anyway you can give them handouts at the end.
- Don’t use multiples text sizes and fonts. It only confuses them and makes your slide harder to read.
- Do use images. Use only images if you like! People can look at an image and interpret ideas from it. They can look at your image and listen to you.
Management Tips for Lawyers
- Hold foundation conversations with each new member of your team to establish how you are going to work together. Establish your expectations of them and make sure they are clear on what they need to do, the support they can expect from you and what success looks like.
- Have regular one to ones with each member of your team. This gives them time for them. Not talking about matters or projects, but about them and their development.
- Have team meetings. You are a team so act like one.
- Include everyone including PAs and secretaries in your team.
- Make sure everyone is clear on what you expect. If you expect each lawyer to spend x time on business development each week, let them know, reinforce it and remind them and reward those who do it.
Delegation Tips for Lawyers
- Recognise that you don’t want to delegate.
- Why? Because;
- You have your billable target to achieve.
- You will do it better.
- You will do it faster.
- By the time you have delegated it you could have done it yourself.
- They are your client and you should do the work.
- But if you don’t delegate:
- Your team will not grow & then will become demotivated and eventually may well leave.
- You will be charging to high a rate for stuff that more junior people could do. Your competitors may well come out cheaper on pitches.
- You will become sad and lonely.
- So delegate but remember it will take time. But if you persevere your legals assistants will learn, they will do great work, they will do it at more competitive rates and horror of horrors, they may well one day do it better!
Business Development Tips for Lawyers
- Allocate time each week for BD, not including attending events. Doesn’t matter if it’s 10 minutes or 1 hour. The idea is to get into the habit of doing it every week, like a habit.
- Set yourself targets for the kind of work and clients you would like to be working with.
- Write up work as case studies for the website.
- Make sure your website profile is up to dates. Don’t worry about the photo no one is expecting George Clooney.
- Make sure your LinkedIn Profile is accurate and up to date.
Networking Tips for Lawyers
- Every time you go to an event make sure the people you meet are added to your firms people database.
- When you go to an event have a target for how many people you’re going to meet. Three is a good number.
- If you see any possible prospect on their own at an event, go talk to them. They will be grateful and you never know…
- If you want to leave one person and go to another, don’t say you need the toilet! Say it’s been good to meet them and now you’ve seen someone else you’d like to meet.
- Always give out and take cards.
BD for lawyers – internal networking for lawyers tip # 4
How do you meet and greet a client? Firstly you keep an eye on the entrance so that you know when they arrive. As they do you go to them with a smile and a warm hand shake. You organise refreshments for them. You introduce them to a colleague or to a group of colleagues.
You make them feel welcome, you make them feel involved straight away, you get them talking with colleagues or other clients. You make them feel good about the event.
It’s really simple. The challenge is usually that this is not everyday behaviour. So take a deep breath and get on with it. Make it a performance if you like, that is, the same version of you, you draw on when presenting; the performer.
You need to take control and make them feel welcome. They will reward with appreciation and maybe some business.
Coaching as a technique for associates, senior associates or partners managing junior lawyers can be very effective, but there are challenges.
Firstly it feels like it takes too long. Secondly it would be much quicker just to tell them what to do. Thirdly they just want to be told what to do.
Let’s take a step back. Coaching is a technique useful when you want to develop a junior lawyer or paralegal, and when you want them to do more thinking. Coaching is about asking questions. If we’re telling we’re not coaching. If we’re asking questions to get them to think, we’re coaching.
It takes longer to coach the first time, but because it is a way of getting them to think, it will take less time the next time. In other words with coaching we develop their ability to think so that next time they may not need to ask, or may just need to check or verify.
So the idea is to try it and see how powerful coaching can be. But it does need practice, so if it doesn’t work too well at first, persevere, when it works it is very rewarding.
BD for lawyers – the first 20 minutes
How can we ensure more lawyers, do more BD every week?
Make it the norm. Make it an expectation. What if in your firm every lawyer spent the first 20 minutes of every day doing BD. it could be anything from updating their contacts in your database; adding contacts to be invited to the next practice area BD event; sending an email to follow up a contact met at a BD event; looking at google alerts for their prospect’s organisation.
Imagine if all your lawyers did 20 mins every day. In a practice area of just 20 people that would be 400 minutes or 6 hours 40 minutes a day; 2400 minutes a week or 40 hours a week. 40 hours of BD a week! That must have an impact.
The first 20 minutes of every day could change the fortunes of a practice area, or a firm.
BD for Lawyers – hosted networking events tip # 1
There are a number of tips which we need reminding of when participating in hosted networking events. These tips are taken from other markets where networking, or sales events are much more part of the every day work expectations.
Get there early. If it’s our event and we get there after clients it looks like we are not that interested and it looks unprofessional.
If we’re there early we can greet our clients. We can greet our prospects. We can make them feel welcome. We can make introductions between clients and prospects.
If we’re interested in learning from other business sectors outside law firms, professional client relationship managers, or sales people would not dream of arriving at an event after their clients.
For training on networking go to networking training for lawyers
Before we plan how to persuade someone, it can be useful to first consider why they should listen to us. To ask ourselves questions like; What is their opinion of us?; How well would they receive a message from us?; How do they view our role?; Is their mind open to us? Would they value our opinion on this subject?; Who does influence them & why?
Before we start to try to influence them on an area, it can be a smart move to try to influence them on us first of all. Some call it the difference between the message and the messenger. First make sure they are influenced about the messenger and only then try to deliver our message. So how can we do this?
Third Party – if you have a contact or champion who considers you positively and who would be prepared to support you, this would be a great strategy. You ask them to say to your target something like ‘You know Sophie in corporate has got some excellent ideas on strategy and how to drive more value out of this firm, you could do a lot worse than listen to her’. Should work every time and now your target is listening because they respect the opinion of your champion.
Network – This is where you use your network outside the firm as a lever to get the partner interested. So it might go something like, ‘I know I only have 2 years experience in this firm, but I have a good network of colleagues across some of the top firms in this practice area and I’ve got some ideas I think you might be interested in hearing…’ There is logic in this argument and there is also the temptation of finding out what other firms are up to.
Role – This is where you use the definition of your role to logically position your value. So this one might go, ‘As part of the BD team for this practice area obviously it’s my job to help deliver what the firm needs, but it’s also my role to identify opportunities for improving things; as such I have a number of ideas which could have significant impact…’
These are just three ideas of how to make sure they accept us before we try to influence them. And even if this is not required every time, by using this approach we make sure the foundations of our arguments are very strong. In this way we ensure they have accepted the messenger before we deliver the message.
Training on Influencing