Law firms with dependable, excellent support teams are not serendipitous occurrences. Instead, high performing teams emerge from law firms that expertly hire experienced, promising people and provide them with ongoing professional training.
The Cost of Insufficient Training
Staff training programs meet multiple professional needs including staying apprised of developing technology, understanding regulations that impact supports teams, and fulfilling the law firm’s specific business needs.
For example, imagine a document processing team who does not understand modern software applications and as a result, the work consistently slips deadlines; or a mail center that does not understand the intricacies of mailing regulations. Not only is the work sub-par, it can seriously affect the law firm’s reputation and outcomes. Consistent and applicable trainings can significantly reduce the rate of common problems like the scenarios listed above.
Once you have replaced uncertainty with ongoing training, support staff improves their work and attorneys have a better experience and outcomes that are more positive. In turn, this practice leads to recurring clients and better referrals.
In-house Training Challenges
However, there are distinct challenges to instituting support staff training.
For most firms, the challenge is not ramping up an entire training department, though it is a big project with considerable expense. Instead, most firms will go with an outside training company to make better use of the law firm’s budget and time.
Even when the firm goes with an outside training organization, they will still meet challenges.
The quality of training may be poor, consisting of generic online delivery with little quality control.
When the training succeeds, skilled staff members may demand raises or quickly leave for higher paying jobs.
Whether firms are providing training in-house or working with a third party, effective and ongoing training can be expensive.
Training may also involve travel, which can incur additional expenses and longer absences.
A Better Way to Train
The key to efficiently training staff is to partner with an outsourcer who trains and manages your teams for you within your outsourcing agreement. The outsourcing organization hires, compensates, and trains team members regardless if the firm chooses to centralize teams in the outsourcer’s offices or invites outsourced teams to work in-house.
Specialized Outsource Training
Outsourcing organizations do not simply pay lip service to training but actively train employees on best of brand software and procedures. Organizations that specialize in outsourcing trainings prove their success by tracking progress in workflows and measuring progress. The outsourcing organization should also know their law firm clients so well that they also train support teams to work within the best practices and standards of each client.
Since the outsourcing organization manages hires, training, and quality control, even if a valuable team member is promoted or leaves, the organization seamlessly replaces them with another skilled employee.
Finally, the outsourcer should encourage their clients to cross-train. Cross-trained support staff makes the firm nimbler and agile towards clients’ changing business needsConclusion
In a time of steep competition for clients and experienced attorneys, law firms must highlight their competitive advantages. Some of those advantages are obvious, like a long Fortune 100 client list, proven practice areas, or well-known partners.
However, add in a reputation that the firm responds quickly and accurately to their clients’ needs turns a firm from being competitive to being a leader. If you found this blog informative, you may enjoy reading Offload the Workload: How Outsourcing Can Increase Profitability or The Epiq Angle Blog.
For more information, please contact:
Sebastian Ko, Regional Director, Document Review & Expert Services, and Legal Counsel Asia, Epiq