Technology Certification: Competency = Competitive Advantage
Law firms look to thrive in the digital world by instructing their lawyers in technological matters with LTC4 certificate
For all its upheaval, the pandemic has had a few benefits, like exposing the actual state of technology competence in the legal industry. While professional guidelines like the Solicitors Regulatory Authority’s Statement of Solicitor Competence, the American Bar Association’s Model Rules have argued for attorneys to keep up with technology, the pandemic has stirred a realisation for many remote workers.
Attorneys are finding that they aren’t as technologically confident as they thought and that they need to take responsibility for their own digital learning. Firms have responded by offering a range of methods for learning new skills: one-on-one online sessions, quick reference guides, e-learning topics, intranet-based videos. Ideally these can be accessed when convenient to fit in with individuals’ workloads.
The initial rush for training was critical for survival in a new remote world. As updated workflows and habits took hold, thought leaders in the industry revisited those demands for technology competency from governing boards. The State of Florida, for instance, now requires attorneys to receive three hours of technology education every three years. Some argue that is not enough. But regardless of the number of hours required, two important questions remain: What are the criteria for competency? And how does one demonstrate competency?
LTC4’s nine Core Competency Learning Plans have been the global standard for legal technology competency for the past decade. Originally developed by an international cohort of 95 legal technology professionals and attorneys, the LTC4 Learning Plans are workflow-based and focus on the skills needed to work with legal documents, email and document management, cybersecurity, time recording, remote working, and other fundamental tasks. These Plans are updated regularly and serve as the foundation for LTC4 Certification.
LTC4 Certification is earned by those who achieve a specified level of competence in one of the LTC4 Core Competencies. Since there are multiple ways to train and assess, and multiple combinations of applications, LTC4’s Certification Pod collaborates with firms to create appropriate assessment methods robust enough to demonstrate the requisite skill levels. LTC4 Certification has become increasingly relevant amid continued discussion about an attorney’s duty of technology competence. Further, certification demonstrates to clients that the law firm they have chosen takes technology skills seriously.
Lawyers who achieved Certification are enthusiastic about receiving their credential, as it is a sign of their competence and a marketplace differentiator. In recent months LTC4 has introduced its own digital badges that can be displayed on emails, CVs, RFPs, and LinkedIn profiles as a visible proof of competence.
For the firm, certification can lead to greater efficiency, increased productivity and increased profitability. Many firms believe that because everyone uses Word their lawyers must be competent to use it. When a complex document doesn’t behave as expected the time it takes to resolve the issues often has to be written off. Using an external document production service is a good way of avoiding problems and fixing difficult documents. However, a better understanding of how a document is constructed will ensure that the lawyer doesn’t cause additional problems when reviewing or editing it. LTC4’s Learning Plan “Working with Legal Documents” provides a structure for learning important skills around document production and review.
Law firms looking to thrive in a restructured, post-COVID world have already been finding new ways to train their attorneys in order to meet the requirements of daily work and the guidelines of governing bodies. These firms are more likely to prosper if they can show that their attorneys can demonstrate their technology competency.