Posted by: johnocunningham | November 16, 2010

Communicating the Value of Training

A recent survey of Chief Legal Officers by Altman Weil reveals that more than 85 percent of CLOs never or sometimes won’t allow first and second year associates to work on their projects ( with 5 percent saying “never”).

Based on my own interviews with in-house lawyers, I sense that this number has been trending upward ever since the enormous first year salary jumps of the past decade.

This presents a significant communications challenge for law firms. The partners must not only find ways to communicate their knowledge and train young associates to get them up to speed quicker, but they must communicate the substance and value of that training to their clients in order to get a fair ROI on those associates.

Amazingly, few firms use their Websites or collateral materials effectively to tout the depth and breadth of training for their associates, and this presents a competitive opportunity.

Clients want and even demand well-trained associates now, and I have learned from interviews that clients are interested in knowing how their firms train and develop young talent. 

If a firm can demonstrate the quality of its training and development, it can use more associates to staff more matters, and it can win more clients who are concerned about the lack of efficiency  associated with unguided associates who start their careers without so much as a compass for finding answers.

For an example of a firm’s demonstration of its training and development approach, check out the Dwyer & Collora Website.

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