Every year, the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center (LTRC) publishes TECHREPORT—a collection of easy-to-read breakouts of the annual ABA Legal Technology Survey Report, one of the leading surveys on how attorneys use technology. Practitioners, firms, and legal tech companies alike can use TECHREPORT to get a better grasp on legal technology trends and predictions.
Today’s excerpt is from the “Technology Training” report by Mark Rosch. Click here to download the full report.
The two most prevalent sources for technology training cited by respondents from smaller sized firms (solo practitioners and 2-9 attorneys) are freely available to anyone who has purchased any particular software: tutorials included with software programs and web-based classes offered by vendors/manufacturers. Somehow, though, 49.0% of solo respondents and 33.5% of respondents from firms of 2-9 lawyers still responded that they had “no training” available to them.
Some questions to consider would be:
- Are these lawyers even looking for training, in the first place?
- If these lawyers are looking for training, why aren’t they finding these sources?
It is possible that some of those respondents who reported “no training” available at their firms might not be using technology in their practices at all, and therefore are not looking for training opportunities. However, it is more likely that if they are seeking training, they are doing so ineffectively.
Some reasons might be found in the Dunning-Kruger effect: These lawyers may just believe that their skills are adequate (or more than adequate) so they don’t…
- Read instruction manuals or help screens.
- Seek out the available training resources at all.
- These lawyers might use a search engine to seek out available training resources, but the self-assessment of their own search skills leads them to conduct ineffective searches that do not produce useful results.
In many cases, results of a search engine search for “training” and “software name” might return numerous links to third-party training options that crowd out the free or low-cost, vendor-supplied resources that are available. A search for “training,” “webinar,” or “tutorial” limited to the website of the technology’s manufacturer might prove more effective.
For more general (non-law-specific) software, attorneys might want to try the tutorials available from Lynda.com. The site offers thousands of video tutorials and practice exercises for various software, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint; Wordperfect; Quickbooks, and others. Subscriptions begin at $19.99/month. However, many public libraries offer their patrons free remote access to the entire library of Lynda.com’s educational materials, so lawyers should check their local library’s website to see if they already have access to this resource.