In-house training can be a valuable investment for your law firm, and one which will continue to pay dividends for a long time. But to get the most out of it, and more importantly to get precisely what you want out of it, it’s important to ensure that you and your training provider are on the same page before you even start.

If you do not properly communicate your needs and your firm’s current situation to the training professional, then the results can range from the below par to the downright disastrous. For instance, if you do not make the trainer fully aware of your team’s current skills and proficiencies, then they may end up going over old ground, proverbially teaching your staff how to suck eggs.

As well as potentially being a waste of time and money, badly planned, redundant legal training can actually be counterproductive. Staff being taught things that they already know may feel patronised and even resentful, and their performance may suffer as a result. On the other hand, they may be taught things that aren’t particularly relevant to their job role.

How To Make Sure Your Training Provider Understands Your Needs

Fortunately it’s relatively simple to ensure that your investment in legal training isn’t a waste of time, and to optimise its benefits for your firm. And as with many aspects of business and professional relationships, communication is key.

You should discuss your needs with the trainer from the outset, whilst also giving them a good idea of where your business is currently. As well as making it clear what you wish the training package to look like, you should make the provider fully aware of previous training that has been undertaken recently, and further in the past. This will help to prevent any substantial overlaps or redundancies.

If your firm has any specific main focuses then you should also communicate these so that the trainer can better tailor their legal training towards your needs, rather than applying a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Likewise, be sure to let them know if there’s anything specific you don’t offer in your services so that it may be omitted if necessary. Other pertinent information may include details of what the specific roles of those being trained entail, and how they relate to the rest of the firm.

Know What You Want, And Communicate What You Need

Most importantly, you should make it clear from the outset what your specific goals and objectives are. If these are not immediately clear to you, then it’s certainly worth spending a little time to consider these and forming them into something concrete which can be effectively communicated to the trainer. It may even be a good idea to canvas the opinions of some of your senior members of staff to see what ideas they have on the matter.
The most valuable and productive training will occur when you, your team and your legal training provider are all on the same page.

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