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ANALYSIS: Legal Tech Training Less Effective in Online Community

Dec. 1, 2020, 9:18 AM

Legal technology use continues to rise, and according to Bloomberg Law’s Legal Technology Survey 2020, technology training is generally quite effective. The exception? Online community training. Although many respondents believe this forum would be beneficial, those who have tried it aren’t particularly impressed.

Let’s Get Personal

According to the results from the legal tech survey, more than nine out of 10 respondents who receive either in-person or remote one-on-one legal technology training find it effective. Webinars—a form of remote training—are also effective. According to our data, the more personal the training provided, the better the trainee will fare, regardless of whether that attention is in person or remote. These training types allow participants to ask experts questions in real time, boosting understanding of intimidating technical concepts.

Online Community Training Falls Short

Online community trainings typically consist of reference libraries, how-to videos, and community support forums. Although this type of support may be beneficial if it’s a supplement to other, more hands-on training methods, only half of lawyers said they find online community training to be effective.

These forums are generally casual, with no obligation on the part of expert advisers to respond to lawyers’ questions. Lawyers who utilize these forums may encounter well-intentioned novices giving bad advice or multiple participants dispensing contradictory instructions.

A Misperceived Benefit

As low as lawyers’ opinions on the effectiveness of online community training are, the survey results show that they still perceive the method as being better than it actually is, as two-thirds (67%) of respondents who have not received online community training reported that it would be beneficial.

Based on these results, those in charge of organizing legal tech training should focus on more structured methods that feature personal attention, and only consider online communities as a supplement to other types of training that are more tailored to the learner.

Bloomberg Law subscribers can find related content on our In Focus: Legal Technology resource.

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