5 Best Practices of Firm Universities

After over 7 years of running a Firm University there are some things I would do the same and some things I would do different. If you have a chance to get these in place before you start it makes things much easier.

Keep it simple. Above all else, keep this in mind. So many things that seem reasonable like different numbers of credits for different people or required and elective courses just aren’t worth it.

Have one standard for all staff. This has two parts. One: include all staff. I mean everyone from the runners to the billing manager (Paralegals too). Two: do not have different numbers of credits for different classifications of people.

Require everyone to get 12 credits. 1 credit = 1 hour of training time. This seems to be about the right amount, matches with many attorney CLE requirements, and is easy to explain.

Have carrots and sticks. Procrastination is a part of Law Firm culture. You need to have both positive and negative incentives to help overcome this. Otherwise a large portion of your participants will try to cram their credits into the last few weeks of the year. Two things to try are quarterly prizes if you meet your requirements and tying making your annual credits to bonus and raise considerations.

Start with an LMS and plenty of content. Managing a Firm University can take an enormous amount of time. It is well worth having an LMS in place. Don’t mess around: get University Site. Also, you need to have lots of content ready to go from day one. Two good vendors are Traveling Coaches and TutorPro.

If you start with these things in place, your chances of success will go way up and your time to manage your University will go way down.

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