Every year law firms invest huge amounts of time and money to recruit and hire the best law school graduates, yet these first-year associates often lack the practical skills required to meet client demands.
To close this gap, law firms allocate significant internal resources to provide meaningful and hands-on guidance to these young professionals. However, this approach can lead to inconsistencies in training, increased partner workload, and reduced associate retention rates.
A recent study by Hobson & Company (H&C) highlights the Return on Investment (ROI) and additional benefits of implementing a proven legal training solution like AltaClaro. This was an independent study of eight nationally ranked Am Law 100 law firms to benchmark training program costs and benefits before and after adopting AltaClaro.
In this post, we explore the challenges of associate training and share how a proven legal solution addresses these issues to improve associate efficiency, utilization, and retention.
Law Firm Challenges
Law firms today are facing two major challenges when it comes to associate training:
1. Lack of standardized approach to training
The traditional training model for lawyers often leaves partners overwhelmed with the task of training associates while simultaneously handling client demands. Consequently, training can be haphazard and lack uniformity. This inconsistency results in associates receiving unequal training, which ultimately affects their ability to learn on the job quickly.
2. Driving practice group profitability
The effectiveness of associates and optimal staffing for deals are top priorities for law firms. When associates lack essential foundational skills, they may struggle with assignments and be hesitant to take ownership. Group leaders have observed that having the most capable individuals perform the appropriate tasks increases the capacity for more work, ultimately driving profitability.
H&C's independent study revealed measurable results in productivity, utilization, and associate satisfaction and retention for every AltaClaro client interviewed. For a sample practice group with approximately $50M in annual revenue and training 25 associates, significant financial benefits can be realized through an investment in AltaClaro. Before implementing AltaClaro:
-Partners and senior associates spent an average of 7 hours per week on direct training -Partners spent 24 hours per associate annually reviewing and fixing errors -The average first-year realization rate was 91% -The firm had a 77% associate retention rate
For a typical Am Law 100 firm, an annual investment of $62K in AltaClaro would generate a positive return in 2.3 months and a 1-year ROI of 280-430%, with annual benefits exceeding $300K.
The AltaClaro Training Solution
H&C found that by using AltaClaro as part of their training programs, firms were able to reduce the cost and effort of training, improve associate efficiency and utilization and increase associate retention with measurable results.
Furthermore, when measuring gains over firms that rely on videos, lectures, content libraries, and supervising attorneys to train associates, the AltaClaro firms reported more uniformity and consistency in associate learning and development, a reduction in the burden on supervising attorney’s workload, and meaningful positive feedback from associates on their training experiences.
Clients interviewed noted that AltaClaro’s standardized approach removes the burden of training from partners and provides consistent building blocks, enabling associates to finish their first year with more confidence and job ready skills. AltaClaro bootcamps also accelerate the learning process and drive practice group profitability, helping associates transition to billable work more efficiently and improve their proficiency.
“AltaClaro gives a head start in terms of baseline knowledge helping associates be more effective. They'll capture more time, be more efficient, and more useful. They will feel better about the job they are doing, gain confidence, and people will want to work with them more." -Partner, Am Law 100 Firm”
Looking for A Proven Legal Training Solution?
There’s a reason why firms such as K&L Gates, Holland & Knight, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, Allen & Overy, and Ropes & Gray trust AltaClaro for their legal skills training. From Fundamentals of M&A Transactions and Corporate Transactions to Capital Markets, our course catalog spans beginner to intermediate level classes.
With AltaClaro, you can get your associates billing sooner, increase training retention and engagement, and save on resources used for legal skills training. Our online boot camps help lawyers leverage technology and learn practical legal skills in a hybrid format through mock transactions and live feedback sessions with seasoned practitioners. From Fundamentals of M&A Transactions and Corporate Transactions to Capital Markets, our course catalog spans beginner to intermediate level classes.
Schedule a free 30-minute consultation with one of our experts and learn how you can empower your associates to hit the ground running.
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Julie Ryan leads and oversees course design, development, and instruction for AltaClaro’s Training Programs. Julie has taught over 400 U.S. and international lawyers to date; in addition to teaching on AltaClaro’s platform, she teaches a lawyering skills course for international business lawyers at Georgetown Law and served for over 8 years as Associate Director of Legal Writing and Advocacy for international LL.M. students at USC Gould School of Law.