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AltaClaro Oct 20, 2023 12:37:16 PM 6 min read

Training Lawyers to Learn By Doing: How AltaClaro is Closing the Practical Skills Gap

Original feature: Fringe Legal on October 12, 2023

"Abdi Shayesteh reinvented legal training with AltaClaro by closing skills gaps through experiential learning. Simulations and expert feedback build associates' judgment. Data provides insights to improve and personalize education. Hands-on training will grow as technology transforms law.

The legal industry is undergoing a massive generational shift. Virtually overnight, AI capabilities have captured the attention of law firms worldwide. LLM-based tools can generate legal content, analyze documents, extract key information, and even converse with human-like ability. Their disruptive potential across the legal sector is immense.

Yet, while technology races ahead, improving legal training and education has lagged behind. Law schools excel at teaching students the law, but critical and practical skills development is often lacking. With the traditional law firm apprenticeship model fading, junior lawyers frequently lack opportunities to gain hands-on experience.

Abdi Shayesteh, founder and CEO of the legal training platform AltaClaro, is on a mission to close this practical skills gap. Frustrated by the inefficiencies he experienced firsthand as a junior lawyer, Abdi has reinvented legal education and training. AltaClaro leverages experiential learning techniques rooted in education science to provide associates with hands-on practice on simulated legal matters.

In my discussion with Abdi, we explored his unique journey to launching AltaClaro, the experiential learning model they have pioneered, and key legal training trends he is observing."


Five Takeaways That Could be Applied to Training, Tech Pilots, or Innovation Projects 

  1. Start Small, Iterate Quickly. Begin with low-risk applications to test capabilities. Rapidly build on successes through iterations to expand use cases.
  2. Blend Human Expertise and Technology. Combine instructors' real-world experience with data and tech-enabled simulations to create engaging learning.
  3. Gather Feedback from All Parties. Associates, instructors, and firms all provide insights on progress. Feedback enables continuous improvement.
  4. Personalize and Segment Training. Small cohorts (< 10) of similar experience permit tailored teaching. Use data to identify individual strengths and improvement areas.
  5. Make it Experiential. Hands-on simulations anchored in real work build judgment and skills. Practical application cements learning."

Transform Your Training with AltaClaro

There’s a reason why firms such as K&L Gates, Holland & Knight, Orrick, Allen & Overy, and Ropes & Gray trust AltaClaro for their legal skills training.

With AltaClaro, you can get your associates billing sooner, increase training retention and engagement, and save on resources used for legal skills training. 

Interested? Schedule a free 30-minute consultation with one of our experts to discuss learning pathways for your fall associates.