Legal training trends for 2020: what you need to know

19 Dec 2019

We all know that prioritising learning and development opportunities for your team in 2020 will not only help you to retain your talent, but it will go some way to future-proofing your firm. But when setting your goals, remember to be as tailored as possible, focusing on the needs of the individual as well as the firm rather than taking a one-size fits all approach – it’s time to get SMART. Doing this will help to ensure you’re seen as a responsible employer, and you’ll be moulding a team that offers the best possible solution and most up-to-date and relevant consultancy to clients. This time last year we discussed the best approach to goal setting but for our blog this year, we’re talking about the key things firms should look to address during the next 12 months including continuous development, SQE preparations and more.  So, let’s get started.


Continuous development
Thanks to rapid technological developments and changes which are set to have a direct impact on legal professionals and their roles, continuous development is more critical than ever, and should where possible include relevant training around LawTech. Raconteur research recently highlighted that the average person entering the workforce in 2030 will have to plan to reboot their skills eight to ten times throughout their working life as the professional landscape and technology evolves. ‘Future employability’ will be a key topic for employees’ consideration in 2020, and so firms will need to take notice and offer continuous development opportunities if they wish to retain their talent.


Taking a personal approach
As legal professionals become ever more time poor as a result of an increased focus on fee-earning activity, becoming more efficient and personalised with training will be more of a priority for 2020. Not only will it have a positive effect by making the learner feel that you respect their time and the constraints that are associated with this, but will help to ensure that your team members receive only the most relevant training for their law specialisms or position within the firm.


Managing risk
We predict that industry compliance to help manage risk – particularly in line with the SRA Risk Outlook - will remain a top priority for firms in 2020 (and rightly so). As well as enabling increased diversity following the celebration of 100 years of women in law in 2019, there will be greater attention paid to quality of service, ensuring clients receive fair and consistent consultancy across firms industry wide. As well as recognising how to do this well and implementing new strategies based on learnings from 2019, external training programmes will help to assist this key target, focusing on client expectations (and what’s realistic), as well as understanding the latest trends and developments to stay on top of legislative, tech or process changes.


Investment in tech
As technology becomes more intelligent, its prominence in the learning and development sphere will continue to accelerate. Investment in UK LawTech reached £62million in 2018, tripling the investments made in the previous year, and we predict that this will impact training in particular. At Altior, we already have a wide range of online courses available via Live Online, and this offering (here and beyond) is set to increase in 2020, making learning more efficient and flexible for legal professionals. We also predict that further courses will emerge to educate professionals about LawTech itself, and how it can be effectively implemented within firms.


Preparation for SQE
With the SQE set to be introduced in 2021, we predict that firms will be spending much of this year preparing by improving their awareness of what is needed and putting training structures in place ahead of its launch.


So, as we move into the new decade, we’re predicting a year of big change for training in the legal sector, taking a more personal and tailored approach to team development to ensure continued relevancy. Not only will this prove pivotal to firms who are looking to future-proof operations but will also demonstrate to professionals at all levels of seniority that their time is valued, as is their need for ongoing learning and development. If you’d like to speak to our team about your training needs for you or your firm in 2020, contact us today 02920 451 000.