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Wolch deWit Silverberg & Watts

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Myranda Smale

on 4 October 2014

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Transcript of Wolch deWit Silverberg & Watts

Learning and Development
at Wolch deWit
Strategy Recommendation

Needs and GAPS in the Organization
What if Wolch deWit does nothing?
Should Wolch deWit not address their current needs, obtaining the goals of growth, technology development and enlarging their clientele base will not be possible.
You have to start somewhere.......
It is obviously important that Wolch deWit develop Learning and Development programs for their previously listed needs


At this point it is most important for them to focus on developing an online presence, utilizing the copious number of social media websites available to them.

Improving their online presence will bring in more clientele and capture an online audience, in turn bringing more clients and developing a larger clientele base for associate lawyers

Learning and Development Strategy
Wolch deWit Silverberg & Watts
An Entire Team of Professionals

On Your Side.
Who we are:
Wolch deWit is a Calgary based law firm consisting of eight lawyers, three assistants and up to four student associate lawyers. Wolch deWit mainly practices in the area of criminal law but also practices some environmental and civil litigation.
Goals at Wolch deWit
The goals at Wolch deWit focus mainly on the growth of the organization, updating office policy, court procedures and technology and building a larger client base through the use of technology and referrals
The main learning and development initiative that Wolch deWit needs to focus on right now to develop an online presence is training their staff to use social media appropriately for a law firm

Restrictions on Growth
- the physical space of the office does not support the physical growth of supporting more lawyers and providing a designed student lawyer office space

- due to this lack of a designated student space there is a lack of knowledge transfer between the lawyers and their students
Restrictions on technology development
- senior partners are unconnected to the advancements in technology and do not see the need for changing systems, as they are unable to use the systems properly and require training to use them

- at Wolch deWit there are not any specific procedures of updating their systems to match the changes in the court system. The lawyers receive information from the courts but there is a lack of transferring that information to others in the office, such as the assistants
Restrictions hindering developing a larger clientele base
- Until recently Wolch deWit had not updated their website in over six years. They were missing out on opportunities of capturing the online consumers
- Now that a new webpage has been developed and a marketing program using LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter have been developed, training needs to occur to support the use of these marketing tools

- At Wolch deWit there is a lack of a program which outlines the progression plan of transferring client files from senior partners to associates. A progression plan would allow current clients to develop a relationship with associates ensuring the transfer of referral clients is smooth and the clients have confidence in associates
The Law is always changing...
due to the ever changing nature of the law, it is expected at Wolch deWit that the policies and procedure are dynamic and reflect all changes in the court systems
Growth in the Organization
- physical growth in terms of providing an environment which can support increases in the number of lawyers practicing in the firm, students and administrative staff

- knowledge growth by investing in the mentoring and training of student lawyers
Updating procedures, protocols and technology at Wolch deWit
- remodeling the physical office space and technology to support the growing business at Wolch deWit and the ever changing protocols and documentation of the courts
- updating the computer systems to correspond with the updated Alberta Courts electronic filing systems
-update the computer systems to allow for instantaneous communication between assistant's calendars and lawyers calendars
- update the office Shared drive so that it is accessible from personal home computers
Bringing in more clients
- updating the current marketing strategy and developing an online presence for Wolch deWit

- use the current clientele of the senior partners to develop a strong referral client base for junior associates
Hindering Growth
- the main objective of every organization is to increase profits and continue growth. Without addressing the issues of physical office space it will be impossible for Wolch deWit to support and learning environment for associate lawyers and student

- Increasing the clientele base will ensure that associates are able to gain the knowledge and experience, in the court system and with the larger variation in client situations, they will require to become senior partners in the firm
Changes in technology and marketing
- the legal world is quickly moving forward to a more technological based system. Procedure and documentation that used to be done by pen and paper are now being completed electronically and online. If Wolch deWit does not keep up with the technological advances they will not be up to date on procedures and protocols in the courts

- By ignoring the development of an online presence, Wolch deWit will miss out on the clientele base which does all their research online. Developing an online presence is essential when today's society is using the internet for all their needs
Now that the programs are set up, the administrators at Wolch deWit need to learn how to use the mentioned social media sited to promote business.

There are online courses and resources which will assist in developing the skills to use these sites for business, compared to personal use.

The website provider for Wolch deWit also offers seminars on the appropriate uses of social media for law firms.

It is important for Wolch deWit to utilize these sites appropriately because improper use can result in negative implications on the sites. If not used properly these sites can decease and affect the online presence of Wolch deWit.
Reasons to develop an online presence
- capture the attention of online consumers

- promote current and past successes in the business

-highlight important cases to support and increase the confidence of current and future clientele in the service provided at Wolch deWit

- develop relationships with other companies who provide services that can assist Wolch deWit's clients in other aspects of their life ie. social services such as counseling or additional legal services, such as Family lawyer or civil lawyer
How will this be perceived by staff?
At the present moment staff at Wolch deWit understand that learning how to use social media is very important to the success of the firm's online presence and will ultimately bring in more clientele

As the training can be costly and time consuming, the administrative staff will be the first to receive the training and should the lawyers wish to be involved they can be trained by their assistants as they desire
To begin with all the assistants will be required to complete online training and self-administered training
Once all administrative staff have completed their self-regulated training online, the firm will bring in the experts from FindLaw to further complete the training and give the staff in depth training of the processes and procedures of how to use social media to promote a law firm
To follow up, with their services, FindLaw provides ongoing support for all their customers
Criteria to assess the effectiveness of social media training
- in the given period of time did all employees complete the training
- are all employees confident in making posts on all social media sites
- are the quality of the posts up to the caliber of the profession
- do the posts represent current legal issues which the clientele will be interested in
- how many new followers has the social media pages attracted
Evaluating the success
- do customer service surveys to determine where the clients found our contact information

- develop a tracking system that will allow the firm to track the amount of money that is brought in through views of the web page or through the social media sites

- how often are posts being made on all of the social media web pages

- asking the clients what they think of the the new social media web pages and if they provide information that is useful to the clients
What's the next step...
Improving the training
- extend the training to the lawyers. They are the experts in the field and could provide valuable insight on the posts

- instead of using self-regulated training, if they initiative proves to be quite effective, put some resources back into the training and bring in more experts to analyze and refine the program. Less individual training and more group training through consultant companies. This will refine the skills and confidence of the employees to put out more valuable posts

- give all employees access to the social media accounts on their mobile devices so that they can access them from wherever they are. This will allow for the assistants and lawyers to access the accounts from wherever they are, which will allow them to post, not only from the office, but whenever they come across interesting new cases
Based on Jim Harvey's speech structures
Due to the serious matter and vulnerability of their clients, Wolch deWit prides themselves in providing the highest standard of service to ensure the legal rights of their clients are always protected
Wolch deWit is going to first focus on increasing their online presence. They have already taken the first step in development of their new website, promotes key word optimization searches and they have also set up a Facebook page, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts
Learning to use social media
By providing the administrators at Wolch deWit the appropriate training and uses of social media for a law firm, they will be able to use their resources appropriately and confidently, in turn, resulting in a better online presence to bring in more clientele and highlight the successes, results and professionalism Wolch deWit provided to their clients
Online resources
LinkedIn Webinars
are provided online every Thursday at 11:30 am, visit the site at
Twitter 101
- Twitter for business, visit the site at https://business.twitter.com/twitter-101
Facebook for Business
Blogging for lawyers
Because all this training is self-regulated it is up to the individuals to complete the training and report to their peers

Once all the assistants are ready to further their training, FindLaw will be contacted

Although not meant as a form of competition, having all assistants involved in the self-regulated training will provide a competitive environment to complete their own personal training in and will keep them accountable, ensuring they each complete all components in a timely manner
FindLaw Training
As a service to their website subscribers, FindLaw also provides in house marketing training and online support to the staff for any questions or concerns they may have

At this training it will be important to have each of the assistants learn and practice how to blog, Facebook/Twitter post and maintain a LinkedIn site
Wolch deWit will provide the assistants with actual cases and matters they want posted, the assistants will use their judgement and experience to figure out the best way to market that particular matter and can then receive feedback from their peers and the experts at FindLaw
As another complimentary service, FindLaw will also blog on behalf of the company, in conjunction with the post made by the employees
These services are provided by 'legal writers' who research topic important to the individual firm
This training and development initiative will be successful at Wolch deWit for the follow reasons:
1. It is self-regulated with a slight amount of competition to keep all assistants accountable to their peers
2. It not only employs self-teaching but also group training components
3. Each of the assistants are aware that this training is important to the success of the firm and all show interest in completing the training
4. There is a component, that is casual but allows for the assistants to practice their new skills and receive feedback from professionals
5. There is full support from peers and also a professional company to assist all the assistants in producing quality posts, which will put the assistant's a ease, knowing their work can always be reviewed before being posted
In order to fully evaluate the success of the OLD initiative for Wolch deWit we will look at criteria used to assess it's effectiveness, an evaluation of the success and how the program could be changed for future use
Return on Investment

- should the firm want to complete an ROI they could take the number of clients who have viewed the pages and the amount of fees they contribute to the firm, subtract the amount of the training initiative and that would give the firm an estimate of their ROI
- Because much of the training is done by self-regulated online seminars, the cost is minimal and if effective will prove to be a useful training tool
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