On June 12, 2018, Legal Beagle hosted our first E-Learning Roundtable Luncheon at Mandarin Oriental’s Pierre. Representatives from Hong Kong’s leading law firms, subject matter experts, and business development professionals gathered over fine dining to chart the course of Hong Kong’s E-learning environment.
In less than a year, Legal Beagle has become Hong Kong’s leading provider of online, accredited training for continuing professional development (CPD) and Risk Management Education (RME) for Hong Kong solicitors. This forum gave us the opportunity to ensure our continuing business development remains responsive to the needs of our customers. Beyond learning from our customers which topics need to be added to our online e-learning portfolio, participants encouraged us to push the envelope beyond learning and development (L&D) into Business Development (BD) applications.
Legal Beagle has changed the legal e-learning paradigm in Hong Kong by offering cost-effective fresh and topical subject matter in an engaging and professional e-learning environment that integrates video, graphics, and text. There was a consensus that previous providers that offered the same stale, click through PowerPoint-based training year after year that allowed their solicitors to “get their points” is unacceptable. Participants want to see training content frequently refreshed, offered by subject matter experts on new and relevant subjects and in a learning environment that leverages the convenience of mobile devices like iPhones, Ipads, and Android devices.
The discussion on increasing the convenience and portability of e-learning by the use of mobile devices led to a suggestion to develop a CPD/RME course on compliance and data privacy issues related to the use of e-messaging applications like WeChat, WhatsApp in the Asian legal environment where use of these applications is widespread among clients and legal professionals.
Data Privacy was a hot topic with the effects of the European General Data Protection (GDPR) and its effects on Hong Kong firms with a European presence discussed and added as another learning topic for development.
A pain point identified by a number of participants and a consensus area ripe for e-learning solutions was Core Courses for Principals, non-Principals, Trainee Solicitors and Registered Foreign Lawyers. This feedback provided valuable validation for Legal Beagle’s priority development project for Core Courses anticipated to be online in early 2019.
Data overload was another problem cited for both online and in-house learning resources with one participant stating, “We have a wealth of knowledge in our in-house LMS, but if we require our attorneys to search for it, it is unlikely to happen. I want our service providers to help me make my job easier by spoon feeding me the information I need and helping me to promulgate that information to the persons that need it.” Legal Beagle has already taken this advice onboard by creating simple and to the point onboarding circulars and instructional emails that are “send ready” for learning and development professionals. Legal Beagle is also happy to provide 20-minute training sessions at our customer’s office on the use of our online system.
On the technical side, interoperability and compatibility with our customer’s legacy learning management systems were discussed and ensuring our products work with our customer’s firewalls and IT systems are key for an online solution. One of the biggest concerns was the slow performance during the end of October rush when many solicitors are scrambling to complete their credit hours before the October 31 deadline. Legal Beagle’s hosting architecture gives us the ability to automatically scale up our video processing bandwidth to ensure peak system performance, even if system use quickly goes from one to thousands of simultaneous video streams.
Despite the many developments in e-learning, there was a consensus that e-learning should complement and not always replace existing, effective learning structures and that face to face training will be more effective in some situations. Integration of e-learning creates benefits when it is used selectively and effectively with the most difficult challenge in e-learning being collaboration, question and answer and group sessions. Creation of online chat groups, choose your own adventure type choice making, leveraging existing mentor/mentee relationships and integrating group activities into the e-learning product were all discussed.
Finally, fun and engaging content was a consensus requirement. Sourcing celebrity lecturers were suggested as a way to increase engagement.
If you’d like more information on Legal Beagle and our offerings, please contact Mônica Hall on firstname.lastname@example.org