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2024 ALPMA Summit 🎆 Save the date, 11-13 September →

Why ongoing Learning & Development is vital for both job security and staff attraction & retention.

If you came to the 2023 ALPMA Summit, it’s likely you attended Ben Hamer’s presentation on the Future of Work | Rise of the Humans. Amongst the many enlightening insights Hamer shared with attendees, some key concepts included the rate of change being experienced today, the future of work, the pace of technology advancements, and the reskilling revolution that is needed urgently.

To set the scene, Hamer stated that in 2023 we find ourselves “living in a world where we are currently experiencing change at the fastest rate in human history, but also at the slowest rate we will ever experience for the rest of our lives.”

Sit with that for a moment and let it sink in.

Technological change feels rapid and, at times, it’s overwhelming and daunting, but it’s only going to get faster.

According to Hamer, we must keep pace with our learning and development just to remain current, with research suggesting that “current job skills lose half their value every five years” and that “15% of your working week needs to be spent up-skilling and re-skilling just to remain current; not to get ahead of the game, just to remain current”.

For a person working a 40-hour week that is a minimum of six hours of learning each week just to remain current.

The good news is that this learning can take many forms; e.g., formal learning or informal learning such as through webinars, seminars, podcasts, articles, on the job training, conversations with colleagues, networking, mentoring, YouTube, Coursea and research to name a few.

This is not a ‘nice to have’ it is now a ‘must do’ and something we must priortise for ourselves and our teams. A focus should be on upskilling our digital literacy, how to use it and more importantly how to leverage it.

Whilst technology will unlikely replace humans entirely, it will replace tasks and roles within law that are both repetitive, have defined decision structures and have predictable outcomes. We’ve seen this already and we’ll continue to do so. More and more roles will be automated, streamlined and enhanced through technology and we must embrace and keep pace with those changes by finding opportunities to add value in ways technology cannot.

Lawyers in particular, through exposure to legal matters, likely receive more than this recommended minimum upskilling learning quota every day, but what about their reskilling quota and what about your firms’ other employees? How is your firm providing all employees with the skills needed in the future? Think: digital literacy, critical thinking and problem solving, emotional intelligence, creativity and innovation, leadership and management, cultural competence and so on. (See the Skills of the Future)

Why is this important? It’s been stated that younger generations (in particular Gen Z) are now likely to have, throughout their working life, 20 jobs and five (5) career changes. This generation are digital natives. They expect to have technology & information at their fingertips, and they certainly won’t settle for roles that include tasks that are repetitive in nature and that can be automated.

How does your firm create a continuous learning culture?

You must embed it into your strategy.

Start by reflecting on both your business objectives and the current learning culture within your firm. Focus on the learning needs of all employees under the banner of upskilling and reskilling, now and into the future.

Start now:

If your firm needs assistance to keep on top of the changes within both the legal landscape, as they relate to the business of law, and learning and development ideas for your team, reach out to the team at ALPMA. We have a myriad of learning and development resources for your entire team.

Ben Hamer’s presentation The Future of Work | Rise of the Humans (including slides) can be accessed until 10 October 2023 as part of our ALPMA Summit On-Demand resources. This would be a great place for your team to start to unpack the future needs of your firm.


Emma Elliott
Emma Elliott
Chief Executive Officer at ALPMA

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