The Top 8 Staff Training Tips for Estate Planning Law Firms – PART 2

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By Kristina Schneider, Executive Assistantstaff-training-tips-part-1

In continuation of the December 2015 issue

Law Firm Staff Training Tip #5: Have the Staff Member Create a Detailed Procedures Manual.

Another important part of the staff member training is to have the staff member that is being trained be the one to create a detailed procedures manual out of the training that he or she received. Not only will it be helpful to have them write out the procedures manual in a detailed and very thorough format that would allow him or her to pick up the manual and remember each step of a certain task (or anyone else that might be new), but it will also help you, as the trainer, recognize and spot any gaps in the training that need to be filled. The procedures manual can also include other important things about your firm, depending on the nature of this person’s position, such as key information about vendors, relationships with certain allied professionals, key contacts, scripts and other checklists that might be used to make sure tasks are followed through to completion, etc.

An important part of the procedures manual is that you, the trainer, at some point take the time to review the procedures and make sure that they’re thorough and complete. One way to do this is to utilize the next tip…

Law Firm Staff Training Tip #6: Use a Reverse Job Shadowing Technique.

The reverse job shadowing technique involves you, the trainer, sitting back and observing the staff member do the task. The staff member should utilize his or her procedures manual to follow through each of the steps and verbally walk you through what he or she is doing. Again, this is a great way to spot any loops or holes in the training or their notes about the training, which you can fill by being present while they complete a certain task.

Law Firm Staff Training Tip #7: Encourage Resourcefulness and Opportunities for Improvements.

Another tip for staff training is to encourage resourcefulness and opportunities for improvements in the way that things are done. While you might have a certain set of procedures or tasks that you want to have done a certain way for your firm, make sure to communicate to your staff members that you’re always open for opportunities where things can be done more efficiently or another way. Just be clear that these ideas should be discussed prior to implementation in case you’ve already attempted to try it a certain way and have a specific reason why it did not work out for you.

Law Firm Staff Training Tip #8: Invest in On-Going Training and Skill Development for Your Employees.

Last, but not least, one other tip here is to be willing to invest in on-going training and skill development for your employees. This can range from taking courses to enhance knowledge on how to use certain software, how to handle difficult clients, an HR course to better understand how to manage HR matters, etc. Not only will it show your employee that you’re invested in having him or her work out for the long-run, but it will also benefit you to have these staff members improve their skills and abilities.

As you can see, while it may be cumbersome and tedious, training your staff members properly is an important part to having a successful law practice. You’re only as strong as your weakest link. While we head into December and business may be a little light due to the holidays, you might find it helpful to revisit what kind of staff training and procedures manuals could be developed for each position in your firm.

If you haven’t taken the time to make sure that your staff are properly trained, it’s never too late to start. Utilize the above tips and put together a plan!

Missed Steps 1-4? Check them out here!



We will be holding our tenth and FINAL 2-day live training event for estate planning attorneys – – a program designed to train attorneys on how to set up the proper infrastructure and marketing systems to run a successful practice.

This is the kind of training to develop a successful estate planning practice that you simply don’t get in law school or in any CE courses. >>MORE INFO


Kristina Schneider is the current Executive Director of The Ultimate Estate Planner, Inc. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University in 2004 and was hired right out of college to work for the Law Firm of Kavesh, Minor & Otis, coordinating and facilitating Philip Kavesh’s “Missing Link” Boot Camps while also providing administrative support to Mr. Kavesh as his Executive Assistant for over 7 years. With a combined almost fifteen years of administrative experience and her direct experience working at Mr. Kavesh’s law firm, Kristina has been able to assist numerous estate planning professionals through The Ultimate Estate Planner, Inc. And, equally as important, she has assisted the executive assistants and staff members of many of these estate planning professionals to provide better service and support.

You can reach Kristina at (424) 247-9495 or by e-mail at



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