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Incentivizing Efficient Legal Services

WHAT IS THE LEGAL TECH ASSESSMENT?

The LTA assesses how well timekeepers and staff use basic law practice technology, such as word processing and spreadsheets, to complete commonly encountered legal tasks.

WHY REQUEST LTA SCORES?

The information provided by the LTA can be used in many ways. For example, law firms may want to use the results as part of annual reviews or as a way to incentivize technological efficiency and lower costs. Strong results can be marketed to clients and improve a law firm’s bottom line. Clients may want to use the information when selecting law firms for particular types of legal work or when negotiating appropriate hourly rates.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE LEGAL TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT

  • PROFESSIONAL EDITION FAQ's

  • LAW SCHOOL EDITION FAQ's

Professional Edition

What is the Legal Tech Assessment (“LTA”)?

The LTA assesses how well timekeepers and staff use basic law practice technology, such as word processing and spreadsheets, to complete commonly encountered legal tasks. The tasks are embedded in assignments that constitute a single, continuous work flow. The test takers will finalize a redlined investors’ rights agreement (word processing). They will then be given data on dividend payments to investors to investigate whether payments were made equally to all investors (spreadsheets). Finally, they will prepare an e-filing attaching the agreement and spreadsheet (PDF).

The results of the LTA demonstrate how proficient, or not, a legal professional is with the basic technological tools at their disposal. The results can be used to assess individuals, as well as teams (e.g., a practice group) and organizations (e.g., a law firm). The individual results of the LTA can be used to create tailored training plans. The aggregate results can be used as one measure of how efficiently work is being done.

The LTA is not a game of gotcha. The LTA assesses core, labor-saving features of common software. A list of features that may be on the LTA are here and here. In addition, we offer free access and a free trainers companion to any law firm or legal department trainer as long as they agree not to create a walkthrough—i.e., we want users to get trained and pass, but we don’t want anyone to provide step-by-step instructions so that users can pass without actually learning.

Who should take the LTA?

Legal professionals who spend an appreciable percentage of their time working at a computer should take the LTA to ensure they utilize technology to deliver accurate, efficient client service and do not waste their own time on unnecessary tasks that can be handled more effectively by common software.

How is the LTA scored?

Time. The time taken on each assignment will be compared to various benchmarks—target time, average time of all test takers, median time, etc.

The LTA tracks both time and accuracy. For ease of digestion, accuracy is translated into time. The assumption is that, eventually, the test takers (or their firms) are going to get it right. But getting it right will require extra time. Thus, if test takers simply skip the task or get it wrong, they are assessed a time penalty instead of their actual time. The time penalty equates to how long inefficient users would take to perform the task.

Why request LTA scores

Law firms may want to use the results as part of training initiatives or annual reviews to promote technological efficiency, lower costs, or increase realizations. LTA results also can be used to identify internal experts in particular applications and serve as a basis for assembling teams with complementary skills. Strong results can be marketed to clients and help improve a law firm’s realization rates.

Clients may use LTA results in isolation or as a part of more comprehensive RFP. Clients can use LTA data when selecting law firms, or teams within a firm, for particular types of legal work. In addition, LTA results can be used to negotiate appropriate hourly rates or to assist in the review of matter invoices.

Do I need specific software?

For the time being, the LTA can only be administered in Windows. You are tested in a completely live environment, your own or one provided by your firm/company. The application installs a Word plugin and opens mock documents for you on your computer. You can use whatever software is available to you to complete the assigned tasks. More detailed tech specs can be found here.

What about customized ribbons and third-party add-ons

No problem. The LTA only grades results. Is the final product correct? If so, how long did it take to get there? How you get to the end result is up to you.

What does the LTA cost?

LTA scores are free to clients. Prices for LTA administration vary based on the type of entity requesting the LTA (e.g., law department, law firm, government agencies, non-profits) and the number of people who will be assessed. Please contact us for a quote.

What does the license cover?

The LTA license is active for a year. Within that year, users can take the LTA an unlimited number of times.

The LTA requires the installation of an EXE file on the computer that will be used for the assessment. This file can be easily installed by the test taker or the test taker’s IT department, creating several shortcuts on the test taker’s desktop. Each shortcut launches a different LTA assessment module. When a test taker is ready to take the LTA, the test taker clicks on the applicable LTA shortcut, launching the LTA platform. The LTA platform is a digitally-signed, application-level plug-in for Microsoft Word. The plug-in utilizes a custom task pane to control progress through each LTA assignment. The LTA content consists of standard application files (.docx, .xlsx, .pdf) that are installed in a custom directory and used throughout the course of the LTA.

LTA Technical Specifications

OS Requirements:
Windows Vista or Later
Software Requirements:
Microsoft Word 2007 or later
Microsoft Excel 2007 or later
Adobe Acrobat Version 9 or Later
Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Office (VTSO)*
*Freely available online directly from Microsoft. The LTA EXE file will install VSTO if it is not already present on the subject computer.
Network Requirements:
Active internet connection
Ports 443 & 990 (for SSL over http) available

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Register here for either the Professional edition or Law School edition of the assessment.

Professional Edition
Educational Edition
Request a score from a lawyer or firm
Ask your lawyer or law firm to take the LTA

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