Professionalism Committees are dedicated to fostering and advancing ethical and professional conduct for lawyers and firms in their respective jurisdictions.
One of the more exciting areas of professionalism in recent years has been the use of lawyer and firm self-assessments as a means to heighten self awareness and, ultimately, to improve performance and professional conduct. However, only a few jurisdictions have successfully launched such programs.
Despite the potential benefits, why has deployment and use of self-assessments been limited? Here, we briefly describe the challenges we have observed during 10 years as consultants in the legal regulatory domain, and a proposed solution.
The following are some of the challenges faced when implementing self-assessment programs:
- Confidentiality concerns: How can organizations make use of assessment results to inform future program development while maintaining the confidence of lawyers?
- Cumbersome assessment formats: How can organizations maximize the intelligence gained by surveys while minimizing lawyers’ time?
- Asking the right questions: What does an effective self-assessment look like? What is the best way to answer questions to maximize the value of the information collected?
- Encouraging self-improvement: Beyond self-reflection, how can organizations encourage additional actions by lawyers and firms to improve in key areas?
- Monitoring effectiveness: Does the self-assessment really improve performance and professional conduct?
Addressing the challenges above was Standpoint’s primary focus when developing a self-assessment platform purpose-built for lawyers and the organizations that support them. It took several years of theoretical information design, implementation and real-world testing to get to where we are today with AvvyPro.
In our development we cover what we think are necessary table stakes in delivering an effective assessment:
- Simple, dedicated web access via any internet connected device. eg. YOUR-BAR.avvy.pro
- 100% user confidentiality. No personally attributable information is ever shared with anyone – even AvvyPro, unless a user explicitly agrees.
- Ready-to-use assessment questionnaire content. Created by lawyers and vetted for statistical validity, AvvyPro comes preloaded with an assessment questionnaire that can be used as is or customized to meet jurisdictional requirements.
- Anonymized, aggregate reporting. Legal organizations receive aggregate reporting on professional performance, which is invaluable for developing or adjusting future CPD programs.
- Effectiveness monitoring. Organizations have access to reports that illustrate trends in important indices of professional behavior.
- Personalized CPD resources. AvvyPro uses survey scores to generate personalized reports that include links to the most relevant public or private CPD resources available in the jurisdiction.
- Effortless deployment and low touch management. Just distribute the custom web link to lawyers via email or website page, and you’re done. Anonymized aggregate reporting begins immediately via your dashboard.
Interested in further investigating self-assessments for your community of lawyers? Best way to get started is to put yourself in their shoes. Register and try out the first section in the professional self-assessment, and see for yourself the experience your lawyers will have.