How gamification tools can revolutionise the legal sector
By Sarah Byrom
Sarah Byrom discusses how gamification and web-based editors are transforming HR within the legal sector
Within HR, there are a number of emerging trends informing practice within the sector. Among these, few have provided as many opportunities as gamification. It’s clear law firms can apply this technology to overcome challenges and transform the legal sector.
Working as a legal HR Consultant at Construct, a browser-based game engine that allows users to build their own games without prior knowledge, has highlighted the importance of embracing gamification and how this practice can be applied to transform the legal sector.
Within our roles in HR, we spend a lot of time identifying talent. For those just starting their career and for graduates, career development is an incredibly important factor that’s considered when taking a position and a crucial part of retaining a workforce that remains motivated.
The potential of gamification is phenomenal when it comes to recruitment and selection and gives teams the opportunity to truly assess the aptitude of an applicant through the use of simulation games.
During the hiring process it’s vital for managers to see potential employees as individuals, not just a CV and a list of qualifications and to be able to make informed choices about who they’re bringing into the firm.
HR teams see so many people applying for positions but from a CV and cover letter it’s not always easy to see how they might fit in with the workplace culture, which is why it can be incredibly useful to utilise tools, such as gamification, to highlight well-suited individuals before the recruitment process goes even further.
Simulation style games, produced through web-based gamification platforms, can vastly benefit recruitment, allowing potential employers to see the decisions made by new recruits across a wide array of situations.
Many of these gamification platforms enable hirers and managers to see the decisions being made in real-time, which reveals elements of the reasoning behind each choice and offering even further insight into each candidate.
With more graduates getting ready to take their first steps into law, using gamification makes it incredibly easy to showcase the diversity of law in a modern way.
Graduates need to ensure the firm they are in talks with is the right fit for them before making such a serious decision; through the use of gamification, teams can provide them with the information needed to confidently make their choice.
Games that can take you through the firm lifecycle, showcase the various career development pathways, or even just highlight the style of case you’re likely to encounter on a day-to-day basis can be eye opening for those that have never experienced what life is like in a law firm.
With the constant development of case law and legal technologies, it’s important recruitment processes and training within the industry continue to evolve too and showcase the modernising industry for what it is.
With a considerable number of court cases taking place on a daily basis, case law is ever evolving and developing. This makes it an incredibly important element for teams to study and implement into their training.
Keeping on top of developments in case law isn’t always easy with a packed schedule – which is why it’s important to simplify delivery of this information.
Gamification based training has a proven track record of promoting knowledge retention and productivity and the legal sector is no exception to this. Browser-based platforms, allow those delivering employee training to produce their own games in a matter of hours, leading to the gamification of the latest rulings, which users can experience and re-live again and again.
By using simulation games, game mechanisms can be implemented into day-to-day situations, allowing users to experience life-like scenarios and play them through as if they were real.
Criminal law is often seen as the ‘exciting’ branch of law – it’s the one with cult podcast followings and quite often the branch that hooks people in, but by using gamification techniques and software, we can also showcase previously overlooked areas of law such as civil law and corporate law.
By programming software to feature high profile cases, such as Depp v Heard, it’s possible to generate increased public interest in these other areas of law, encouraging individuals to consider a legal career.
Practising lawyers can also use this technology to hone their skills outside the courtroom, applying what they’ve learnt to these classic cases in order to develop and improve on their reasoning and overall practice.
Ensuring legal teams are keeping on top of training and contributing to a range of CPD yearly is vital within the sector.
Often, these training courses cover a diverse range of topics and often require teams to take time out of their day to participate, something that can often be difficult during busy periods and hard to coordinate when ensuring everybody can attend the same session.
Alongside working to create training time slots that suit everyone, it’s also important for training course providers to consider the delivery of their training to ensure it engages and appeals to those taking part.
Although some may be able to pick up a great deal from the classic presentation style delivery, this approach does not always benefit those who may need a refresher or something more personalised.
By gamifying training, employees can take part in these critical sessions at a time that best suits them, using engaging and effective materials to ensure knowledge retention. Some gamification providers are able to incorporate features such as avatars and experience points, creating a platform that can serve as a global portal.
With many law firms working across multiple territories, global portals can be a valuable tools when it comes to evaluating the skill set of an individual, alongside considering those of the overall workforce. Having a platform that can allow those in managerial roles to visualise the skills and skill shortages within each region can support teams in identifying and moving around specific talent.
Many teams at law firms simply cannot sacrifice hours of their day to commit to training courses, which can lead to certain topics being neglected.
By transforming the delivery of once ‘dry’ topics, gamification can provide flexibility of delivery and serve as a motivator for those required to take part. By incorporating traditional game elements, such as experience points and leader boards, it’s possible to bring in that fun, competitive element that can see teams taking greater ownership of their learning and development.
It's also important to consider the use of gamification for practice. Making mistakes in the legal sector can lead to real consequences and ramifications for both clients and those in the profession. By providing teams with an environment to practice and test out different approaches without the risk, such as a gamified version of a court case, firms are able to give their teams the opportunity to build their confidence and knowledge base without repercussions.
Sarah Byrom is HR Consultant at Construct construct.net