If you’re an attorney in the U.S., LexisNexis is your lifeblood. You rely on the company’s more than 30 terabytes of laws, statutes, and opinions to build your cases. You also count on LexisNexis to cater its information services to your specific area of practice. And with over 100 separate areas of legal practice in existence, that’s a lot of catering.
Enter the LexisNexis sales department. To sell the company’s services effectively, the sales staff must have a fairly sophisticated understanding of legal practices. They also need to be familiar with many different areas of law.
To give its sales team a first-year law student’s understanding of one key practice area—intellectual property law—LexisNexis set out to develop an online course on the subject. Chris Bahns, lead design & technology consultant at LexisNexis, explains: “We needed to educate our sales reps on intellectual property law so they could more confidently speak with our customers.”
But what resulted was much more than a single course. “We wound up developing something much more substantial,” Chris notes. “We built a multi-practice area training platform that changes the way LexisNexis’ sales staff learns about our services.”
Learning Without Limitations
To develop the Practice Area Training Series, Chris and his team turned to Articulate Storyline. Storyline’s simple, powerful tools made creating the modules easy for a team with various experience levels.
“Articulate Storyline let our team organize huge amounts of information, make it engaging, and then deliver it in the smoothest way possible,” said Chris. “Articulate lets us produce anything we can imagine, without limitations.”
The Practice Area Training Series presents complex legal concepts, spanning many different areas of practice, in easy-to-digest courses that are not only effective, but also entertaining. The Intellectual Property module is just one of 14 Practice Area modules used by LexisNexis sales staff, and is part of an ever-growing knowledge repository.
Now, sales reps aren’t inundated with information they don’t need. They can focus on learning about the practice areas most relevant to their customer base. And because the modules were published to HTML5, sales reps can access them via the web from their offices or on iPads when they’re on the road.
Breathing Life into Legalese
Keeping learners engaged with fine print and legal semantics is no easy task. Chris and his team knew they had to make content relevant, easily consumable, and entertaining for their learners.
Making content relevant was simple. They let learners choose practice areas rather than make them learn everything at once in a linear course.
And to make content easily consumable, they stripped out extraneous content, focusing on key concepts that could be used as talking points in sales situations.
To keep learners entertained, the team created video introductions with layered graphics and animation. For example, in one video, an attorney speaks about a high-profile civil suit against a restaurant chain over a photoshopped background of the restaurant, effectively humanizing the subject matter and making it feel more relevant.
“Our learners appreciate how easy it is to learn about the law in easy-to-digest nuggets,” said Chris. “They like that we’ve brought some life into material that can at times be a bit dry and dull.”
In fact, there’s been a flood of positive feedback on the series.
One sales rep raved, “I want to tell you how much I enjoy your training.” Others have praised the series for having a “nice flow” and being “entertaining.” It was even complimented for having “some of the best explanation of practice area content that I’ve ever seen.” The source of that compliment? An actual attorney.
A Continuing Education
LexisNexis has continued to take advantage of the benefits of online training. Because staff can take the training series on both mobile devices and desktop computers, the company saves significant costs on travel and accommodations associated with traditional training methods. What’s more, Articulate Storyline has made it easy for a team of designers with varying experience levels to expand the series.
“Storyline is great for many reasons, but especially because it can be used by both new and advanced designers,” said Chris.
And with the added support of Articulate’s E-Learning Heroes community, the #1 community for course creators, LexisNexis feels confident using Articulate as its e-learning solutions provider.
Chris added, “Articulate’s online community is like no other we’ve seen. With the community and Storyline, we have everything we need to develop courses that make a real impact on our business.”