Over a decade ago, encouraged by his supervisor and driven by a hunch that others in the legal community had the same need, legal application trainer Dennis Holly acted on a vision of a support group for legal technology trainers. At a time when the pace of changing technology was rapidly increasing, trainers found their roles becoming more complex. Dennis believed that gathering together people of similar backgrounds and needs would produce a forum to discuss how other trainers in law firms were handling the demands of training lawyers, secretaries, and staff in the core applications of a law firm.
In October 1991, Dennis founded the Professional Legal Trainers Group (PLTG). At the first meeting, 15 law firm trainers met for a discussion and planning luncheon. At that time, Dennis was a WordPerfect 5.1 trainer at Whitman & Ransom (now Winston & Strawn). The founding members of the PLTG instantly saw the value of discussing their roles and exchanging methodologies for training—and decided to continue meeting on a monthly basis.
Over the next several years, Dennis guided the activities of the group as it steadily grew. Member firms would take turns hosting the burgeoning organization. Most meetings in the early years were luncheons. The group produced by-laws, formed a steering committee comprised of the officers, and established a series of monthly meetings and annual events that helped attract and nurture the membership.
Today the PLTG boasts a membership of over 175 individuals, representing over 50 law firms, legal departments, and technology training & support vendors in the tri-state area. Members include trainers, training consultants and training & support managers, as well as other individuals from information technology departments in metropolitan area law firms. The second Friday of each month (except for August and December), members meet at a breakfast meeting to address a wide range of topics facing the legal training and support industry. A planning meeting is held in January to ensure that meetings will address current topics of interest to members for the year.