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How McCarter & English Flipped the Classroom with Clients

How McCarter & English used blended learning to make a client event more engaging.

Client training events have several benefits. They add value for existing clients, serve as business development opportunities and demonstrate the expertise of the firm and its lawyers.

However, lectures and panel discussions aren’t very engaging.

That’s why David Sorin, Co-Chair of the Venture Capital and Emerging Growth Companies practice at McCarter & English, wanted to try something different.

“We’re always looking for effective ways to engage with clients, and we liked the idea of moving away from lectures in favor of more engaging, interactive formats,” Dave said.

“Blended learning is something we’re increasingly using in our associate training programs and we thought there was no reason it couldn’t apply to client events,” he added.

The Event

Dave partnered with Hotshot and his firm’s marketing team to plan and run a client training program called “Venture Capital Term Sheets: Company and Investor Perspectives”. They invited a group of startup founders and VCs.

The session was designed as a flipped classroom program, which means that attendees were sent materials covering the basics before the session so that Dave and the group could have a substantive discussion of the issues at the session.

Here’s a short summary of what they did:

  • People that RSVP’d yes were sent links to a short Hotshot video on venture capital term sheets and a related hypothetical, and were asked to watch the video and read the hypo.
  • At the event, Dave led a group discussion around the issues raised by the materials.
  • There was no long lecture and everyone got to discuss the issues, creating an interactive learning environment.
  • Client feedback was extremely positive.

Dave said that after the event, many McCarter clients commented to him that they really appreciated the program, not only for its contents, but also for its unique presentation style.

One CEO told Dave, "we came away with key points to consider in connection with our pending capital raise, and the presentation was so different and engaging."