When “the way I’ve always done it” doesn’t cut it anymore
In a world where technology is constantly being upgraded and permeates every aspect of our lives, it is becoming much easier for law firms to fall behind the times in legal technology adoption that’s quickly becoming the norm.
Additionally, today’s clients are sophisticated and empowered, demanding more bang for their buck. They are pushing to get more value from the services their law firms provide. Advancements in legal technology mean that the range and scope of available solutions are growing by the minute, making it sometimes seem difficult for lawyers to understand and select the best solutions for their firm.
The need to reconcile these two trends has pushed the legal industry to a pivotal point where lawyers recognise that the status quo is no longer good enough and will certainly not guarantee viability in coming years.
Here are 3 red flags that signal change is needed in your firm:
Lack of mobility and flexibility
If you work in a hybrid or remote environment, are you still able to conduct all your daily work tasks? If you answered no, then you may need to review your firm’s setup, especially as clients continue to demand more for less – because taking too long to respond to their enquiries can negatively impact client satisfaction. In this global era where business can be won and lost in an instant, having the flexibility to securely access important information from anywhere and through any device (smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.) is key. And, in a highly competitive market, such inflexibility can negatively impact your reputation, the number of client referrals you receive, and your firm’s bottom line.
Ensuring the security of client communications is not just a regulatory requirement – it is business-critical. Firms should exercise reasonable efforts to minimise the risk of a data breach, preferably through the use of up-to-date technologies with robust data access and security provisions built in. According to a recent analysis of figures from the UK Information Commissioners Office (ICO), more than half of legal sector data breaches in Q3 2021 occurred because information was shared with the wrong person (such as via email, post or phone), which blows a hole in the idea that “it won’t happen to me”.
If you’re still harbouring concerns over online services, even as consumer demand compels technology adoption, it’s time to re-evaluate. Paper-based law offices, unencrypted emails and on-site servers no longer cut it as secure options. Moreover, law firms positioning themselves as secure data repositories retain a potentially significant advantage over their competitors. Both you and your clients will gain peace of mind through adopting an online technology solution that meets the most stringent security standards for the legal industry.
Manual process burdens
Is your firm still operating with the same processes that were used by lawyers in the ‘70s? If you still use paper file storage, scribble your time entries on paper or enter them into spreadsheets, manually calculate legal deadlines and/or manually proofread and format your legal documents the answer is “Yes.”
The next question is “Why?” Your success hinges on producing high-quality legal work and receiving payment for your billable activities. Why, then, would you continue to dedicate valuable time to completing manual processes in your firm? Couldn’t that time be better spent on billable activities, client development, or your own work-life balance? Your competition is already simplifying and automating non-billable administrative work with technology and you will eventually have to make this change to be successful in the long term. Continuing to delay improvements now will only make the change more difficult in the future.
If you recognise one or more of these red flags in your firm, it is time to evaluate current processes and determine how a new, innovative legal technology solution can benefit your firm. You could be leaving money on the table by continuing to do things the way they’ve always been done.