Smart technology has been moving out of the realm of science fiction and into the real world of everyday life for some time, from smartphone apps that can switch your oven on remotely on the commute home, to virtual assistants that can turn lights off with a voice command, answer questions or even tell jokes. Now, as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools like ChatGPT are hitting the headlines for being able to paint impressive pictures or write convincing essays, it’s clear that technology has taken a major step forward once again.
Law firms cannot fail to be affected sooner or later by the march of technological development and digitalisation. “Resistance is futile,” to quote the famous line from Star Trek: The Next Generation. It makes sense to embrace change proactively in order to seize the competitive advantage.
Indeed, being tech-savvy is a quality that clients are increasingly looking for in their legal advisers. According to the latest 2022 State of the Legal Market report, digital skills are seen by clients as being just as important for lawyers as having a deep understanding of their business or possessing commercial acumen. As the report notes: “While this doesn’t mean clients expect their outside counsel to become tech experts, clients do expect that their lawyers would be able to recognise which technology solution to implement in order to solve a particular challenge that the client is facing.” In short, they want lawyers to take an innovative yet pragmatic approach to client work and – by extension – to client relationships more broadly.
Why should I adopt new tech tools?
Adopting the right tech tools is about problem-solving, yes. But it’s really about finding ways to do a greater job for clients while making their lives easier by streamlining their interactions with their lawyers and giving them more visibility and control over their matters. By adopting more efficient and collaborative ways of working, clients are likely to become ‘stickier’, forming long-lasting partnerships with their external legal advisers.
Taking this one step further, what if doing all this for clients benefits the firm directly in other ways? Think of improved processes, reduced time spent on mundane, repetitive (and unbillable) tasks, rationalised workflows and improved transparency.
What if the end result is that lawyers are empowered to work smarter, not harder? That would boost lawyers’ morale, job satisfaction and professional development, as well as increase retention, team-building and internal co-operation – not to mention improving the firm’s overall productivity and profitability.
What’s the solution?
Thankfully for law firms, the future of legal technology is already here with HighQ—the legal operations and business management software that simplifies and automates legal processes, enhancing legal project management and client engagement as it does so.
HighQ provides a platform from which teams can share information and access critical files, collaborate on documents, organise data and establish workflows that ensure matters keep moving forward, with the right input from the right people at the right time. And all within a secure environment, with robust protections and granular permissions settings built-in.
Client portals or virtual data rooms can be created to provide a dedicated, personalised area for all an individual client’s work or to house specific matters or deals, so that clients can go in and view the status of their work or take action such as asking questions or commenting on documents. Additionally, relevant third parties can be given access if required. Automatic alerts can be set up to flag important dates or prompt a particular action, and progress reports can be automated so that they can be created and circulated with ease. Even better, data can be displayed on dashboards in real time for all relevant stakeholders to see.
Collaboration, productivity and security are key
Importantly, HighQ is designed to integrate seamlessly with your existing tech tools such as 3E, Practical Law, Contract Express, Microsoft® Office 365, SharePoint and DocuSign® as just a few examples. And because it has been built with collaboration, productivity and security in mind, it can be accessed with confidence anywhere, anytime from any device, making it ideal for today’s working world where hybrid and remote working have become the norm.
The thought of embracing technology can be uncomfortable for some, but it can be a powerful enabler that delivers many benefits. In the legal sector, the shift into digitalisation is inevitable and tech tools are advancing all the time. Legal expertise alone is no longer enough to stand out from the crowd: clients expect their lawyers to be dynamic leaders in the tech revolution too. Change is happening. Don’t let it leave you behind.
To find out more about HighQ and its use-cases, including how it can be deployed for bespoke client services, legal project management, contract lifecycle management, claim litigation management and dispute resolution, watch our six-part HighQ use case on-demand webinar series here.