Technology and your firm
June 28, 2016 at 3:12 PM
It’s an uncomfortable truth: Your firm needs to keep up with technology if you want to stay relevant in the ever-changing law world.
We all know that.
There has been plenty of noise made about it in the industry, with catchphrases like “strategic commitment to innovation” bombarding you from every angle.
But the big questions you need answered are these: What does a strategic commitment to innovation look like in your business, how can it help you and what do you need to do to achieve it?
The most important question to address is the “why.”
Put quite bluntly, ignoring technology will kill your firm. It’s no longer an option.
Your clients buy their insurances, book their holidays and order their groceries online, and they expect their law firm to work in a similar way.
Firms need to step it up if they are to stay ahead, Australasian Legal Practice Management Association president Andrew Barnes said at a recent leadership awards opening.
“There is a fundamental shift underway in how legal services are being purchased and delivered. Lawyers dislike the term, but core legal services are perceived as being more and more commoditised.”
He added that innovation means different things to different people.
“We are seeing firms consistently demonstrate the strategic thinking, vision and commitment to drive new ways of doing things. Genuine innovators are not only seeking greater efficiencies and effectiveness for their firms, but are also leading their profession into unchartered waters.”
Here are three steps that will help you keep ahead of changes.
1. Strive for the elusive paperless office.
How we research, access historic files, communicate with and even bill our clients has changed significantly.
Many of these tasks were previously paper-based and time-consuming, affecting productivity, raising stress levels and ultimately impacting on your bottom line.
Technologies to eliminate paper are readily available – it is up to you to take full advantage of these and give yourself the competitive edge over other firms.
2. Invest in your lawyers
Traditionally, the legal profession has been a slow adapter when it comes to technology.
But the way things are moving now, systems are becoming more intuitive and easy to work with than ever before – it is all about taking the time to train up your lawyers and let them run with it.
Chances are, the fresh-faced new generation of lawyers coming through your doors are already pretty switched-on when it comes to technology and law. If you can’t show you are keeping up with the times, not only will you lose business – you’ll lose lawyers too.
3. Leverage your CPD time
Whether you are new to law-related technologies or actively embracing them, the rapid pace of developments mean there is always something new to learn.
Consider using your CPD time to learn more about technology and your business. There are plenty of options on offer to suit all sizes and types of firms.
And if you’re feeling especially techy – you could even tune in to a webinar. That is the world we are living in, and it’s just waiting for you to reap its benefits.