Legal technology isn’t the first and most pressing concern on the minds of partners when they consider how to drive growth. It is, however, one of the top six areas legal firms struggling to adapt should focus on, according to the 2018 Report on the State of the Legal Market.
This year’s report included a great deal of insight into the state of the industry. For example, aside from the need to adopt effective legal technology, firms also need to pay attention to the way they manage legal work processes, pricing, leverage, and client relationships.
Apart from these areas, staffing and the increase of millennials in law firms is also influencing the way firms are evolving. An article by Law.com points to a newer, more hands-on approach in the way millennial lawyers want to be reviewed, and larger firms have already done away with older annual reviews in favor of “flash feedback.”
Work-life balance is another important part of the millennial profile, one which firms must find better ways to accommodate their future leaders.
Legal technology influences growth
Our experience has shown that legal technology solutions, such as Qorus, make a significant impact in firms. And the positive effect of having the right technology in your firm is echoed throughout various studies on workforce productivity.
In the Thompson Reuters Legal Executive Institute’s November 2017 study, analysis of firms between 2014 and 2016 revealed that they fell into two pools: ‘dynamic’ and ‘static.’ Dynamic firms increased indirect expenses by investing in marketing and business development, and technology which helped them grow, while static firms didn’t make similar investments and therefore missed the opportunity to grow.
Is yours a dynamic or static firm?
Many of the challenges faced by firms at the start of the decade are still present today. What’s more, fewer firms are adopting measures which allow them to become more competitive.
Consider technology and how your firm uses it over time. According to IDC, knowledge workers spend 13% of their time collaborating, 16% creating documents, and another 15% sharing information. Time lost searching for documents in email, local and network storage devices, and cloud platforms adds more weight to an already-stressed legal operation.
Four levers to pull to increase productivity in your law firm
Doom and gloom aside, there is sufficient evidence that law firms need to find smarter solutions to managing information, processes, and enhancing productivity. If your firm is looking for a way to achieve all three, here are four tips on how to do so by leveraging the right law firm software.
- Cut down on the time it takes to manage content. This includes creating easily-accessible knowledge libraries with the right controls to ensure that legal matters, tombstones, and attorney bios are always up-to-date and accurate.
When Kramer Levin’s CMO Jennifer Manton reached out to us, she wanted a way to speed up their business development management cycle. We helped Kramer Levin save 30% more time on managing documentation. This also translated into an increase in pitch output by about 25%.
Read the case study: Qorus and Kramer Levin create next-generation legal pitch management solution.
- Streamline collaboration. Make it easy for attorneys to contribute to legal matters in a simpler fashion. Using emails to track comments and chase knowledge experts for input while trying to manage version control is infeasible.
A simple solution like Qorus’ real-time collaboration feature allows legal firms to manage knowledge sharing in one place, without the document management and version control challenges.
Knowledge experts are assigned specific sections of legal matters where they need to contribute, and all progress is managed through a dashboard which is designed to keep law firms constantly updated.
- Leverage your technology ecosystem. Some of the largest expenses involved in transforming a business’s technology infrastructure have to do with a lack of application interoperability – at least, this was the case a decade ago.
Today, more applications are being developed to work within technology ecosystems. For example, the Office 365 Add-in for Qorus integrates directly with Microsoft Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
This means that you no longer have to leave these Microsoft applications to cycle through trees of folders and network drives to find a specific piece of information. You can build emails, proposals, pitches and presentations, as well as spreadsheets from within these applications.
- Get analytical. Another characteristic of dynamic legal firms is that they pay attention to data. Being able to tell exactly which information is being shared or used frequently within your firm shows you what your team is spending most of their time on.
Consequently, if you’re ever worried about where your team is losing time searching for important information, you should be able to figure this out too.
Having a complete overview of the number of hours spent on managing information and documents becomes invaluable. One way we help legal firms keep tabs on where their teams are spending time is by giving them the ability to track the above through a management dashboard. You can track hours spent of producing documents and spot any information gaps holding your team back from being more efficient.
See a complete list of features from Qorus that your firm can benefit from here.
The legal industry is moving through a challenging time, and the need to find smarter ways to cut costs and enhance workforce productivity is growing. To become dynamic and create an environment for millennial lawyers to thrive, legal firms will have to turn to more efficient legal technology and adapt to be able to weather the transformation of the industry.