Driven by the market’s demand for simpler, more convenient, and more affordable solutions, technology is changing the way various sectors are doing business. Take, for instance, how eCommerce has made shopping more personalized and customer-centric than retail in brick-and-mortar stores.
The legal sector is not exempt from this movement — and that’s not exactly a bad thing. For small law firms, technology presents an opportunity to cover wider territories and even be on equal ground with some of their bigger peers. Instead of resisting the flow of change, your law firm should adopt new technologies and benefit from these in the process.
It’s more than just superficial change
The legal sector tends to lag behind in terms of adopting innovations simply because traditional methods often still work. But technology is altering different aspects of law practice — it’s changing human behavior, business models, and even organizational structures. The more you understand these changes and what they entail, the better you will be at adapting to them.
Here are four areas where technology is making a lot of impact:
Your prospective clients now have access to the law firm they want — even if said law firm happens to be abroad. Proximity used to be a significant factor in people’s choice of law firms, but with the internet and communication apps like Skype, that’s no longer the case. These days, people have the ability to contact the lawyer that suits their case, budget, preference, or the one that appears in their Google search.
Traditional networking methods like meeting your clients every so often still work, but you’ll only have so much time on your hands, especially if you’re looking to increase your clientele. Social networks like LinkedIn allow you to stay connected to your clients, post updates, and even communicate with them directly.
Legal practice involves tedious tasks like documentation and data entry. Innovations like customer relationship management (CRM), automation, and machine learning can help you do away with repetitive processes and reduce the risk of human error. With these technologies, you will enhance the efficiency of your law firm and give your lawyers more time and energy to focus on more important tasks.
#4. Customer service
Your legal expertise alone may no longer be enough to attract loyal clients — you should also take customer experience into account. Use data analytics to get to know your clients better so you can tailor your approach to their preferences and needs. From there, you can implement tools like websites and client dashboards to provide positive experiences for your clientele.
It doesn’t happen overnight
Gearing your law firm for a tech-driven world isn’t as easy as renovating a part of your office. It’s not enough to buy new computers or electronic equipment either — adaptation covers all aspects of your company, from your infrastructure down to your lawyers and other staff. The entire process can easily become overwhelming, but these three tips will help you get to a good start:
- Set a goal – Identify what you want your law firm to achieve. Do you want your law firm to attract more people or improve its efficiency? Is your goal to enhance your reputation? Create a roadmap that leads to your goal and identify an individual who will lead and oversee the entire process.
- Get the right people – Investing in tech doesn’t amount to much without experts who can take full advantage of them. If you find hiring a dedicated, in-house team of IT experts to be cost-prohibitive, you can partner with a managed IT services provider (MSP) instead. An MSP monitors your network, boosts your cybersecurity, and can help identify opportunities to augment your law firm’s technological capabilities.
- Change your working approach – Once you have the right equipment and the experts who will put the machines to good use, it’s time to rethink the way your lawyers and staff do their job. Find opportunities to take advantage of the benefits of technology — like flexible working options, for instance — or cover any perceived vulnerability.
Technology is likely to remain a strong driving force behind changes in various industries, including the legal sector. Vertex can help your law firm take full advantage of the benefits of information technology and remain protected from multiple cybersecurity threats. Contact us today to learn how!
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