In Part I of this article, we touched on some of the major technological innovations and ways that law firms are starting to embrace big ideas for law firm growth and management through the use of new technologies. Like at Aderant, where CompuLaw and Handshake are revolutionizing workflow for law firms, the practice of law is finally embracing how technology and innovation can create a more efficient and profitable law firm environment. Here are some other innovations that law firms are adopting to improve their practices and how their businesses are run:
Innovation Comes From the Top
One of the biggest drivers of change occurs when the innovation comes from the top. Once senior partners and other influencers in the law firm embrace the ideas of new technology in the workplace, innovation becomes easier and more acceptable for others at the firm to adopt. Leaders that take innovation seriously and are actively involved in the changes are more likely to succeed.
Using One Big Project to Enact Change
Another way that law firms are enacting change is by introducing new technologies and innovation through one big project instead of doing it incrementally over time. By taking the opportunity to enact innovation firmwide, say through the introduction of new billing software or by installing data protection, it makes the next innovation and the one after that much easier for everyone at the firm to adopt.
Changing Who Touches Tech
With the changing technology in the law firm workplace, who touches the technology is also changing. In decades past, the administrative assistant and back office were the only ones touching technology in a law firm setting. Now, with the introduction of systems that are helpful and usable for attorneys, the lawyers are also touching and interacting with the technology at the firm.
Marketing and Engagement Online
The introduction of the internet opened up a new avenue for law firm marketing and feedback from clients. Employee and client engagement is now more important than ever, including soliciting that feedback online as well as tracking consumer feedback through review sites like Yelp. If you fail to engage or utilize feedback, your online presence could suffer. As such, law firms will be implementing technology and innovations that will allow them to constantly gain continuous feedback both in person and online.
Helping all Employee Understand the Business Side
Finally, one of the last big ideas for the future of law is widespread education across the firm about how the business of the law firm operates. This includes understanding margins, profits, and how the firm makes it money. Managing margins means watching the time and labor that goes into the legal work product and being transparent about how certain decisions can drastically affect the bottom line. By applying margin management across a practice group or firmwide can significantly improve the bottom line for everyone.