The advantage of better technology in a small law firm

Law firm executives have stressed time and time again that their law firm must have the right technology in place to improve the path to success.

in the my previous post, I highlighted some of the lessons small law firm executives can learn from their peers, though not necessarily from their managing partners. Instead we got the Report to examine the findings that non-lawyers business people may share.

As I mentioned in this previous post, individuals with a different education and experience than lawyers can bring invaluable perspectives to the decision-making process, especially when they are trained business professionals whose sole focus within a law firm is on improving the company’s business.

One of the key areas highlighted by these business professionals who run companies with 50 attorneys or fewer was the need to have the right technology in their businesses. This is, of course, an important finding for law firms of all sizes, but perhaps especially for smaller firms that may not have a dedicated tech officer or even a full-time executive director.

When asked about the risks to the future viability of their firm, 66% of these businesspeople named underperforming lawyers as one of the greatest challenges. In fact, 27% said they had underperforming lawyers high risk to the profitability of their companies.

However, this does not mean that these business leaders do not trust their law firms’ lawyers; Rather, it just seems to be an indicator that some lawyers lack the right tools to provide their clients with greater productivity, service, and performance.

Given the uncertainty of today’s world, I think that maybe this is especially true. As the pandemic progressed, many small law firm attorneys had to try to catch up with the technological requirements of remote working; and, more importantly, struggled to keep up with their customers’ digital interactions. These challenges presented a series of real struggles that require more meaningful adoption of technology in law firms of all sizes, but perhaps more so in smaller firms.

Approach the technical challenge

This technological skill challenge is familiar to many of these small business leaders – in fact, it is a challenge they want to face. About 46% of those surveyed Executives in small law firms Report said they will “definitely” use technology in the coming year to cut costs. In fact, increasing the use of technology was the most cited step in improving performance. And the pandemic has also helped clarify that need: 73% of respondents said they are focused on making greater use of technology elevated based on their experiences in 2020.

The Executives in small law firms The report provides a good look at the types of technologies these companies are using or planning to deploy. The vast majority of small law firm managers report that their law firms have implemented essential technical tools, such as: B. Legal research technology (79% of respondents say so); Websites and internet presence tools (70%); eBilling solutions (67%); and financial management systems (64%).

But I think the more important story lies in the minority companies that report they have it no plan to adopt such basic technologies. Of these small law firms, 12% say they do not plan to use tools such as website or web presence tools, with an identical percentage avoiding any type of eBilling technology. In addition, a dramatically larger percentage, 58%, said they had no plans to adopt client relationship management technology.

It’s not that these business leaders don’t understand the potential benefits of better technology. In the same survey, the top two reasons respondents cited for adopting better technology were productivity: I) to reduce the time it takes to complete tasks – a major problem for lawyers in small law firms who need to spend more time practicing the law; and ii) to achieve long-term cost savings.

Companies that are reluctant to switch to this type of business-enhancing technology run the risk of falling behind their competitors. In a market where 63% of the small law firms say that it is a challenge to keep up with the competition of other law firms, and that other small law firms are easy to use than that greatest source of competitionAll another small law firm does is your law firm Not imminent competitive disadvantages arise.

The reverse is also true, of course. If your company does something that your competitors don’t, then your company will be the one that will stand out from the crowd, especially in the minds of customers.

The opinions expressed are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of Reuters News, which are committed to trust principles of integrity, independence and bias. The Thomson Reuters Institute is owned by Thomson Reuters.

Mark Haddad

Mark Haddad has spent the last 17 years of his career at Thomson Reuters and currently serves as the general manager of the Small Law Firm business in TR’s legal business. Prior to his current position, Haddad was vice president of the Government Sales and Client Management Channel. Prior to running the government channel organization, he was vice president of the corporate segment within the legal department. Haddad began his legal career as an associate with Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly (now Fox Rothschild), specializing in M&A and public securities. He received his JD and BSB degrees from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, Minneapolis.

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