Legal Technology in 2022: 3 Little-Known Reasons Law Firms Will Thrive in the Digital Transformation

Anywhere law firms apply technology, they streamline and speed up legal services. Law firm leaders no longer fear that technological efficiency will cut into billable hours and reduce income. They’ve seen that legal technology supports lawyers and enhances the delivery of legal services, enabling law firms to:  

  • Serve more clients as lawyers and staff reallocate saved hours. 
  • Understand client needs more accurately and serve clients more efficiently.  
  • Determine the most profitable areas to expand services into, which often translates to lawyers performing more work that requires higher levels of legal analysis, i.e., more work that is billed at higher rates.  

These are among the many reasons law firms will continue to embrace legal technology throughout 2022 and beyond. Below, we’ll dive deeper into three little-known yet rewarding reasons law firms will continue to thrive through digital transformation. 

1) Law firm technology helps firms serve more clients more effectively. 

Law firms that adopt legal technology shave hours off attorney workloads. In the past, partners would email workload queries to firm administrators, then wait for answers. Today, partners can simply refer to their one-stop dashboards that track their most relevant KPIs. Or they can run ad-hoc queries themselves. Charts and graphs provide context at a glance. 

Partners get the answers they need, then quickly return to billable activities. Saving time is as simple as spending seconds to get an answer that used to cause delays of hours or even days because the answers were locked up in the finance department.  

Digitize to increase processes speed and reallocate more hours 

Legal technology also helps lawyers and staff save time and effort by automating processes such as:  

  • tracking billable hours, pre-populating timesheets, and enforcing billing guidelines 
  • reviewing and routing prebills for faster invoicing 
  • sending timely notifications to keep workflows on track 
  • tracking, gathering, and reporting financial and performance data 
  • tracking budgets and flagging budget variances 

Digitizing activities also ensures they’re performed consistently, accurately, and on time every time. This prevents future disruptions, saving even more time and effort.  

Yes, streamlined operations may reduce an individual client’s billable hours. And won’t those clients be happy to hear it! The key is that streamlined operations also significantly increase a firm’s capacity to deliver more services to more clients. That not only boosts the firm’s bottom line—existing clients are happier, and more individuals and companies get the legal help they need. It’s a win-win-win all around. 

2) New law firm technology = enhanced digital security. 

Data breaches and cyberattacks permeate the day’s headlines. The number of law firms reporting a security breach increased from 26% in 2019 to 29% in 2020, according to the annual ABA TechReport, and 36% report experiencing an infection from viruses, spyware, or malware. 

Savvy cybercriminals abound and law firms are lucrative targets. Meanwhile, aging hardware and IT infrastructure are vulnerable to security issues. Regulatory volatility and remote work challenges add to your data privacy headaches. 

Evaluate your legal technology partner’s security measures  

Strong vendor collaboration is now a critical aspect of ensuring adequate digital security. Ultimately, your law firm’s risk prevention measures remain only as strong as those of your technology partners.  

Purchasing new law firm technology tools provides an ideal opportunity to evaluate your technology partners’ security measures. 

  • Do they have effective security controls and policies in place? 
  • Do they use continuous monitoring tools to protect sensitive data? 
  • Do they conduct vulnerability scans on a regular basis? 
  • Do they keep their support team members up to date with the latest security training?  

Vendors who cannot effectively protect law firms from cyberattacks do not last. When you purchase technology from a vendor who keeps their finger on the pulse of digital security, you significantly enhance your firm’s security measures as well.  

3) Legal tech modernization helps law firms attract and keep top talent. 

For 76% of legal professionals, the ability to attract and retain talent is one of three top trends that will be most impactful in the next three years. Leading firms are building the tech-enabled work environments that appeal to and empower today’s top lawyers. You enable attorneys to do their best work by supporting them with technology that: 

  • Automates the low-value, redundant tasks that burn out lawyers’ patience and enthusiasm. 
  • Enables more efficient connections among previously siloed systems to give lawyers fast access to information and resources. 
  • Analyzes data to discover the most profitable work avenues to pursue and the most effective strategies to deliver legal services. 

Remove bias from workplace decisions 

Technology enables firms to distribute workloads and allocate resources based on data-driven insights, not office politics. As more lawyers work from home, the imperative to remove bias from workplace decisions increases. In an equitable work environment, law firm partners and unit managers have the technology to make analytics-driven decisions that create consistent and uniform experiences across the firm, i.e., a safe environment where top performers can thrive. 

Drive higher performance rates 

Analytics also helps you quickly spot low performers, enabling you to remedy the situation long before year’s end. Firm leaders may opt to provide lawyers with insight into their performance rates. Lawyers can check their dashboards each day or run periodic reports to see whether they’re on track to meet their goals and how they stack up against others. Some lawyers then strive to earn the highest performance rates—a goal you can incentivize in a friendly, collaborative manner.  

Hundreds of leading law firms, including over half of the Am Law Top 50, continue to rely on products and services from Iridium to attract and retain top talent while improving client efficiency throughout 2022 and beyond.  
 
Are you ready to future-proof your firm with a dynamic BI platform that prioritizes your security? Schedule your free, personalized demo today.  

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