Historically, the legal profession has been gun shy — reluctant to adopt technology with the ability to provide law firms a competitive advantage. However, with the recent rise in technological solutions customized for the legal sector, that’s rapidly changing.
How Can Technology Give a Law Firm a Competitive Advantage?
Innovative technical solutions are helping law firms move away from the antiquated paper-based ways of doing things.
Some naysayers might say that cutting edge technology is only for multimillion-dollar law firms. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
In today’s world, technological solutions can give small to medium-sized companies a leg up on their bigger competitors.
Go Beyond Information Technology
Savvy law firms invest in the cutting-edge technology that’ll take their company to the next level. They gain a competitive advantage through automating processes that dramatically increase their efficiency.
If you want to stay competitive, you’ll have to go way beyond information technology when you adopt new solutions at your law firm.
This means technology customized for your law firm’s precise set of circumstances. To accomplish this, you’re going to have to think in radically different ways.
For example, law firms tend to compartmentalize their IT department, which keeps it from being integrated with the rest of the company. Think of it instead as a laboratory where innovative solutions to your unique problems are birthed.
Make sure your IT people have the ingenuity to develop new technology that adds value to established processes. If they can’t do that, there are companies out there that can do it for you.
The key is to pinpoint areas where your procedures can be improved.
This will help to increase client satisfaction, making your law firm that much more profitable.
This includes systems for automating the due diligence process, document automation for managing contract review, and better secure file sharing.
Another thing to look at is how well your document synchronization process is working.
This means that whenever a new document is uploaded, it’s synchronized for all users across the platform. This is a gigantic time saver and ensures that everyone has access to the latest version of documents.
Suppose you have the internal resources to pull off technological solutions like these. In that case, you’ll stand head and shoulders above those firms in a more primitive stage of their technological evolution.
You’ll also cut down on your unbillable hours, which means you can provide more value for your clients.
Digitize Your Files
It’s hard to believe, but this is still not universally done at U.S. law firms.
Here are a couple of startling statistics for you:
- 88% of firms said that their work would be more efficient if it was digitized;
- More than a third of firms keep more than 75% of their paper files on-premises.
Are you one of the many law firms in this country that have mountains of paper files?
If so, get them digitized ASAP.
Many lawyers are more comfortable dealing with paper files. However, reviewing electronically stored documents is so much easier than looking over print documents. Plus, storing files on your premises leaves them unprotected from damage, such as a pipe that bursts from freezing, or a building fire.
Mountains of files take up precious office space. Rent paid toward storing hardcopy files is wasteful and unnecessary. The answer isn’t storing files off-site, but eliminating them entirely.
Storing sensitive legal documents on a secure online file sharing platform that seamlessly integrates with your internal document management system is far more secure than carrying the printed documents around. Compliant, encrypted solutions such as NetDocuments make this possible, as well as practice management solutions such as LEAP Legal Software.
Any technology solution you implement should allow you to share documents with clients, further adding to your firm’s value proposition.
The ultra-competitive times we’re living in demand that law firms develop customized technology solutions that differentiate themselves from their rivals. Circle Management Group can evaluate your firm’s level of technology adoption and provide a roadmap and path forward. Together with our Strategic Partners, including WCA Technology, we can recommend technology investments that provide real ROI for you and your law firm. Contact us today.