Technology purchases are on the rise in the legal industry.Thomson Reuters recently reported that “more than one-half (51%) of the 79 Am Law 200 firms that responded to ALM’s 2015 Am Law-LTN Tech Survey answered ‘yes’ when asked whether they use cloud computing.” Research from legal thought leaders on the future of the legal industry supports adoption of new technology and resources by attorneys. Despite increased technology acquisition in law firms, technology adoption after acquisition has not been as high.
Technology adoption is predicated on the perceived importance and perceived ease of use of the product in the legal industry. Many technology resources marketed for the legal industry were created for other industries, are industry agnostic, or have not included attorneys in the design process. These technology resources are not built for the work attorneys perform and do not account for some of the restrictions and requirements that are important to the legal process. Many tools lack the statistical analysis to drive more dollars and meet client expectations. The goal of valuable legal technology is to take the parts of an attorney’s job that are the least interesting and powerful and replace them with a solution that allows attorneys to be more creative, serve their clients better and drive more revenue for their firm.
In this article, we’ve broken down four key insights attorneys need to know about legal technology so they can effectively use these tools and enhance their practice.
1. Legal technology does not reduce overall billable hours, it allows attorneys to reach more clients.
Valuable technology built for the legal world is not designed to replace the work of attorneys — it’s designed to allow attorneys to focus on high-value substantive legal work rather than administrative tasks. A cloud-based legal tool increases efficiencies and frees up time for attorneys to focus on more revenue-driven tasks, including developing additional clients and increasing work with existing clients. With these resources, clients may refer additional work to attorneys that may not have been accessible due to budget constraints. If attorneys are able to leverage technology that allows them to do more — while decreasing write-offs and increasing realization rates — they can expand their network and profitability.
2. Technology helps attorneys focus more on the powerful tasks, and clients know this.
3. User-led software is crucial to providing a great user experience that can drive adoption.
4. Using technology can aggregate data into reports for companies to have better insight into productivity.