The legal profession has always been intense, with high-dollar, potentially life-changing outcomes on the line. Caseloads keep increasing in volume and complexity for law firms, and accuracy is paramount. Law firms offering legal services both online and off are the latest trend, and digital business is facilitating the ability to manage all this extra work. It’s no wonder the trend is toward high-tech solutions for law offices that keep them connected even while on the go.

Digital transformation of the legal field already underway

The delivery and billing of services are key areas where mobile technology is revolutionizing attorneys’ offices and law firms. Digitized, standardized processes, hyperconnectivity, and analytics are also driving the digital transformation of the legal field. Beyond shifts related to margins, profits per partner, and business models, upgrading the firm’s core infrastructure is crucial to success going forward. Just like all other modern industries, the law profession is reaching a key tipping point where innovation in order to compete is no longer optional. Today’s digital world is characterized by responsive communication, and mobile technology can maximize digital customer engagement as well as connectivity among staff.

The legal world goes high-tech

Most law firms and attorneys’ offices of all sizes are already well on their way toward engagement in the digital economy. Some firms are adopting cloud solutions – and many others are considering them – for key business processes such as talent management and client engagement. Digital customer engagement improves the client experience and increases satisfaction. Remote access allows staff to use a digital gateway for optimal digital customer engagement. Not surprisingly, mobile technology and applications are making their way into conference rooms and courtrooms. This assists with maximizing productivity, facilitating accurate scheduling, and augmenting the presentation process. Mobile app technology is showing up in all areas of the digital economy, and the legal field is no exception.

Mobile technology facilitates tracking key metrics

Law firms benefit greatly from using statistics and benchmarks to evaluate their staff. While revenue and profits have been the bottom line and the most important marker, today a variety of metrics can be employed to help cultivate as well as predict success in partners and staff. The performance of attorneys can be tracked based on growth and key competencies, including client engagement, teamwork abilities, situational effectiveness, and many other parameters. Making the most of metrics and tracking can help to maximize the potential of each and every attorney on staff. Done well, it can transform the practice. Mobile technology facilitates performance tracking in real time based upon your specified metrics, parameters, and benchmarks.

Online legal services making a surge

The traditional law firm has changed and keeps evolving. Technology is taking what’s possible in legal services to brand new places. For example, companies like LegalZoom and Lawyers on Demand offer legal expertise in the digital world, without the cost overhead of a large brick-and-mortar firm. These models are refining their approach through the integration of mobile capacity to facilitate a digital transformation. Ideal use of technology, a more streamlined workflow, and innovative models for staff have increased efficiency while reducing cost. LegalZoom focuses on legal document preparation but also has full-fledged law firms in countries like the UK.

The Linklaters firm, with 30 offices and 2,000 attorneys in 22 countries, has implemented an online subscription extranet that brings key legal services to clients online. These hybrid models of both online and “real-world” legal services is a hallmark of what to expect in the legal profession going forward. Law firms that succeed will be the ones that pivot and make the most of what technology has to offer them.

Digital transformation and mobile services drive success

The Baker & McKenzie firm is a trusted advisor to top companies worldwide, with 77 offices in 47 countries and 11,000 staff members. Key software solutions allow the fluid support of well over 1,300 daily users in 21 languages. A permission-based reporting portal is easily accessible on the go by fee earners as well as relevant support staff.

Norton Rose Fulbright has integrated cloud-based SaaS (software-as-a-service) solutions. A savings of over $12.5M per year is expected due to higher efficiency organization-wide, as well as improved internal communication, and more effective, personalized engagement with clients.

K&L Gates is a rapidly growing 2,000-lawyer firm that is implementing digital business planning and consolidation solutions to help with optimal, efficient expansion. The firm is implementing customer relationship management tools to help leverage data and analytics for increased success both internally and with clients. They are also using enterprise resource planning financial modules to support optimal profitability in every phase.

Making the most of today’s tech

Maximizing collaboration through hyperconnectivity is one of the specialties of digital tools for attorneys. From in-house communication to more attentive, personalized engagement with clients, digital business is revolutionizing the legal world. Scalability is also key for supporting firms in the ability to scale upward as they grow and expand. Today’s marketplace is more fast-paced and digitally driven than ever before. Digitization and mobile services in the legal field will support a more connected organization, improved communication, a seamless integration of technology, and better service for clients.

Visit our online resource center to learn more about how digital transformation is impacting the legal services industry. While you’re there, download a complimentary copy of the Legal 3.0: Navigating the Trends Driving Changes in an Increasingly Digital Legal Industry white paper.

By Patrice Cappello from Digitalist Magazine.