Technology has and will continue to change the practice of law. While implementing legal technology into your firm may warrant some unexpected challenges, it can also offer significant long-term benefits. By proactively embracing the world of technology, law firms can become more efficient, productive, and, best of all, profitable.
The Unexpected Challenges to Adopting New Technology in Law Firms
Technology is reshaping the legal practice at an incredible velocity. This includes online case management systems, e-discovery, filing, regulatory technology, and confidential email correspondence with the aptitude to send large files. These solutions are powered by advanced cutting-edge technology like machine learning, artificial intelligence, analytical forecasting, blockchain, and cloud services.
Technological adoption doesn’t mean you need to reface and reconstruct your entire operation completely. Take advantage of technology to pull critical data from documents, quickly sort through case material with pinpoint searches, and implement smart contracts into your legal work. Be selective; only use technology that works best for your systems and leave aside those that don’t. Evaluate the activities that are the most time-consuming tasks in your operations and start integrating technology as a comprehensive solution. You will be shocked at how successful a simple technological resolution can be at improving a variety of organizational elements. If you’d like more information on how to build a comprehensive plan for your law firm, check out this blog post that details the importance of a business continuity plan.
6 Common Challenges That Law Firms Experience
Technological adoption can feel overwhelming at first, but this is one clear way that law firms can get an edge on their competition. Here are a few of the common challenges that firms face when adopting new tools or software.
1. Large Time Investments
Allocating time to invest in technology adoption subsequently leads to time lost on casework, especially for small firms and solo practitioners. Thankfully these types of costs are short-lived. After the initial investment period, most practitioners learn how new technology can help save time and money in the long run.
2. The Risk of the Unknown
Some short-term technological adoption costs can lead to significant long-term benefits, although nothing about the future is guaranteed. Time and energy spent learning and integrating technology should end up cutting high costs in the short future. It’s important to be sure you’re aware of what you’re dealing with before committing to a new system.
3. Technology Compatibility
Operationally, adopting various forms of technology to meet different components’ demands may make the most sense for your firm’s business model. However, technological solutions need to be compatible and capable of communicating and operating together. Be sure not to limit your firm’s capabilities with incompatible systems.
4. Security and Confidentiality
IT security is growing more important as legal activities move to a digital format at an increasing rate. As advanced solutions become more common, they will become better suited to the world of legal confidentiality and client privilege. However, it remains your firm’s responsibility to ensure that clients are protected, which can be simply addressed with effective risk management strategies.
5. Managing Client Expectations
As technology continues to transform our lives, you’ll find that more and more of your current and future clients will come to expect that you’re up to date on the latest technology. Show clients that you’re not only a leading professional in your field but that you have comprehensive knowledge and skills to best serve them via new technology.
6. Keeping Up with Competition
Your most significant competitors will inevitably get a lead on your firm with better legal technology. Don’t fall behind the times by resisting change and accepting the positive impact of technology on law firms. Instead, embrace change by using technology as an opportunity to further education, make intelligent business advances, and experience tangible growth in your firm.
Worried About How Changes in Technology Will Affect Your Firm?
If your firm happens to fall behind on the ebb and flow of enterprise technology, it can become quite a challenging task to try and catch up. This is especially significant when considering how likely your opposing counsel, clerks, and judges are already using advanced forms of technology. After all, if you’re not consulting with colleagues or directly testing out technology within your firm, you’re essentially just listening to sales pitches. And’s that’s no way to get ahead of the future. Old and unreliable technology is one of the biggest hindrances to most businesses’ productivity and growth. Managed IT services are a great option for most businesses, but there’s only one way to find out if they’ll work for you. Scheduling a consultation will give you an informed approach to resolving your issues for good.