Written by:

Grant Yuill

Head of Marketing & Customer Engagement

Positioning your firm to succeed

Paradigm-changing shifts in demographics, client expectations, technology, and work styles have given rise to a host of distinct trends in the legal industry. As law firms position themselves to succeed in 2021 and beyond, understanding and leveraging these trends will help firms become more efficient, productive and competitive in the coming year.

It’s time to get yourself and your firm ready to compete. Whether you are moving to the cloud, improving your cyber security, testing out mobile apps, tracking firm performance and analysing data, trying to capture better leads, going virtual, educating your team online or introducing electronic signature to be more convenient for your clients, the time is now. Don’t get left behind!

Below are 5 of the 10 top trends that will shape legal practices in both 2021 and the foreseeable future.

1. The cloud has well and truly been reached

Cloud adoption in the legal industry has increased by 20% in 2020. Law firms that had perhaps put off moving to the cloud completely have now entirely changed their outlook in relation to remote working. Case Management, accessing case files in a secure way and sharing these files with the right members of the team is no longer a “nice to have” and is now seen as critical.

The provision of services that we need to live and work through cloud-based, on-demand platforms – is the key that has put the other tech trends I mention in reach of anybody. It’s the reason why workflow style automation are a possibility for just about any firm, regardless of their size or budget. Thanks to cloud offerings from companies Denovo, an ever-growing throng of startups and in our industry can deploy cutting-edge tech with little upfront investment in tools, equipment or specialised people.

2. Cyber Security

There is no way that lawyers can work without emails and digital data, and their information is precious and therefore a target for cyber threats. All law firms, ranging from sole practitioners to firms with hundreds of solicitors, must take cyber security seriously and protect their systems as well as create a plan in case of an emergency.

Your firm is a target of hackers because you store valuable digital assets and have a reputation for deep pockets. Those who wish to do harm could have motivations that are financial or just plain destructive; and to carry out their means, hackers usually use various forms of malware, which include ransomware, viruses, and worms.

Law firms have made a lot of strides in taking measures to protect against cyber risks, but not enough. You should regularly assess your risks. Most do not have the expertise to do that and should look for the most qualified outside experts they can find to advise them – like the team at Denovo.

Technology is constantly changing and so are security threats. Establishing good cyber security is an ongoing process, not a one-time or occasional event. It’s time to prioritise cyber security: it requires professional expertise, sophisticated strategies, and complex technology. It is not an overstatement to say that today the future of your firm depends on providing yourself and your clients with strong, effective security against hackers and cyber thieves.

3. Mobile Applications

It doesn’t matter whether your OS is Android or iPhone. Modern gadgets have relating purposes and functionality. As the years go by, more platforms find their way into legal. First came browsers, and now lawyers are using specific remote desktop apps to run their business from anywhere. Mobile phones now focus on having improved software to support this.

Successively, these applications, like CaseLoad Case Management, enable lawyers to practice without stress and on the go.

4. Performance Tracking

Technology has made it possible for law firm leaders, solicitors and paralegals in firms to track the efficiency of themselves, other/new employees or support staff, even before they know their weaknesses themselves. This data can be analysed positively and/or critically and processed using specialised software such as CaseLoads Management & KPI Reporting feature.

Via this tech development, team members can be assigned roles and cases that they will be undoubtedly good at. Performance tracking allows you to pick out lawyers that are not meeting the firm’s standards, as well as identifying the best person for the job. Also, the tech is useful when regulating the revenue of any law firm.

5. Analytics & Conversion Rates

Most legal firms I’ve come across cannot tell you their client conversion rate. I ask the question and get blank stares all round. I personally find this astonishing. It might be because I am a marketer and not a lawyer, but surely this is a key component of how you operate any business?

Conversion rates are an effective way of comparing and contrasting the performance of multiple advertising channels. As with the Management & KPI Reporting, conversion rates can be reported on – automatically. When reports are used correctly, conversion rate analysis can reveal which marketing channels are most effective for promoting a particular service, helping to determine the effectiveness of your marketing output and use it to guide strategic decisions. It’s all about measuring what works and what doesn’t and why clients choose you and not someone else.

It’s time consuming to do this yourself, which is why so many firms are now turning to software to tell them. CaseLoad keeps everything in one place, saving time and streamlining your processes. The Denovo team can support you with creating multiple dashboards for specific topics, such as clients, matters, events, leads or conversion reports. Once you have the info at your disposable, it can also be used to set ROI expectations when scaling your firm’s marketing efforts.

Advice when investing in tech

Be ready! With the growing awareness of the positive outcomes of introducing new technology in the legal field, there will be a rise in the budget required to implement what you need to compete. Not only the investment, but the time firms will need to dedicate to get the most out of tech is paramount to your success.

You don’t have to break the bank to compete. You just need to know what tech will deliver the best results. That’s where we come in. We can advise on how to spend your money and your time wisely.

Trust me, the time you spend working on your business rather than just in it will be worth it in the long run.

Next steps

Look out for part 2 of this insights article, which will outline the remaining 5 tech trends to keep an eye out for in 2021.

If you’ve seen enough and want to reach out for support or advice now, get in touch here and find out how Denovo’s legal tech experts are helping some of the most successful small to medium sized law firms get ready to compete in the new year.

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