Head of Marketing & Customer Engagement
I’m a business professional, experienced marketer and lover of all things tech. I have lived in the third sector, retail industry, exciting world of event management and now legal tech. In all these worlds, I’m always amazed to find that no matter where I go or what business I’m involved with, the same three problems always exist:
- We need to save time
- We need to make more profit
- We need to make our team more efficient
Now, you may be thinking, “Come on, of course these are the challenges that businesses face, this is not new information”. However, my point is not whether these are the problems a business face. I’m saying these are the only problems they face. It’s the fact that no matter how you dress it up or the big words you use to describe them, you always get back to these three core challenges – time, profit, efficiency. And in most cases, especially nowadays, businesses will turn to tech for help.
Not a lawyer
Granted, there are some valid differences between lawyers and other professionals. But, like other professionals considering new technology, you ultimately want it, yip you guessed it, for three specific reasons.
You would be correct to assume that there are other concerns – price, proof, predictability, pain points, and permanency. And just like any other kind of professional, you trust the advice and recommendations of people who know your issues best: other lawyers. So, of course you resist when someone who seemingly knows nothing about being a lawyer or the practice of law is trying to sell to you without recognising that they perhaps don’t know the market as well as you do. It also makes sense for you to be concerned when a legal tech company emerges from the shadows with no lawyers as an integral part of the team. You need whoever you are speaking to to show you that they understand how you practice, and the ethics, business, and process problems that you face, and maybe then you will listen.
Are lawyers Technophobes?
I’m a year into living in this legal tech world. What’s been incredible about the journey, so far, is that I feel as if I’ve learned more about who my audience is in twelve months than I did analysing consumer data in retail for ten years. I think the reason why is, given the market is so niche, it’s much easier to speak to the audience. And by god are you guys honest!
However, what I find frustrating is when I hear people speak about lawyers as if they are stuffy, three piece suit wearing, no nonsense, money clutching, laggards who must be tamed and tricked into modernising their business. As far as I can see, for the most part, that is simply not the case and I instantly empathise with the vast majority of lawyers who are out there grinding and fighting the good fight. You’re not angry, technophobic idiots who repel the idea of future proofing your business. You’re just busy and want help to make your business perform to the best of its ability.
So, our approach is not to talk to you like technology-resistant morons, as that will do very little to convince you to try our product. Of course, there will always be lawyers who resist. But most of the time, when you’re not buying technology, it’s for good reasons: It isn’t useful, it doesn’t work, it’s overpriced, or it doesn’t address the real problems.
I ventured into legal tech world being told lawyers are “different beasts” and “quite difficult to deal with”. However, after a year working in the industry, I’m starting to think that the real problem isn’t lawyers. The real problem is software designers, marketers, and providers. If technology experts spent more time thinking about lawyers as people, rather than thinking about them as everything mentioned above, then products would be better, and lawyers would adopt legal technology faster and more widely.
3 pain points
I’m not going to get into the nuts and bolts of how each feature of our software can solve these three problems. That’s why we show you the software in action in a demo. I’m a realist and I try and explain what we do on a very human level. So, let’s look it in that way…
When it comes to saving time, we keep our solutions in search of problems. Unlike some providers out there we are less interested in how amazing our home page looks or being “really cool” and more interested in being productive. So, we aim to bring solutions rather than the other way around. You’re interested in new technology that solves problems that you encounter every day in legal practice: writing, billing, analysing firm performance, and client relationship management. You want to do these things quicker and more efficiently. We can tick that box.
I can also guess where lawyers don’t want to be at 6:30pm – just like everyone else, you don’t want to be in the office! So, when developing our software, which is supposed to help lawyers we think about your everyday practice. You often have to work late, and it’s not because you’re uploading your latest TikTok video in the back office! If we can save you time on legal work and help you leave at 5:30pm instead of 6:30pm, you might just consider buying our product. Plus, we know that you simply won’t believe us if we tell you that our product is so revolutionary that you’ll suddenly be working a 40-hour work week! BS is not a language we speak! Like I said, I’m a realist.
I’ve heard on numerous occasions that lawyers will only buy software that looks “cool” and in turn is quite expensive. Maybe that’s true for big law firms that think higher prices make technology attractive. However, no matter what anyone’s perception is, lawyers aren’t made of money. And even if your rates seem high, your costs will be too. Margins for most of you are tight, and they’ve gotten tighter in the past few months. So, if we want you to buy our software, we have to give you a system that does what you need it to do, at a price that works for you. From there we streamline and automate what we can to help reach your goals and maximise ROI in every way possible. One way includes finding a cost-effective package that can simply “get the job done”. So, rather than you viewing our tech as a reluctant overhead that negatively impacts your bottom line, you buy into the idea that this system will help you and ultimately make you more profitable. Tick!
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are constantly looking for new technology to create a workforce that is more productive, more efficient, and more innovative. In addition, the rising trend of remote working has led to an increased demand for on-demand data: data that is accessible at any time, from anywhere. I tend to define productivity as the strategic alignment of vision, focus, and technology. Identifying tech solutions that unlock these attributes and enable true productivity, all while staying under budget, is a goal of all SMBs.
Rather than me rhyming off 20 features that will make you and you team more efficient, I think it’s easier to just ask yourself a few questions and take it as read that we can tick those boxes too.
- Do you have a clumsy paper-based, error-prone, manual system?
- Are you running your business on Excel and it’s no longer working or scaling?
- Do you have people out and about who need to work remotely or at home, but you need access to the same files?
- Are you micro-managing your team and their working processes because you just can’t put your trust in them to do that thing exactly the way you would do it?
- Are you and/or your team spending most of your day working through laborious administrative tasks?
- Do you have an existing legacy system that can’t keep up?
I think it’s safe to say that that if you’re not maximising your time or being as efficient as you can be, you’re leaving money on the table. We want to reduce the time spent performing routine and critical tasks, so you don’t lose the opportunity to serve additional clients.
Align with your business objectives
In short, the leadership team at your firm should review your tech strategy alongside the business strategy each quarter. This helps determine how technology, in this case software, is helping – or hindering – growth. This process benefits greatly from a software success consultant i.e. Denovo. For companies without an internal IT team, the consultant provides important technical insight. And where companies do have an internal IT team, the consultant provides a much needed objective point of view. That’s our promise to you – we’ll simply be there for you to make this work and at no extra cost!
Although aligning the software you implement with your business strategy takes time and cooperation, it is an exercise worth completing. When software is working to support business goals it leads to happier, more productive teams, smarter investments and greater return.
The bottom line
Firms that use industry specific, customisable software have the ability to run highly efficient practices. This optimised efficiency will save lawyers and support staff a great deal of time, thus freeing the firm up to perform vital functions such as client retention and new client acquisition. The bottom line is that whether you’re just starting out or your firm is well established, the right (not necessarily the most expensive) software will help you realise greater profits, expand your practice and stay ahead of the competition.
Let’s not overcomplicate things
Lawyers are different in so many ways. You use language differently. You place a high value on your time. You are naturally cautious and diligent. We are non-lawyers trying to tell you how to do your job. Should we be surprised that there are barriers to reaching you!?
But these differences don’t justify thinking about legal technology differently to any other technology. Lawyers do complex work and can have complicated demands. That doesn’t mean you need complicated software.
The fact is that lawyers broadly respond to new legal technology in the same way that anyone else responds to new technology. So, we’re not here to call you out for not battering down our door to adopt our latest tech. And we definitely don’t think you are technophobes. Far from it! We just want the opportunity to show you how treating tech slightly differently can help and ultimately become an integral part of your business strategy to meet your objectives.