Road to recovery: How law firms can use technology to improve productivity and profitability

Road to recovery: How law firms can use technology to improve productivity and profitability

November 18, 2020

Grace Hart

Automation can help law firms improve margins, speed up turnaround times, retain clients, and win new business.

Recovering with resilience 

It’s a challenging time for law firms. Over the last few years, the legal industry has been put under a variety of increasing pressures including tighter margins, higher client expectations and greater competition.

And then a global pandemic struck, exacerbating existing pressures and introducing new ones. Lockdowns and new duties of care came about overnight, along with a need to facilitate remote work. Few firms were prepared for this – in fact, less than 10% had a relevant home working policy in place. The consequences were hard hitting: 60% resorted to furloughing employees, and 15% made redundancies.

Blog insert - 1 - Recovering with resilience

While this is a gloomy picture, there have been some success stories. Previous downturns indicate that law firms can get through as long as they are agile and adaptive – and that’s exactly what we’ve witnessed. The most pioneering lawyers have used digital solutions in order to pivot their approach and shift resources to quickly meet the new needs of both their employees and clients.

This teaches a valuable lesson: in a time of uncertainty, the smart adoption of technologies that deliver real ROI will be crucial to successful recovery.

Top law firm priorities and how technology can help

Improving margins

Fee earners currently spend too much time on repetitive, routine activities such as tracking billable hours, producing documents, and reviewing contracts. By using technology to automate these manual processes, lawyers have significantly more time to spend on higher value strategic activities. This results in increased margins and more revenue for the firm.

Speeding up turnaround times while maintaining quality

Intelligent drafting technology has the power to radically reduce the time it takes to create entire suites of complex documents – by up to 90% on the first draft, and 100% on ancillaries. This means clients can be serviced faster than ever before.

Intelligent drafting technology also enables colleagues to collaborate effectively and work consistently at a time when they’re not able to make queries face-to-face. In-platform drafting notes and easy reviewing processes bring structure, guidance and advice to the user, preserving the quality of documents drafted.

Retaining existing clients

Automation tools dramatically reduce the possibility of human error, ensuring clients receive consistently accurate and high-quality work. This, teamed with faster turnaround times, leads to a much better client experience. Matters are dealt with quickly, and risk is reduced. Clients can therefore achieve their goals faster, and enhance their chances of growth. On top of all of this, lawyers have more time to provide the bespoke and complex advice that clients really want and value.

Technology can also facilitate greater transparency and collaboration. Client portals give everyone access to exactly the same information, resulting in more streamlined working and stronger, trusted client relationships.

Winning new business

Firms that invest in and fully implement the most recent LegalTech position themselves as innovators and industry leaders.

Blog insert - 2 - Top law firm priorities and how technology can help

This means that not only do they attract and retain the best legal talent – two-thirds of millennials and Gen Z consider tech and innovation key to their choice of employer – but they attract the best clients too. Indeed, 53% of clients say a law firm’s use of technology is a major consideration in their hiring decisions.

This alone will set you apart from the competition. But technology also allows you to maximise lawyer performance, deliver a step change in client experience, and facilitate targeted, data-driven online marketing techniques, all amplifying your ability to win new business.

Adapt and prosper

In uncertain times, the right technology gives law firms the ability to not only recover, but to thrive.

But not all solutions are equal. Now more than ever, technology must both deliver and demonstrate clear return on investment (ROI). Technology partners that will take on the process of building, delivering, and maintaining automation projects liberate law firms from the resource- and time-intensive process of technology implementation.

It’s crucial to close the loop on ROI by tracking and identifying where the value of automation lies. Monitor usage analytics to measure the impact of the new platform, and make iterations to enhance the automation and drive even greater value.

By providing fee earners with the best technology, you will ensure your firm has strategic advantage in the form of maximum efficiency, aggressive turnaround times, improved margins, and better client experience.

Not only this, but you will position yourself as an industry leader, attracting top talent and a strong client base for success into the future.

Key takeaways

  • In a time of uncertainty, the smart adoption of technologies that deliver real ROI will be crucial to successful recovery.
  • By automating repetitive, routine activities, lawyers have more time to spend on higher value strategic activities, resulting in increased margins.
  • Intelligent drafting technology speeds up turnaround times by reducing the time it takes to create entire suites of complex documents by up to 90% on the first draft.
  • Clients receive consistently accurate and high quality work. This, teamed with faster turnaround times, leads to a much better client experience.
  • Firms that invest in and fully implement the right LegalTech will position themselves as innovators and industry leaders, attracting the best talent and the best clients too.
  • You have more chances of success if you choose a technology partner that will design, implement, test, deliver, and maintain your automation project for you.

Want to find out more about the smart technologies that can deliver real ROI and ensure your successful recovery? Download Why law firms should be closing the loop on automated drafting for better ROI

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Download: Why law firms should be closing the loop on automated drafting for better ROI

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