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Introducing legal process improvements not only keeps your clients happy – it strengthens your firm’s bottom line.
At the coalface of the digital age, combined with unprecedented times from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear there is a need for ‘step change’ across the legal industry to digitise or automate more.
Many law firms have made investments in case management or best-of-breed document assembly systems to digitise their legal processes. Additionally, practice management systems have been widely adopted to manage matters and financials, and for some time document management systems have been housing large volumes of correspondence and valuable knowledge.
The real opportunity in introducing legal process improvements resides in the ability to identify what processes are repeatable and make sense to standardise in order to support future demand. Insight and tailored services, deep thinking and creativity are indeed the law firm differentiators and what clients value.
What should be the next ‘step change’ for your law firm to keep your clients happy and to strengthen your firm’s bottom line?
Some thoughts for consideration
Improve productivity by leveraging the modern functions and features available (or may have not been implemented) within the business systems you have invested in.
Invest in client portals (business-to-business integration) to increase transparency and enhance collaboration with at least your key clients and those who are thought leaders. This should extend to sharing real-time information where possible and essential advice to improve client service.
Invest in business tools and mobility options (or implement these if you have invested already) to enable flexibility and encourage modern ways of working (digital signatures, digital binders, digital forms, robotic and OCR capability, etc). And, find reason to avoid printing and filing in manual folders.
Stop entering the same (client and matter) information in your practice management system and again in your case management system(s) – invest in integration to allow your data to be entered once and drawn upon automatically between business systems as required when producing legal correspondence.
Cleanse your (entity and matter) data so you can trust the information sourced from your business systems and more effectively manage your matters. Cleansing your data will also highlight performance and wasted costs - organisation-wide.
Analyse your support roles and the administration in legal processes more often to determine where technology can improve efficiency, aid firm growth and keep competitors and disruptors at bay.
Whatever changes are considered during or beyond these unprecedented times, design and execute a comprehensive change management program focused on delivering business-centric education, over technology-centric education, to communicate the benefits and encourage effective adoption by your lawyers and legal assistants.
If you are in need of any assistance to make it happen, shout out.
Amanda Harriss, Partner, Harriss Wagner Consultants and Advisers