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Law Firm Technology Use On The Rise

Legaltech News post an article about law firm technology used to increase efficiency and automate repetitive tasks.  When law firms were surveyed they stated which technologies they felt were the most effective:

"When asked what technologies provide the "greatest overall effectiveness," two-thirds of law firms picked document management, while around half chose financial planning tools. Slightly under half also chose business intelligence tools (49 percent), and matter management and case management platforms (47 percent), while 37 percent cited project management platforms."

Law firms also stated the invoice process was something they spent too much time on:

"One area that the survey found to be problematic for law firms was invoice management. Forty-four percent of respondents said they "almost always" or "often" spent too much time on invoicing, while 49 percent said this only happened "sometimes.

Specifically, 65 percent of respondents said it takes them at least over one week to publish an invoice. Among law firm respondents with over 200 attorneys in-house (45 out of the 112 respondents), that number rises to 76 percent. Among all respondents, 7 percent take longer than three weeks to publish an invoice.

Much of this delay may come from the manual workflows through which law firms have to organize, classify and submit their invoices. "You have a lot of different people physically touching [an invoice] before it gets out the door," Cartrett said. "So that will slow down the process."

People, processes, and technology will continue to evolve within law firms and corporate law departments.

A Growing Uneasiness Between Firms And Clients

Recently, there have been articles discussing the shift to alternative fee arrangements (AFAs) and whether law firms are too quick to comply with client demands regarding billing practices.  In an industry where firms have thrived on the billing hour this shift can be worrying to law firm leaders.  You can read about it here, here, and here.

The legal industry is changing with technology presenting new solutions to help law firms and corporate legal departments stay competitive.  Yes, clients are demanding more transparency and efficiency from their outside counsel.  There will be more AFAs but the billing hour isn't going away anytime soon.  We believe these market disruptions aren't problems but opportunities to add value and develop differentiation amongst the competition whether you are the law firm or client/company.

This quote best sums up how we think law firms and corporate legal organizations should tackle the changing market landscape:

"These leaders don’t shy away from market problems. They pursue the best solutions to better continue navigating their firms and law departments with fearlessness, confidence, and security."