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New Ways to Practice Law in the Face of Growing Market Pressure

by Everlaw


According to the 2020 Wolters Kluwer Future Ready Lawyer Survey: Performance Drivers, the global pandemic has led to a dramatic transformation within the legal industry. This disruption will likely have a widespread, enduring, and organizational impact throughout the entire sector. 

Wolters Kluwer’ Executive Vice President and General Manager, Dean Sonderegger, had this to say about how legal organizations can be resilient throughout the COVID-19 crisis and beyond: “Organizations need to be well organized and have planned for these types of events in advance. If you only start to consider how to deal with business disruptions when they arise, it’s likely to be a very tough road for your organization.”

The survey, which contains insights from 700 legal professionals throughout the U.S. and Europe, highlights three challenges law firms are currently experiencing as they prepare to practice law in the future.

How to Increase the Use of Technology to Improve Productivity

Over three-quarters of the legal professionals surveyed by Wolters Kluwer said that legal technology would prove to be the most critical factors impacting their organizations over the next several years. However, only one-fourth said they feel prepared to keep up with the changes occurring within the industry. 

Every legal professional’s fundamental goal should be to help clients and, in the process, help their firm or legal department to succeed. Legal technology will improve your firm’s productivity and allow you to serve more clients and maximize revenue. Tools that track time, manage your social media presence, automate billing, and manage your practice will boost your productivity, streamline your work process, and lead to increased profits.

How to Use Technology to Improve Client Services

The use of technology is becoming increasingly critical to how well law firms meet client expectations and compete within the industry. A majority of the legal professionals surveyed (67%) said they are investing in technology to support firm operations and client work. 

According to a recent Bloomberg Law report, clients are looking to hire “bold, open-minded, and tech-savvy attorneys” who embrace innovation and look for new ways to deliver legal services. Data drives change in the legal industry. Attorneys who embrace technology in analyzing and integrating this data will likely be in the best position to provide sound advice and positive solutions to clients.

How to Better Understand the Technology Solutions Available to Them

Although 60% of the individuals surveyed by Wolters Kluwer say they plan to increase their technology investment over the next several years, only 29% said they understand the technology solutions available to them. Out of these respondents, 59% said they believe that artificial intelligence will significantly impact the legal industry in the next three years. Still, just 22% said they have a good understanding of AI. 

How can lawyers become more competent in technology? Massachusetts attorney and journalist Robert Ambrogi took this question to Twitter. He got answers ranging from “have a beginner’s mind and just get started” and “Figure out what you want to do, then learn the tech to accomplish it,” to “Acknowledge your vulnerability and accept advice from those who are not your professional peers.”

Final Thoughts

One thing stands out regarding legal industry technology preparedness during the pandemic: technology leaders outperformed organizations with lower technology use. To learn more about how technology will continue to transform the legal industry post-COVID-19, tune in to our webinar “Accelerating trends: Transforming efficiency in legal teams post COVID-19 today.