During a recent keynote address to a crowd of legal minds in Nashville, Lisa Konie, Chief of Staff and Sr. Director of Legal Operations at Adobe, who is responsible for managing Adobe’s Legal and Governmental Relations (LGR) interactive website, emphasized that the goal for law firms when adopting new technology is to delight their clients.
In my experience working with law firms over 15-years as a legal technology consultant, I have identified 3 simple ways that leveraging technology can create client delight.
Better technology, when implemented and used correctly, improves efficiency. Many law firms still struggle with an arcane technology ecosystem where few users have the same versions of software or hardware and virtually no applications integrate.
Law firm leaders may justify their reticence because it’s the way they’ve always done things, but technology has changed so drastically over the past decade that this mindset is guaranteed to leave your firm behind and struggling for business.
Avoid this by deploying systems that work fluidly with one another so that you can handle each task for each matter efficiently. Seamless integration of people, knowledge, and information will help the firm deliver high quality outcomes for every client.
Law firms are now in the business of data storage and much of that data is highly sensitive. Depending on the practice, firms often store clients’ personal, business and classified information. If your firm is not taking crucial measures to ensure the security of client data, not only are you putting your client at potentially irreparable risk, but you are falling short of the rules of professional conduct outlined by the American Bar Association. The best places to tighten security and ease client concerns include employee training, limiting user access to data, outlining an incidence response plan, and optimizing data storage with firmwide consistency. Clients will demand that firms go above and beyond to secure their data, so this is an important place to start.
We live in a world of instant gratification. We can order car rides and meals from a mobile device in a matter of seconds and receive real time updates on our favorite sports teams through social media. Firms lacking in mobility have a completely different end user experience inside and outside the office. Proper technology allows attorneys to respond to clients instantly, collaborate with colleagues, and access key documents in the back of an Uber or in an airport terminal. Don’t let technological restrictions become a disservice to your clients and team. If you cannot provide this level of service to your clients, your competition may replace you when your client seeks counsel on their next matter.
What’s the next step?
Without the right people and processes in place, the right technology will only take you so far. While some attorneys are technologically savvy or have internal IT consultants, most attorneys are not technologists.
When analyzing a firm’s technology ecosystem, we often find a disconnect between the firm’s long-term goals and its technology. When decisions on technology are made, they are typically made to solve a singular issue without considering the complete picture and future of the firm. This results in a lopsided ecosystem where software is inconsistent and does not integrate, causing downstream issues including inconsistent document versions, poor end user experience, failed implementations, and increased costs to fix the issues.
LOGICFORCE’s proprietary Synthesis E-IT Secure® (SEITS®) assessment, an offering that maps out your current technology ecosystem — the combination of IT, eDiscovery, cybersecurity and data management — helps firms plan for the future using these powerful technologies. As a result of our assessment, firms gain a realistic, practical and executable blueprint to take their legal services to the next level and allows attorneys to fully focus on practicing law. If you would like to hear more about how a SEITS® assessment produces an actionable blueprint that maximizes technology to produce client delight, please get in touch by requesting a call.
Matt Collins is a Business Development Manager at LOGICFORCE, responsible for business development in the Southeast. His areas of expertise include electronic discovery, digital forensics, IT optimization, cybersecurity, new business development, client development, and case research. He is a trusted advisor to some of the largest firms in the region.