Legal technology is reshaping the legal practice at an incredible velocity. According to research by Bloomberg Law, many firms accelerated their technology priorities after shifting to work-from-home models last spring. More than a year later, increased adoption of new or updated legal technologies continues to boom. Firms and organizations report notable benefits, including increased efficiencies, streamlined collaboration and competitive advantages among peer firms.
Bloomberg Law surveyed 300 lawyers about legal technology, including its use, adoption and procurement. Here are four key findings from the report and takeaways for firms.
Increased efficiency led to more billable hours
According to the report, 42% of firms report increased billable hours and more than one-third note increased profitability compared to the previous year. 90% of respondents agree that legal technology has increased efficiency at their firm or organization. 73% said that legal technology has reduced the time spent on lower-level tasks.
Some law firms still struggle with arcane technology systems where few users have the same versions of software or hardware and virtually no applications integrate. Updating and fully integrating legal technology is the best way to increase efficiency and can be done with the help of a technology consultant.
As lawyers and staff worked from home, firms became heavily reliant on legal technologies for daily workflows. 22% of firms planned to add collaboration-related technology in response to remote and hybrid work models. Messaging platforms like Microsoft Teams offer a quick way to communicate informal messages that may not necessitate an email.
New technology adoption
When evaluating new technologies, ease of use and integration with current systems were top factors driving adoption. Cloud services are the easiest to update and can be quickly integrated across an entire organization. Our clients find that their cloud-based solutions provide flexibility, adaptability, increased agility, simplified user experience, and in many cases, significant cost savings. Law firms’ clients are also familiar with cloud-based solutions and expect their lawyers to use them.
More firms are creating dedicated budgets for legal technology. The report found that 66% of firms and 55% of in-house legal report having separate funds for IT. With legal technology driving business growth for many firms, it’s no surprise that firms are prioritizing technology and increasing spend. Based on our 20+ years of legal IT consulting experience and research compiled from our 2021 Law Firm IT Scorecard, LOGICFORCE recommends budgeting 3-6% of annual firm revenue on technology.
With increased attention on efficiency, in-house departments are likely to begin requiring more information about tech utilized by law firms in their legal matters to ensure cost savings through outsourcing and automation. Our team knows the business of law and technology. To learn more about our offerings, please contact us.
Gulam Zade is CEO and General Counsel of LOGICFORCE.