Technology has become the lifeblood of a modern company and law firms are certainly no exception to the rule. Everything from case research to billing to administration to marketing runs on technology. That means your tech tools need to be sharp.
Investments in new technology are never a welcome discussion with whoever handles the purse strings, but there comes a point in the life of the firm where it’s necessary. How do you know when it’s time for a legal tech upgrade?
It all starts with billing
Having outdated tools to handle billing is a serious disadvantage. Simply taking too long is an inefficiency that law firms can’t afford. The risk of time going unbilled increases.
If you bill your clients for the time it takes to process their invoice, there’s a chance they might scrutinize the bill and wonder why it took x amount of hours to process billing when better tools are available. When you lose money and look bad in the process, that’s a pretty good sign it’s time for an upgrade.
Speaking of clients scrutinizing their invoice—your outdated tools might also cause you to take longer to finish their legal work. If you have a tech-savvy clientele, they’ll wonder why certain itemized tasks within the invoice took as long as they did. You’re not doing anything wrong from a work or even an ethical perspective, but you are looking like a firm that’s out-of-date. Time for an upgrade.
What kind of clientele do you want?
Directly related to the point above is how your marketing is structured. Are you advertising or networking in a demographic that is up-to-date on the latest technologies and expects their law firm to be the same? If so, they’ll likely want to know what your technological capabilities are before they ever come on board in the first place.
If you find your services are only attractive to older clients who don’t ask tech questions, you have to ask yourself if you’re okay with that. If not, it’s time for a legal tech upgrade.
Are you turning away work?
Having to turn down clients is what we call a “high-class problem.” But if it’s caused by outdated technology slowing you down, it’s an unnecessary problem. If you find yourself with more work than you can handle, bring in a technical expert for a complete audit of your systems.
Maybe you really are working at capacity. If so, congratulations! But maybe an investment in a tech upgrade could be immediately paid for by the prospects knocking at your door.
More people want to work remotely
The economic lockdowns of 2020 got a lot of people used to working remotely and many are, quite understandably, not ready to return to the old way of doing things. They want the quality of life benefits that come with working remotely. But is your technology ready to sustain that on a permanent basis?
Studies show that the number of attorneys who want to work remotely on a full-time basis has almost doubled over the past year. A legal tech update might well be necessary to prevent an exodus of talent out the door.