How do you position your firm for success?

What skills, insights, expertise, and tools are needed to overcome obstacles?

How do you seize opportunities to continue to grow and thrive?

These are challenging times regardless of the industry, and each one is evolving as they respond and adapt to an ever-changing world.

For the legal industry, the challenges are very similar to many in the professional services space such as accounting, finance, and management consulting. While law firms and corporate legal departments have long relied on a highly skilled workforce operating across numerous borders and time zones, today the remote work model and 24/7 office are changing everything. By leveraging technology to connect teams and clients, legal professionals are better able to respond and collaborate around the clock and from virtually anywhere. Motivated by the recent global COVID-19 pandemic, how we work and manage a vast network of remote workers has become very complex.

The fear of change is a common fear for firms and clients, and it’s okay.

The professional services workforce including those in legal is not immune to change. During economic deceleration, many law, accounting, and consulting firms may start providing services and embracing clients they really shouldn’t consider just to shore up billings. This can be risky as it can weaken a firm’s strategic positioning and market profile. But when the going gets tough, there’s no need for desperation.

A law practice’s ability to deliver value to clients depends on the skills of its professionals, and the skill set of those professionals affects how a client chooses a firm. In turn, the clients being served affect the development of the law professionals’ skills. The strategy of a law practice is firmly linked to its clients and the professionals serving them. Fearing change as a result of economic changes can be diminished by hiring law professionals with evolving skills that can serve clients effectively and whose skill set evolves around the clients.

Fear can hinder your ability to change and change quickly.

With more law firms and corporate legal departments recruiting tech-savvy resources, client expectations can be better met with new skills and expertise. The adoption of technologies like document management, electronic signatures, artificial intelligence (AI), automation, virtual assistants, and other digital tools are helping organizations to meet evolving client needs.

Additional reading: “Staying on top of fast-changing legal tech

The traditional time and materials-based approaches are recurrently giving way to fixed-cost or outcome-based approaches, which reflect the growing use of out-of-the-box solutions and the complexities of business transformations.

Successfully navigating new obstacles requires law firms to be flexible, agile, and decisive all while overcoming the fear of change. The right technology to support an organization trying to establish footing will enable continuing success.

In Part Two we’ll look at what should be at the heart of your digital transformation and how those elements can significantly improve market position and client expectations.