FUTURE

Are you a lawyer who is always thinking analytically and jumping to what might lie ahead = therefore restrained when developing your business? You can be a great lawyer (sorry, solicitor…before an old friend tells me off), if you take risks too (in business of course – not within the boundaries of law – that’s a whole other article).

As a legal futurologist (yes, you heard correctly) told me a year or so ago, innovative risk takers in technology will be the future of the law profession. This is a man who’s job it is to study and read what’s going on globally within law and its profession. Australia are way ahead of Britain in this field. SMEs & SPs don’t be angry or scared – everyone has a place in this future. Ok there is a BUT – assuming you take a look at your budget for technology. Technology can encompass anything from a good website (to ensure the public can find you) to top end CMS programmes (see Law Gazette article link below).  CRM (Client / Consumer Relationship Management) software is a highly recommended tool. This enables firms to keep up-to-date with current clients, as well as engage with past clients and gain new clients.  As a matter of fact, client retention is a bigger headache than new business development (in line with compliance headaches of course).

TECHNOLOGY

If you work in Litigation and Dispute Resolution for example, what are you views on new software for online private dispute resolution providers? Yes, it will require quality control and regulating but it’s about being aware the technology is out there and to remind yourselves how fast new intelligence is happening. Innovation is a huge part of the legal profession – just take a look at the future of cars and insurance in this Telegraph article:  It shows how the insurance world will no doubt be rocked by this advanced state of driverless motoring, but it doesn’t have to be if it knows that change is definitely coming.  Be prepared.

The last paragraph of an article by, Marialuisa Taddia, in the Law Gazette, reads

Finally, there are challenges to the traditional business model to contend with. ‘Technology has led to the emergence of alternative service providers, including accounting firms and start-ups, which are becoming meaningful competitors to the traditional legal profession,’ ….. ‘Certainly it’s true in the UK, and that’s starting to take hold in Canada as well’

Marialuisa shows how the effect of technology is now making the change in Canada too.  Full article 

COMPETITION

Larger firms are gathering business and consumer intelligence by investing their own money to commission bespoke research  – this is marketing and business development at its best. What better use of technology than to ask your audience what they want and get that edge over its competitors.  That said, SMEs can take advantage of equally ambitious online surveys to use via eshots – it’s just being prepared and embracing the answers out there. CRM is so important – possibly more so at present, than NBD. The marketing rule (basically the Pareto Rule) – 80/20 is still true.  Keep your existing clients happy and make them feel respected and enable them to have an up-t0-date understanding of their matter. Large firms could use software built into its CMS to offer this as a retention solution, but if you are a smaller firm – technology could be as simple as a quick email update of their matter.

There is so much competition out there – we know that becoming niche is the way forward but it’s also about looking to the future (and I’m not talking succession!).  There’s a great quote from a Legal Futures’ article:

The legal market has changed, there’s no doubt about that, and even the traditionalists who may have stuck by their mantra of law being different to other industries are having to realise and accept change.

Goodbye to Neo-Luddism – if my late father, at the young age of 85, could embrace technology, believe me – anyone can. Give yourself and your company the go ahead to move forward and be ahead of your competitors.

What can you do to get yourself noticed – research content for websites, newsletters and social media, together with a well planned CRM strategy.  Get in touch for a free 30 minute consultation.