Wolters Kluwer, a technology and software solutions provider, recently published its 2019 Future Ready Lawyer Survey Report. The report assesses the legal industry’s preparedness to levy and embrace changes in the legal marketplace.
According to the report, lawyers who are transitioning into technology-based practices will continue to be out-practiced by lawyers who have been integrating technology for some time now.
The central question, then, is: What can transitioning lawyers do to make up for time lost on technology integration?
Knowledge of the Playing Field
The ABA 2018 TECHREPORT writers characterized the legal tech industry as lacking a “one-stop shop” in their December “Solo and Small Law Practices” article, and they’re right.
Our industry is a hodgepodge of providers offering an assortment of technology features that lawyers can leverage. This in turn reflects the nature of the legal industry: there are practices of varying sizes with varying technology needs throughout the United States. Some practices require paralegal support services. Some practices require legal research software. Our diverse industry is meeting a diverse demand. The key is to address the unique needs of your firm.
Even so, that makes navigating this industry confounding if you’re new to it. Where do you begin to get to know providers?
We recommend several starting points:
American Bar Association: Their ABA Connect and ABA Cybersecurity Legal Task Force are excellent resources. They’ll connect you to lawyers with legal tech experience and to content on technology and the law. Additionally, the ABA’s Law Practice Magazine: The TECHSHOW Issue will bring you up to speed on the thoughts and trends within today’s legal and legal technology industries.
Attorney at Work: An extensive blog on law practice management. They guarantee “one really good idea every day” for lawyers. Their Tech Tips, Product Spotlight, and Tech Tools articles are invaluable for your legal tech research.
Conferences, Techshows, and Bar Association Relationships
We attended the ABA TECHSHOW in Chicago several months ago. That experience underscored the value of networking opportunities to connect people and tech.
These experiences offer something that online research cannot: the human component. Even if you’ve resonated with online testimonials about technology integration, nothing is more insightful than in-person conversations.
Even so, bar associations are still the best resources for staying up to date on events in your area. Subscribe to their newsletters, check their website for updates, and follow them on social media. Opportunities to network arise at a moment’s notice, and they can be transformative for your practice.
Becoming Your Best Practice
Technology gives lawyers who use it a competitive edge, but not all legal technology providers are the right fit for every practice.
As you prepare to transition your practice into a technology-based one, think about what your firm needs to thrive and to serve your clients first and foremost, and decide on a provider based on those pain points. A pricy provider may have every possible feature your practice could need now and in the future. But it might not meet the unique needs of your practice. And it might not make the law more accessible to your clients with a portal of their own.
This is where the legal technology industry’s hodgepodge nature is an asset. Regardless of your law firm’s type and technology needs, there’s a provider who’s the proper fit for you. Your research and networking will provide that insight.
We at SimpleLaw are happy to help you through this exciting and complex time of transition for your law firm. Contact us at email@example.com for further questions about technology integration and what our platform can offer your firm.