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Gelsey Sep 26, 2022 3:17:31 PM

How to take your firm from tech-fearing to tech-enabled

Just like every storybook, every corporate culture needs a tech hero

Someone enthusiastic about powerful tools and eager to share their discoveries with their colleagues. 

But in slow-to-innovate industries, like the legal profession, being spirited about technology and software can be alienating if your colleagues are not on the same page.

Issues such as confidentiality, reputation & quality, and apprehension of AI are just some concerns that worry tech-fearing attorneys. 

But, according to predictions like the 2021 Gartner report, legal spending on digital technology is projected to increase 200% by 2025. 

Research shows that modern clients are behind this motion to innovate and adopt new law tech. These days, consumers are accustomed to digital services in other industries and make no exception for their attorneys. 

You would think that these numbers are enough evidence to motivate small and large legal firms & departments to innovate, but the opposite is true. 

An American Bar Association 2021 survey on cloud computing found that just 60 percent of firms used web-based services, barely up from 59 percent in 2020. Worse, only 35 percent reported using SSL to keep their data secure.

So as the legal tech hero of your company, how can you inspire innovation and change? 

Here are 3 tips to take your firm from tech-fearing to tech-enabled:

  • Address hypotheticals & myths head on

Research shows that lawyers tend to have personality traits that make them less willing to try new things, so you must address those tech-fearing questions with research-based answers.  

Questions like, “won’t robots take over my job?” or “will client confidentiality be vulnerable?” are bound to pop up. Having tactful and credible responses loaded up is your best weapon against uncertainty and nervousness of the unknown.

  • Show–then tell 

If you’re not prepared to make a formal presentation on tech innovation, this step is for you. Instead of calling a boardroom meeting, opt for casual conversation at the water cooler or the breakroom. Brag about how the few low-threshold automations you’ve set up are freeing up your time. 

Maybe you figured out a way to automate your email to send your clients an update on the status of their cases. Or you figured out how to easily populate briefs with your clients' relevant information. 

This will certainly break the ice and get the ball rolling on a few conversations on tech and automation.

  • Recruit a fan onto your team

Step two will certainly help facilitate this next one. Once a small group of your colleagues are assured by, even experienced with, your tried-and-true methods, then you go from lone wolf to leader of the tech-enabled pack. Keeping in mind that lawyers are risk averted, it’s also a good idea to come prepared with the names of a few trusted tech partners with a proven track record of optimizing processes. 

Law firms should look at emerging tech solutions as growth opportunities rather than potential risks. Working closely with trusted tech partners on automation or custom software is a certifiable way to reduce risk and improve the end customer experience. 

At this point in our modern market, law firms that refuse or are slow to innovate will ultimately get left behind. And as the hero of your corporate culture, you can’t sit on the sidelines and watch that happen.

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Gelsey

Digital content producer

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