Legal workplace cultures must change to embrace technology for efficiency, increased competitiveness, attract and retaining clients, and recruit and retain excellent people.
Leaders of legal firms should change their workplace culture to embrace technology. Enlightened law firm managing partners and the law firm executives understand that fostering a work culture embracing technology increases productivity and makes better use of a legal team’s time.
Why Do Law Firms Need to Embrace Technology?
As technology advances, law firms are better able to meet client demands as well as other business needs. These include various advancements that include:
- Most law firms are involved with “big data.” That is data that is so massive it is usually stored in the cloud. Programs are released almost daily for ways to mine the data and put it to use which requires new skills be learned by lawyers and their staffs.
- Productivity increases are enormous when the technology to embrace in your firm includes remote technology. Lawyers can make phone calls and connect to client files while using smartphones during a trip from court to the office. Attorneys and their staffs can access workplace data from anywhere they can access the internet, and do so frequently. The American Bar Association estimates that lawyers spend as much as 25% of their time working from a location that is not their physical workplace.
- Recruitment of new attorneys and support staff is easier when legal firms embrace technology. Most recent graduates at all levels believe in and use instant messaging as a professional means of communication when looking for employment. Law firms that are technology deficient can lose out on finding great candidates.
- Tools for client recruitment and retention are abundant. They include the use of social media and legal practice websites.
But, changing workplace culture is hard; this post offers tips and solutions to changing a legal firm’s culture so that the enterprise embraces technology.
- Change starts at the top, and leading by example is a good practice. But shifting a legal firm to a culture that embraces technology, or for any cultural change should not be imposed, it must be nurtured. This requires that your colleagues and staffers be educated on how technology benefits them, with your experiences using technology as examples. Some suggest that a multi-level committee is established with the mission of encouraging the use of technology before it is imposed. When a law practice seeks to change its culture, it is important to make employees feel informed and safe – and not fear that technology is being introduced to replace them.
- Be sure that the new technology culture meets the targets and objectives of your legal office.
- Keep the new culture aligned with progressive work practices (such as work from home) as they are introduced
- Monitor and measure how your technological culture evolves as you implement changes.