You’re a partner at a law firm. Your lawyers are working crazy hours, struggling with endless checklists and scattered files. Version control is hard to track, document management is disorganised, and clients are demanding a better digital customer experience. You realise that your firm can only improve its competitiveness through innovation.
A new tool has just been procured by the firm to solve these issues. However, rather than instantly changing how people work, it’s sitting idle and under-utilised.
In this article, we present three tips to help you successfully integrate technology in your law firm.
What is legaltech adoption?
Legaltech adoption refers to the successful integration of new legal technology into your business or law firm.
It’s more than just using the technology, it’s also training the right people to use the software and knowing how to maximise it to its fullest potential.
What are the barriers to adopting legaltech?
Many law firms find it difficult to adopt technology because of factors like:
- Law firms being generally less culturally adaptive
- Partners finding it difficult to measure its return on investment (ROI)
- Lawyers not being trained to use it properly
- Limited active role models within the industry
For more details, read our report on Barriers to legaltech adoption.
This is why there’s been a huge gap between the legal industry’s expectations of technology and what we’ve seen in practice.
How do you kickstart legaltech adoption?
We’ve been working with our customers to roll out our legal transaction management software for over five years, and have identified common themes from the most successful deployments.
Our CCO Daniel Porus has summarised three useful, but often overlooked, tips for effective legaltech adoption:
Tip 1: Collaboration is key
Close collaboration between customer and vendor is always the foundation for the successful implementation of technology.
When it comes to the vendor / customer relationship, the reality is that the vendor knows their product inside out and will have seen themes emerge from its deployment with other customers. However, the customer knows their organisation better than the vendor and can advise why certain proposed courses of action may not work due to cultural nuances within their organisation.
Ask your vendor to share ideas, have an open mind but feel free to challenge why certain approaches may or may not work as part of a roll-out within your organisation.
Tip 2: Collectively define success criteria at the outset
A successful legaltech roll-out does not mean the same for everyone. Typically, there will be some form of ROI sought from deploying new technology, such as reducing risk, minimising staff attrition, increasing profitability, improving client experience or winning more work.
Work with your vendor at the outset when planning the roll-out of the new software and document what “success” looks like in your first year of the relationship and the longer term.
Seek guidance from your vendor about what successful roll-out has looked like for other firms in their first year, so that you have a benchmark.
Without a proper system of recognizing non-billable work, it is almost impossible to expect innovation to naturally fall into place. And without innovation, law firms will inevitably fall behind.
Tip 3: Identify your champions and leverage early successes
Vendors can play an important role in helping you identify champions. Consider inviting them to internal events such as global partners’ retreats to showcase your new technology. These events can enable you to identify partners who get excited about the potential of certain technology, and are willing to be your internal advocate.
Champions can help to identify opportunities for using new technology. Once you have identified your partner champions, encourage them to publicly advocate the use of the new technology within their teams.
Celebrate early successes by working collaboratively with your vendor to create written success stories you can share internally. Organise opportunities at internal partners’ meetings and team meetings, and externally with clients to present these success stories and drive further adoption. Greater awareness of the benefits through practical usage within your organisation is a powerful way to get buy-in.
Learn more about legaltech adoption
Legaltech adoption isn’t always easy – but is certainly achievable with the right resources and support.
To hear Daniel’s Legal Geek 2022 speech on legaltech adoption in full, click here.
To find out more about legaltech adoption, download our Firms of the Future: Overcoming the barriers to legaltech adoption eBook.