Time to take positive steps to improve profitability?
Existing technologies are the way to work more efficiently in order to improve productivity and profitability
The growth of in-house legal teams continues. Law firms are chasing more clients and are operating in an increasingly competitive market. In CLOC’s recently released State of the Industry Report 2021, 39% of legal departments reported moving more work in-house. It also reports that although law firm performance is currently only reviewed by 27 % of legal departments, while 47% stated that they want to implement a formal review process.
What does this mean for attorneys?
When reviewing a bill, clients expect clarity and accurate reporting of time spent. This has led some clients to debate the merit of the billable hour, requesting alternative fee arrangements. Some attorneys have increased their write-offs as their inefficiencies are scrutinized. However, the simplest solution doesn’t require an overhaul of a firm’s billing practices, nor does it require attorneys to sacrifice more working hours to compensate for fewer billable hours. Attorneys can meet the client’s increasing demands and still be home for dinner if they learn to leverage technology to work efficiently.
The past year has meant that legal professionals have had to take more responsibility for their own digital skills since that helpful tech-savvy colleague is not nearby anymore! Working remotely still requires time and its associated activities to be recorded accurately. Documents still need to be correctly formatted and filed with emails in a secure and appropriate location. Collaboration tools are more essential than ever, both with colleagues and third parties. Communications tools must be used correctly, and client data must be secured.
Chris Bull, legal management consultant and author of The Agile Law Firm believes that “the tools and skills for attorneys to dramatically reduce the non-value added and administrative time they spend every day, much of it currently deemed ‘non-chargeable’, are here right now; most just haven’t recognised that yet or put serious effort into harnessing them; and the benefits are about personal well-being as much as firm finances.”
Another survey just released by Aderant states that “despite readily adapting to keep their businesses operational throughout the pandemic, the top two challenges cited by law firms, Operational Efficiency and Technology Adoption, remained. The challenges of last year were a wake-up call for firms to realize that efficiency concerns, process improvement, and technology adoption required greater investment.”
These challenges were the reason for the development of the LTC4™ core competencies more than a decade ago. Their Learning Plans reflect the workflows which need to be more efficiently performed in order to improve productivity. LTC4’s Certification is the only industry-standard accreditation which recognises and proves to clients that process improvement and technology adoption are part of a firm’s DNA. Small improvements make big differences in productivity and profitability.
This simple chart shows exactly how much time can be saved by working smarter with existing technologies…saving 30 seconds a day equates to 10 hours a year per lawyer.