As we know, the legal landscape is perpetually changing with the implementation of new technologies, practices, and industry standards — so where do I see it going in the future?
1. Remove Friction Points
There’s already been a shift towards the importance of utilizing technology to improve the client experience with the intention of removing friction points. We see this same phenomenon occurring with a variety of on-demand services — Uber, DoorDash, Postmates, and so on. These companies are on the forefront of making it easier than ever to do business, and they’re creating that same expectation for law firms to follow suit.
Consumers crave simplicity and less stress. They don’t want to get on the phone, come into an office, or sign physical documents. There’s little patience on the consumer side for responsiveness, for communication, and in doing business.
To put it simply, the law firms that are more frictionless and make it easier to do business with them will be more successful.
2. De-Commoditize Yourself
On that same note, the legal industry has gotten more competitive due to more law firms entering the marketplace. Consumers have more options than ever, so it’s going to be more and more important to differentiate yourself — and not as a commodity or simply as a business that provides legal services.
Differentiating yourself means clearly communicating why anyone should hire you and you specifically. How are you different? How can you stand out? How can you compete in ways beyond just price?
For law firms across the nation, this will become the only way that they will be able to be competitive. Unless you have a brand — meaning that your clients and people in your community are able to clearly distinguish what sets your firm apart — you will fail to differentiate and de-commoditize yourself.
3. Invest in Your People
The next prediction that I’m anticipating is the growing importance of law firm culture.
It will continue to be vital that your law firm attract and retain the best talent. The most aligned, most prepared teams are going to be the most successful teams.
Your ability to hire and retain the best talent is going to be a huge competitive edge — as well as getting everyone on your team aligned and committed to your law firm’s mission.
Outside of those things, I believe there will be more flexibility towards the idea of remote work, but physical offices are going to continue to be extremely important because people want human interaction.
Although the current state of things doesn’t necessarily reflect this, things will not always be this way. I believe consumers will want to foster human connections, collaborate, and have an excellent in-person experience that you just can’t replicate virtually.
4. Understand the Business of Law
The final prediction I have for the future is the importance of understanding the business of law.
No longer will you be able to be a great lawyer without having an operational structure, intake process, a great leadership team, or the ability to track metrics and data.
You will be at a tremendous disadvantage if you’re not on top of these things and not educating yourself and developing yourself into a great leader to run an organization.
Let’s be honest. If you’re not paying attention to these things now, and you’re not putting these areas in place in your firm — from embracing technology, to the importance of culture, to developing yourself as a leader and investing in your business and your people — you will be at a disadvantage.
But it’s not too late to get started.
If you agree or disagree with anything Michael said here, he wants to know about it. Text him at 404-531-7691 to share your thoughts.