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May 10, 2022

Leading the Way: The Business of Law in 2022 and Beyond – Part 1

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Introducing a New Series from SurePoint Technologies

After spending nearly two years in largely remote and virtual environments, we return to a state of normalcy that is not ‘business as usual.’ Most law firm leaders and administrators will readily admit that in the past the legal profession has been slow to embrace technology.

Today, the demands of the client and the legal workforce require all law firm leaders to take a more informed look at how these changes impact the profitability and future viability of their businesses. In this series, “Leading the Way: The Business of Law in 2022 and Beyond,” we’ll examine the issues facing law firms and legal professionals.

The Mid-size Advantage

In this series, we will address the specific issues facing law firms and legal professionals in firms of twenty to three hundred attorneys, the segment of the professional most often referred to as mid-size.

Mid-size law firms are unique in that they are challenged from above (big law) and below (small law). Big law can easily out-resource mid-size firms, while the autonomy, control, and flexibility of solo/small firms’ practice may appeal to some professionals.

By the nature of their size, there are inherent attributes of mid-size firms that provide significant competitive advantages. With less overhead, mid-size firms are able to deliver big law results without the big law price. For instance, mid-size firms can easily pivot and innovate faster than their big law colleagues because there are fewer barriers to strategic decision-making. Mid-size firms can also offer more competitive pricing, nimbly respond to client requests, launch new practice areas, and quickly implement new technology. All of this translates to greater efficiencies and value for their clients.

Why Now…More Than Ever Before

Since the beginning of modern-day practice, law firms of all sizes have operated as small independent units (think practice groups). To succeed in today’s business environment, firm leadership needs to bring the firm together with a single vision, voice, and tools that enable long-term success. In that way, all members succeed, and attrition is reduced.

While the pandemic certainly triggered an evolution and disruption within the legal industry, it is not the sole reason for the changes we’re experiencing today. It accelerated long-needed changes in the legal industry and created a major paradigm shift.

As technology has driven client expectations (instant answers via text messaging and email, for example), the demands of the younger legal workforce have changed as well. It is no longer enough to respond timely. Clients, partners, and others are able to access information and respond whenever, wherever, and from whatever device they are holding.

As millennial professionals transition into decision-making and leadership positions, their comfort with, and reliance on, technology is becoming a centerpiece of the new law firm business model.

Legal Services Buyers Have Changed

Law firms no longer control client communication. As consumers, we live in a world of spontaneous access, from banking to search engines to social communications. When consumers become clients, they expect the same instant answers from their legal teams. That’s why many firms are seeing an increase in text messaging from clients and a demand for additional communication methods such as client portals. How is your firm responding?

Legal Professionals are Changing How They Work

There has been no lack of coverage of the changes occurring within the legal workforce. As the Great Resignation continues, it becomes more challenging to retain firm members. Remote working options are inviting to today’s workforce and appreciated by many. Thus, having the tools in place to facilitate remote work while managing the KPIs critical to a firm’s success must be enabled.

In fact, ILTA’s 2021 Technology Survey reported that law firm technology is moving from ‘Cloud-averse’ to ‘Cloud-first’, stating: There is a sea change here, apparently hastened by WFH.

Further, geriatric millennials are moving into decision-making positions, gradually replacing and becoming senior members of their firms. This micro-generation can smooth the divide between the tech-adverse members and firm personnel that demand more technology and efficiency.

What We’ll Cover in This Series

In this series, we’ll take a deeper dive into the primary considerations of the law firm business model to ensure mid-size firms continue to thrive now and in the years to come.

We’ll cover:

  • What your clients want from you – and how to deliver it
  • Managing your business – meeting and exceeding staff expectations
  • Running your business – the tools to identify, track, and evaluate KPIs
  • Predicting your firm’s performance – where planning becomes reality
  • Automated timekeeping – setting, communicating, and monitoring performance
  • The cloud, SaaS, and security – why there has never been a better time to be in the cloud

The business of law is changing, evolving, and adapting to new client and workforce demands. What questions do you have? Share them with us and tell us about your concerns. We’ll do our best to address them in a future post.

Are you ready to lead the way?

Schedule a demo to learn more about how mid-size firms are leading the way and unlocking higher performance with SurePoint.

Read Other Posts in the Series

About SurePoint Technologies

SurePoint Technologies is a leading provider of financial and practice management software to law firms nationwide. For more than 40 years, law firms have relied on SurePoint’s award-winning enterprise software to drastically improve workflow and maximize financial performance. With a community of more than 100,000 members, SurePoint continues to transform the legal industry by enabling law firms to unlock higher performance by freeing lawyers of administrative burdens so they can spend far more time focusing on their clients and their practice. Learn more at https://surepoint.com.