If you’re in the legal industry there are a lot of trends that have been taking shape which stand to transform the industry over the next few years. Even though the legal market itself isn’t experiencing much for growth, it is noticing vast changes in services offered and how law firms approach business.
Here are some of the latest trends to follow in the legal industry so you can stay up to date on how the industry is evolving for the future.
Branding, Branding, Branding
It’s no secret that law firm marketing has been booming in the United States, and recently in Canada as well. Injury lawyers like Diamond and Diamond Personal Injury Lawyers promote their law firms on big billboards, on buses, the sides of buildings, and even at big sporting arenas. These marketing pushes are fiercely competitive as firms try to gain the advantage over one another.
The change that’s occurring is that individual lawyers are beginning to brand themselves and as a result are starting to notice almost a celebrity-like status among their local cities. By selling an individual name with a firm, law firms have been able to attract a lot of clients, so many clients in fact, that they run teams of sometimes two dozen lawyer’s all behind the one name.
Increased Use of Data Protection Software
Every few months it seems that there’s a new headline for a data breach, whether it’s Yahoo!, Target, or the latest crippling breach, ‘WannaCry’. These programs are worrisome because they can be developed and then targeted towards clients private information that lawyer’s are sworn to protect.
There are now a number of companies that cater to protecting client data from any would be hackers who aim to use that information against them. Clients are becoming increasingly worried about how their information is being stored and as a result they feel less secure in sharing of information.
A few of these data protection softwares include two-factor authentification among password protected documents at the basic level and encrypted devices at the higher level. Encrypted devices acts as a firewall to protect the most sensitive data by keeping out people without authorized access.
The Rise of Investments in Legal Tech
Legal technology is also on a steady rise to help firms manage a number of in-house processes tome their life simpler and more organized. One popular form of this is in client-based software such as MyCase that allow clients to pay invoices and see details that pertain to their client.
Another popular form of legal assistance is programs like Clio and LexisNexis which provide overall firm management through tools that help with calendaring, submitting billing hours, and case management. There is even software which helps you to quickly upload financial information to keep your books in check.
All of the software improves the efficiency of lawyers, and they’re being heavily used by firms, which has investors intrigued. This trend is only likely to grow.
There’s a lot on the plate of law firms who are trying to expand their reach in order to attract more clients and as a result they are turning to experts to get those results. Generally in the past law firms handled everything in-house from marketing to client billing, but this is beginning to change as the field heats up and competition intensifies.
A prime example of this is the increase is marketing outsourcing. Law firms no longer have the time to focus their energy on marketing and they notice that they are unable to get the results that PR & Marketing companies are able to garner for them. As a result, firms are increasingly relying on other industries to increase the success that they can have in their own.
More Hours Billed Annually
Lawyer’s often have a reputation for being workaholics and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon. We’re seeing more hours being billed in the past few years compared to previous years. This is a result of lawyer’s being more connected than ever, which allows them to work out of the office and trade up to just about anywhere they are.
A driver of this is the competition that is brewing between firms. This makes young lawyer’s especially feel that they need to give up their work-life balance to pursue a higher income and more clients just to keep up. Lawyers who have been in the industry for years are showing no sign of slowing down either.
The law firm industry is in a revolutionary time as it is beginning to embrace technology and use it to enhance client satisfaction and to increase their revenue. While the industry itself isn’t experiencing much growth, the is a shift happening in the industry which is pushing firms further into the public light than ever before.