By Claudia King, CEO + Founder
What the legal industry might look like in a decade depends very much on who’s telling the story.
On one side of the great divide we have the Traditionalists. These peeps are adamant that, while industries around the globe continue to be transformed by technological advances, the legal profession will remain largely unaffected as the work lawyers do can’t be automated.
On the other side there are the Technologists. Rapid, radical transformation is on the way, they tell us. Within the next decade advances like AI and automation will make today’s lawyers obsolete.
I believe the truth of how of the legal profession will evolve sits, not really in the middle, but in a different direction.
Yes, the technologists are right. Law firms as they are today will become less and less sustainable. While many current clients will continue to expect their lawyer to “do things the way they always have”, it will become harder and harder for old-school firms to secure new clients. More and more people will want to see their lawyers embracing (and passing on) the efficiencies technological advances like automation and remote communication bring.
For the past 10 years I have been reading reasoned, factual stories about the amazing changes technology can bring to the legal sector. But I’m yet to see any meaningful industry-wide adoption of tech. Individual case studies of firms harnessing the potential of Legal Tech remain few and far between. So excuse me if I’m not convinced by today’s futurists breathlessly predicting what things might look like in 2030.
Here’s what I think. Lawyers are here to stay and won’t be made obsolete by even the fanciest tech. Technology will change the way we do things. But to debate between Tradition and Technology is missing the point. What is important is not the WHO or the HOW but the WHAT. So, WHAT will the successful lawyers of tomorrow do for their clients?
Technology and automation will mean it is no longer enough to sell clients legal services or products. In the future, legal bots will be able to take care of both of these things. They’ll become the first port of call for clients, used to interacting with technology in all areas of their lives. Legal bots will elicit information from clients, help clients with decisions and next steps, crunch numbers and data and then give customised advice and generate documents.
To succeed – that is to build sustainable, scalable, profitable law firms that will attract and retain ideal clients – lawyers will need to do what technology can’t in of itself do. You will need to deliver meaningful, transformative change to your clients by solving their problems and delivering kick-ass results.
One of the best ways to do this will be by developing an online legal solution or what I call your Signature Solution.
A Signature Solution brings together your IP, professional skills and personal strengths and harnesses the power and efficiencies of automation and technology to deliver awesome results for your client.
To solve a real problem for your ideal client and get awesome results, your Signature Solutions follows a step-by-step system that you can easily explain.
So not only will your ideal client know WHAT amazing results you get them with your Signature Solution, but they know HOW you will get those amazing results.
Creating a law firm that focuses on delivering one Signature Solution will bring you untold benefits.
Value Based Billing
I can see a future where young lawyers have never even heard of a billable hour! Instead they are used to clients paying for the value their firm’s Signature Solution brings to their life or business.
Benefits of Automation
Successful firms of the future will use automated systems to market, sell and deliver their Signature Solution (that automation may be technologically based, or it may simply be a process that can be completed by anyone).
Automation makes exponential growth a reality. Clients around the world can buy and implement a Signature Solution at the same time as each other. Revenue climbs because it isn’t based on how many hours each individual works.
Freedom & Flexibility
Speaking of hours worked. Automation means that, while you’re delivering amazing results to huge numbers of clients, you are actually working less.
Further freedom will come to lawyers who adopt the tech and the mindsets that make face-to-face meetings, bricks and mortar premises and constant client contact a thing of the past.
We probably all know that the first two can be a reality – you may already be using video conferencing to talk to your clients from your remote office. Reducing the amount of unscheduled client contact is beneficial side effect when you create a firm that focuses on a Signature Solution rather than selling billable hours.
Higher productivity & happiness
With a Signature Solution that harnesses automation, lawyers will have the freedom to spend their time working in areas they are passionate about. The increased flexibility will result in better life/work balances. Remote offices will mean everyday annoyances like commuting won’t exist. Lawyers will be happier overall – productivity will climb!
Savvy lawyers are already transforming their law firms to focus on delivering one amazing Signature Solution.
If you would like to understand how you can join them and develop a Signature Solution that will enable you to thrive in the changing legal landscape (by solving real problems for your clients and bringing about transformative change) then schedule a Scale Up Session with our team today.
During the session, we’ll have a chat with you to determine:
We will help you determine what IP you currently have that could become the basis of a future-proof Signature Solution and the three strategies you need to implement to transform your practice into a truly modern, scalable law firm that is going to deliver awesome results for your clients and for you now and in the future.
And if it feels like a good fit we'll talk about how we can work together to take your law firm to the next level!