As 2021 navigates additional COVID-19 challenges, pressure on businesses remain constant. But law firms were already on a steep trajectory of change. Here are four strategies to consider.
Australian lawyers have adopted or increased their use of tools and technologies in the last 18 months, allowing them to better manage their practices, collaborate with clients and work from home. Yet the pandemic only accelerated a sector-wide transformation that has been underway for some time. Established firms cannot coast on their legacy in an era where clients have a greater choice of service providers, and doing business with one firm for all legal needs is no longer routine. COVID-19 has demonstrated the necessity of constant adaptation. So, how should you prepare your legal practice for the future?
This article summarises key insights from a panel of leading legal innovators1, assembled by Macquarie Business Banking in May 2021. It also reflects our knowledge from more than three decades of working with the legal industry. To learn more, read our full report, here.
1. Be different
Today’s law firms compete in a landscape where technology is redefining the choice between speed, quality and cost, dismantling the ingrained assumption that conflicting imperatives must be traded-off. When choosing between risk, efficiency, and perception, lawyers justifiably struggle, as delivery, reputation and competition come into play. High-quality legal advice can increasingly be purchased from anywhere – and doesn’t always command a premium.
Choosing between conflicting imperatives: challenging ingrained assumptions with innovation
This places pressure on legal practices to offer something distinctive, both to separate themselves from the “firm next door” and start-ups with significantly lower overheads.
For example, Hunt & Hunt Lawyers recruit practitioners with superior interpersonal skills who can build a powerful client affinity. “The only reason clients will still use traditional law firms rather than those other disruptors is if there's something unique being offered,” says Managing Principal Tony Raunic.