In the wake of several high profile data breaches that have recently occurred, the public eye has turned its crosshairs on the outdated technology and clichéd business practices that exist in the legal world.
Legal firms have tried to keep up with the developing technological needs of their industry, but their efforts have traditionally fallen short. With practices deeply rooted in tradition and held sacred by many lawyers, innovation in the legal world is scarce.
Law as Business
The most recent Inside Counsel SuperConference held on May 12th of this year discussed the need for technological improvements in the legal world, with many industry insiders agreeing that law firms must function more as businesses and apply a new mindset to the way they handle in-house counsel.
Legal firms on the cutting edge have already been using technology to inform their legal practice in the same ways that businesses have. By gathering data on legal competition and using predictive analytics to measure future outcomes, firms have received an enhanced level of insight into the legal process that outdated firms can’t match. Pairing these business practices with in-house legal goals means better informed lawyers, more prepared counsel, and a stronger overall firm.
“Technology is pervasive,” said David Cambria, global director of operations and government relations at Archer Daniels Midland Company. “I think you are going to see a lot of adoption of technologies or ideas in lot of places …Innovation is a message that resonates with any business.”
Lawyers entering the industry fresh out of law school bring with them changing trends for the legal world.
Many of the practicing lawyers received their education well before the advent of the Internet, creating a legal environment where new and innovative technology isn’t prioritized. However, young lawyers whose legal training went hand-in-hand with technology use are bringing changes to the way legal counsel is handled though social media outreach, more efficient data management, and productivity-saving applications.
While firms resistant to change may hold off on implementing new technology until they can verify its efficacy, they may find that by the time they’re ready for change, they’re already too late. Early adoption is a key part of innovation. Technology is developing fast, and legal firms that don’t want to fall behind must stay ahead of the curve.
Our endeavor at iBridge is to provide a forum for firm leadership to dialogue as they weigh transformation strategies. While it easy for someone from the outside to preach on change, facilitating change while keeping the firm solvent and growing is difficult. We can offer counsel and guide the process. Contacting us or calling us at 888.490.3282 is the first step in the right direction.
Written by Desh Urs
As a Vice President of Global Sales, Services, and Marketing at Silicon Graphics, Inc., Urs managed engineering and non-engineering functions, developing solutions in sciences, telecommunications, manufacturing, media, business, and defense intelligence, for companies with revenues of several billion dollars. During his tenure as Vice President at Think Tools AG and Brio Technology, Inc., he ran business development and alliances providing solutions in Business Intelligence and Decision Cycle Management to Global 100 corporations worldwide. In the late 1980s, Urs founded Indus Systems, Inc., which he profitably sold to a systems integration company.
Urs serves on several Advisory Boards, as well as many company Boards, in the United States and India.