Above the Law published a fantastic post by Massachusetts attorney Robert Ambrogi in early February 2019. Ambrogi wrote the post following a 5-day stint exploring two legal conferences taking place in New York City. The post is rather insightful to anyone who wants to know why so many clients continue to express unhappiness with their attorneys.
One thing Ambrogi did not talk about in his post is the role of technology in modern law. Yet woven in between the lines of his well-crafted piece is the reality that legal software can make the difference between maintaining the status quo and figuring out how to make unhappy clients happy. The right legal software can make a major player out of any law firm.
Attempting Change in the Echo Chamber
Ambrogi expressed concern over the state of the legal industry after visiting the dual New York conferences. He spoke of observing an echo chamber at both events, an echo chamber in which corporate executives tried to explain how and why the legal profession needs to evolve. But as Ambrogi so aptly pointed out, change doesn’t come from within the echo chamber. It comes from without.
It would seem that at both conferences, those tasked with explaining how the legal industry needs to change don’t really understand it themselves. In the simplest possible terms, clients want results. They do not want activity. A client wants and expects his or her attorney to deliver results in exchange for the expensive fees being paid. All the activity in the world is meaningless if those results are not achieved.
The echo chamber mentality Ambrogi mentioned in his piece completely excludes the client. Corporate executives tell attorneys what clients want without ever consulting the clients themselves. As such, the echo chamber ends up putting the emphasis on activity rather than results. Another way to look at it is style over substance.
The Role of Legal Software
At the heart of changing America’s perception of the legal industry is the tried-and-true principle of getting results. That is where legal software comes in. Recently, the industry has seen the emergence of a core set of new legal and case management software applications that put older, legacy software to shame.
One example is a Salesforce-based legal app known as NuLaw. It is a software package that does far more than just keep billing records and client contact information in digital storage. NuLaw combines cloud technology, automation, secure communication, and case acquisition tools to be a complete, turnkey solution for running the modern law office.
How does something like NuLaw help bring a law firm out of the echo chamber and into a results-driven environment? By helping law firms and attorneys get back to the basics of practicing law rather than running a business.
Restoring a Client Focus
Used properly, a modern case management software application with the right features restores a firm’s original client focus. It does so by addressing the business side of law with tools that increase efficiency. It does so by giving attorneys more efficient access to information. It does so by facilitating instant and secure communications between attorneys and their clients.
The reality is that practicing law does have a business component attached to it. However, too many firms have allowed the business side of law to overtake the practice side, leaving clients unhappy and disillusioned. Part of that solution is a modern case management software application that streamlines business so attorneys can get back to their clients. That will turn any firm into a major player.