Today’s legal clients know what they want, and they have the technology at their fingertips to find it. As a result, your clients are less inclined than ever to wait for legal to catch up to the rest of the world.
Now is the time to bring forth a new era of client-firm collaboration – one that provides real-time insights, better communication, and predictability to both parties. It’s a shift I’m personally excited about as closer collaboration delivers better legal outcomes for all.
These are the key trends I see unfolding that make this future possible:
1. Your client has new expectations for transparency
Your client wakes up in the morning to the sound of a smartphone alarm. They check their calendar for the day, then skim their personal and professional inboxes. They check the weather and traffic on respective mobile apps before heading out the door. Next, they might call a car or pre-order a coffee on their way to work. Today’s consumers increasingly expect convenience, digital innovation, and transparency — and businesses everywhere are rising to the occasion.
With this level of digital access and self-service happening in every other area of their lives, it should come as no surprise that clients of your firm expect transparent, seamless communication at every stage of the matter’s lifecycle. Accordingly, law firms that neglect to elevate client interactions to a similar level of convenience and ease, run the risk of being left behind.
To take this logic a step further, your clients shouldn’t be the only ones that feel entitled to this new standard of increased transparency. You should also feel empowered and supported by these real-time, data-driven insights!
2. Platform technology drives productivity and profitability
As standards rise and competition stiffens, firms that build client trust and foster collaboration for more productive and positive client interactions will prevail. Unfortunately, most law firms are fragmented by point solutions that don’t integrate well — or at all. Fragmented technology leads to fragmented processes and communication. Firms that continue to work in silos across teams and practice areas will have a difficult time rising to the occasion.
According to Thomson Reuters’ Large Law Firm Technology Survey, most participants said that increased interoperability would help their firm become more efficient by bringing essential information together into one convenient location. In fact, 62% of respondents said they see interoperability as more valuable than any other concept or technology.
Arguably, we’ve arrived at a place where almost all agree that the legal industry needs more efficient technology and processes – and that the silos that result in their absence are bad for business. While individual point solutions may beautifully solve for specific tasks or pain points, they take lawyers out of their workflows and cause inefficiency.
Modern firms need an end-to-end solution with endless options for integrations, configurations, and the ability to access and visualize mission-critical data in real-time. Built on Salesforce, Litify offers a single end-to-end platform technology that is customizable, secure, and trusted by the vast majority of Fortune 500 companies.
For a deeper read into how platformization can benefit the legal industry, check out my op-ed in ILTA’s Quarterly Magazine, Fall 2022.
3. Billing is tedious — but it doesn’t have to be
Timekeeping and billing have been universally regarded as tedious, fragmented, and inefficient processes for both clients and firms. It’s likely one of the top tension points in the client-firm relationship. As the concepts of platformization and interoperability continue to become mainstream in the legal industry, an end-to-end solution like Litify can also address the challenges with time and billing processes.
When time and billing processes are housed in the integrated platform where your employees do the rest of their work, the need to switch systems, manually transfer data from one system to the next, and the risk of losing time capture virtually disappear. Further, as these activities are embedded throughout the workflow, additional opportunities are unlocked that further streamline the billing process, such as:
- Billing rules that enforce guidelines at the firm, client, or matter level
- Notifications that remind users to submit time when generating standard documents, or when saving documents from Outlook
- The ability to track time against the billable hours — right from within each matter
When billing guidelines for each unique client are loaded into the same system in which time is tracked, firms are empowered with greater control in the billing process. For example, instead of waiting until the bill has been kicked back by the client, you’re prompted in real-time when an entry doesn’t comply with the guidelines specific to that client.
The key to the instant feedback, great communication, and predictability that your clients demand won’t come from a single-solution approach. To unlock the next era of collaboration, legaltech needs to take a fully integrated approach, providing intuitive solutions that present themselves at every stage of the billing and matter management cycle.
A new era of client-firm collaboration, powered by Litify
Team Litify was honored to take the stage not once, but three times, at ILTACON 2022. In one of those sessions, myself and our VP of Strategy & Innovation Dov Slansky shared how we see the Litify platform playing a key role in continuing to push our industry forward. If you missed us in person, you can watch the recap below: