By Legal Futures Associate Advanced
As the legal market continues to evolve at a breakneck pace, clients have become ever more demanding in terms of the services that they expect from law firms. It’s no longer enough to simply provide legal advice and representation. Clients are looking for a more personalised, value-driven service with more transparent pricing and faster turnaround times.
Law firms embracing technology to meet client demands are thriving, while those that lag behind struggle to keep up. In this article, we’ll explore how client expectations are changing and how law firms can adapt to this change and evolve their firm.
It’s no secret that law firms have been relatively slow to change compared to other industries; however, clients have never had more choice than they do today, and they’re not afraid of taking their business elsewhere if their needs aren’t met. An important part of a lawyer’s job is to provide stability and security in times of uncertainty. But as clients’ expectations change, so must law firms. Clients want more transparency, better communication, and increased access to information.
The two most desired commercial client desires, according to the State of the UK Legal Market 2022 survey by Thomson Reuters, are for law firms to deeply understand their business (28%), and to adopt new technologies to improve client service (27%). This is a significant shift in client expectations. Clients want access to billing information, case status updates, and real-time communication through mobile and web-based platforms.
Beyond client knowledge and technology, clients also want efficient legal services. The survey found that when clients rate the efficiency of a firm highly, both client satisfaction and clients’ likelihood to recommend the firm to others are 20% higher.
With such a long list of requests, how can law firms expect to keep their clients satisfied? This is where technology can be a real game-changer. Emerging as a powerful tool for law firms to adapt to evolving client expectations and gain a competitive edge. Law firms that are investing in technologies such as client portals, document automation, and artificial intelligence can provide a more responsive and efficient service to their clients.
For instance, by implementing client portals, firms can grant their clients real-time access to essential information, such as documents, invoices, and communications. Not only enhancing transparency but also minimising the need for frequent status update calls, saving both parties valuable time.
Leveraging document automation tools enables lawyers to produce standardised documents swiftly and accurately, freeing up their schedules to concentrate on more intricate or high-value tasks. Additionally, employing AI-powered tools empowers law firms to analyse vast volumes of data, uncovering hidden trends or legal issues that might not be immediately apparent. This approach equips clients with a more strategic and proactive service.
The legal market is rapidly transforming, with clients expecting a personalised, transparent, and value-driven service. Firms that embrace the new way of working can thrive in this landscape and get ahead of their competition, which may struggle to keep up without adapting to the change. Clients are demanding responsiveness and seek lawyers who can anticipate their needs, and firms that can deliver on those expectations are the ones that will succeed. By using technologies, firms can improve efficiency, provide a more personalised service, and better keep their clients informed. The legal market may be more challenging than ever, but it’s also full of opportunities for law firms that are willing to embrace change.