On Tuesday at our inaugural customer summit, Generate, I was pleased to host a session with my colleague Gareth Jones, looking at the use of matter management in the cloud. The session explored specifically how smaller law firms are taking advantage of the cloud to enable them to overcome their biggest challenges and to set themselves apart at a time when firms are having to work harder to serve client demands and do more with fewer resources.
Challenges of small and medium law firms
A recent Thomson Reuters survey ‘Insight into Management and Growth Priorities’ for small and medium law firms highlighted the top five challenges firms are currently facing:
- Attracting new clients
- Serving matters/clients profitably
- Managing WIP and cash flow
- Recruiting legal talent
- Retaining existing clients
For smaller law firms, matter management tools can and are going a long way to addressing these challenges, and, in particular, the challenge of serving matters profitably. Using matter management tools enables firms to increase their efficiency, as well as giving them time back to look at overcoming the rest of their top challenges. Less time spent on the administration of their business can lead to a greater ability to deliver specialist, added value services to clients, increased responsiveness, and additional resource to focus on attracting new clients.
It is therefore no surprise that smaller law firms are increasingly adopting software for productivity gains. Technology is fast becoming a part of their efficiency armoury, with 75% of smaller law firms viewing it as key to their business strategy. For these firms, the focus is on the client and creating competitive advantage by setting themselves apart from the crowd by doing things more effectively, giving their lawyers back time to focus on their clients, both existing and new.
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