By Legal Futures’ Associates LEAP UK
John Espley, CEO of LEAP UK, the legal practice management software provider, puts forward the case that the pandemic has created an opportunity for law firms to improve their systems by becoming more agile and therefore offering a better service to their clients.
At the start of the pandemic many law firms were still over reliant on old and traditional systems and methodologies, relying on paper-based systems and face to face contact.
COVID created an immediate need for new software solutions to ensure business continuity for law firms, which required a smooth transition and the right tools for staff to work efficiently. Many firms have used any downtime created by lockdown to turn to new ways or working. Investing in new technology and training staff in new procedures that will help overcome the challenges that have arisen coming in and out of lockdown.
Many law firms have found this an exceptionally busy time, with a noticeable spike in conveyancing instructions in part due to the Government’s stamp duty changes, and also in areas of family law. This has also provided an incentive for firms to reinvent themselves, putting new processes in place, and investing in the right technology to enable a digital working environment.
Digital transformation has become a necessity for law firms, and the speed of its adoption has been accelerated by the pandemic. Changes that may have taken years to implement have occurred in months: such as the courts now accepting digital bundles and the Land Registry allowing digital witnessed signatures.
For those firms that have been agile and become more digital, it has created an opportunity for them to improve their brand’s standing showing less reliance on an old paper-based system so boosting confidence amongst customers. Cloud technology is by no means new, but it has become a game changer in terms of enabling the same productivity when working remotely. Cloud-based practice management software is empowering legal professionals to work anywhere at any time from any connected device. LEAP has been committed to developing software that supports small to mid-sized law firms, and has fast tracked the implementation of a number of services, such as a 24/7 help desk, and the earlier integration of teams to help clients collaborate remotely.
For a firm to become more agile and benefit from the changing landscape, there are a number of points to consider:
- Use the pandemic as an opportunity to transform to a digital firm, and so increase efficiency by investing in the right technology
- Upskill staff and provide them with the right tools. For example, make it easy to get access to legal guidance which can be harder to find when working remotely
- Be more accessible to your customers, digitalising the client journey from enquiry to instruction.
- Introduce tools that aid the collaboration on documents with clients digitally, and share via a secure portal
- Accept online payments and improve cash flow.
The pandemic has created this opportunity for law firms to become more efficient, more agile and more in tune with their clients.