Workflow Management: A big advantage for mid-size and small law firms

BigHandBy Legal Futures Associate BigHand

Law firms face a new reality as clients prioritize efficient and cost-effective legal services. It’s now all about value, with legal work continuing to move down-market to smaller firms as clients look for increased efficiency and value-to-cost balance. The same sentiments drove 39% of in-house teams to shift work from large firms to smaller firms that deliver similar or higher value.

Mid-size and small law firms now have a golden opportunity to use legal technology to solidify their growing advantage. Many technologies have long been considered luxuries reserved for large firms, but that is changing, too. Legal workflow management software can help you meet changing client demands and take your mid-size or small firm’s competitiveness to the next level. Here’s how:

The Problem: Finding the right support staff for tasks.

Lawyers spend significant time on administrative tasks that don’t bring in revenue. According to BigHand research, 46% of mid-tier firms underutilize their support staff due to remote working arrangements.

Lawyers want to delegate low-value tasks. But, they have no way to identify support staff members with the right skills and availability to help them. In the moment, it’s simply easier for lawyers to do the work, though they are less efficient at it. As a result, lost revenue opportunities and costly time write-offs continuously gnaw away firm profits.

The solution is two-fold: First, use task and workflow management software to delegate tasks. Second, use the insights the software provides to optimize your firm’s support staff structure.

Solution: Use legal workflow management software to delegate tasks.

Lawyers working from anywhere can rely on legal workflow and task management software to:

  • Automatically assign tasks to the most suitable support staff member available, taking cost and skillsets into consideration.
  • Monitor tasks from start to finish with an automated oversight system.
  • Get suggestions on which tasks to delegate, freeing even more time for higher-level work.

Support team members who complete administrative tasks free lawyers to focus on core legal work that generates revenue. When tasks are matched to those with the right skills, they complete work faster, with less rework and fewer errors.

Plus, modern workflow management software goes beyond simple task delegation to also help you optimize your firm’s resources.

Solution: Use data to optimize legal support staffing models.

Workflow management software captures data on the work your support staff handles. Detailed reports reveal key metrics on work types, volume, duration, and staff member capacity and utilization.

For the first time, firms are gaining evidence of the value of different types of work activities staff perform. As a result, you can develop staff models that ensure the most cost-effective and efficient use of resources.

We’re already seeing shifts in staffing models, with 97% of firms saying they’ve altered their support structures in the last two years. Currently, 35% of law firms surveyed use a 50/50 split between centralized teams and traditional direct assistant-to-lawyer support. Centralized teams can provide around-the-clock, remote support to lawyers anytime, anywhere, while staff members can build practice area specializations for higher-quality work.

The key is to know where to start with a support staff restructure or implementing centralized support. For optimal decisions, you need the data that workflow management software delivers. Check out our latest trend analysis report to see what other firms are doing.

Legal workflow management technology for all firms.

The issues above are so prevalent that over 50% of law firms now have technology in place for delegating legal support tasks. Mid-sized and small firms often shy away from technology due to cost concerns and apprehensions about change. BigHand Legal Workflow Management software caters to firms of all sizes. It is designed for user-friendly navigation and comes with comprehensive support systems. Implementation can be swift, with some firms experiencing benefits in weeks, including increased utilization rates and useful data insights.

The door is wide open for firms that can demonstrate operational efficiency. Using the metrics workflow management software provides, you can showcase your firm’s agility and commitment to cost-effectiveness and ensure that clients know qualified professionals handle their matters.

Get in touch today to learn how BigHand’s Workflow Management technology can help you unlock your support staff’s full potential.


Associate News is provided by Legal Futures Associates.
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