Posted by Deborah Witkiss, professional services director at Legal Futures Associate Insight Legal
The legal industry is utilising more technology than ever before. Law firms understand that, in order to be considered as a leader in their respective fields, incorporating both legal IT and the knowledge to power it is now essential.
With new technology allowing legal systems to operate more efficiently, there has been an inevitable rise in legal businesses overhauling their legacy systems with new and more flexible IT software. Not only has this opened up a window of opportunity for legal professionals to work more productively, it has also created a wealth of new careers for professionals considering a more tech-centric path.
For many legal industry professionals, moving to a legal IT business can be viewed as a natural progression. With a wealth of experience in delivering legal services to clients, in legal finance or in practice management, they are extremely well placed to understand the exact needs of a legal software user, applying their knowledge of previous roles to help deliver the level of support clients need to get the most value from their technology investments. But why make the move?
Making the move
There are a number of factors which could motivate a legal professional to make the move to a career in legal IT. For example, working in legal IT allows professionals to still pursue their interest in law but also to dip their feet in new waters, by focusing on different aspects of the industry whilst supporting their peers with the knowledge to help them get the most from their legal software.
By taking the opportunity to explore law in a new capacity, professionals can continue to adapt their skillset with the changing tides of the industry, stay abreast of developments in the sector and add further value to the industry.
The power of experience
For a legal IT company, delivering the solutions which streamline industry processes and helping practitioners to operate with efficiency and compliance should be the core focus of the business. To achieve this, suppliers must first understand the exact needs of the modern practitioner and build their offering accordingly.
Legal practitioners are, of course, very well placed to do this. With a wealth of hands-on user experience, industry professionals can offer invaluable insight into the specific legal IT services practitioners both want and need from their provider and the support required to ensure users can navigate these systems with maximum effect.
Having this level of expertise in-house can also be essential for future product development. By feeding insights from past users into the roadmap, legal software suppliers can follow the right course of innovation, developing a system with the functionality needed to deliver a high level of user experience.
A strong support network
The advantages of a professional legal background not only benefits the development of a supplier’s offering, but extends across the company’s client support network. Having likely experienced first-hand issues with legal IT systems, they can recognise key pain points in the user journey and use their knowledge of the system to help professionals tackle issues they are experiencing.
What’s more, legal professionals will already have an understanding of the rules and regulations with which law firms must comply. By hiring from within the sector, legal software firms can build a strong client support network and reassure users that they are talking to an experienced professional, who understands their problems and knows effective ways to resolve them.
The traits of industry professionals offer huge value in all corners of a legal IT business. From decision-maker to technical support, a well-grounded knowledge of the legal sector can be the key to providing an effective service for every customer, whilst driving innovation to maintain the company’s competitive edge.
By harnessing this knowledge and experience at the recruitment stage, legal IT businesses can build a compelling solution to continue meeting the needs and expectations of their clients as the sector rapidly evolves.