Posted by Colin Bohanna, general manager, UK & Ireland of Legal Futures Associate Clio
At this time of year, law firms around the country are busy strategising and implementing plans for the coming 12 months. Forward-planning is a crucial part of a firm’s success, but it can be hard to know where to start.
That’s why we at Clio have devised a two-step process, based on research from our Legal Trends Report, to help you narrow it down.
Building on data from that extensive research, we show you what goals and outcomes your firm should be targeting in the year ahead below.
Step 1: Identify your firm’s goals
According to our research, there are four goals all law firms should be focusing on in 2022:
Goal 1: Bring on more of the clients you want to work with
Some 68% of consumers speak to a lawyer they do not hire. That is a lot of wasted opportunity for your law firm to connect with and nurture relationships with clients who are seeking the kind of services you provide.
To increase your chances of retaining the kinds of clients you want to work with, communicate early and often with those who get in touch with you.
This doesn’t have to be a time-intensive undertaking or one you need to do on a one-to-one basis; emails and reminders can be automated to make it easier to engage, collect information, and ultimately sign a new client up without eating into your casework or administrative time.
Goal 2: Better understand firm performance
Our data shows that only half of sole practitioners and managing partners are very confident in their knowledge of their firm’s major financial metrics. However, this can be key to ensuring your firm’s success.
Adopting reporting tools to continually track key performance indicators, such as billing and collection rates, can help you to identify what is working well and what needs improvement to drive revenue growth.
Goal 3: Understand and deliver on client expectations
It is essential that all law firms understand what clients want – especially because client expectations have changed drastically in recent years. Two-thirds of consumers believe lawyers should offer the option of working with clients remotely. A further 79% want to work with a lawyer who offers services both remotely and in-person.
Building greater flexibility into your services and communicating with clients to determine how they prefer to access legal services can help you to align with these expectations to deliver better client experiences.
Goal 4: Automate more administrative tasks
Successful firms (defined in the Legal Trends Report as firms that have consistent year-over-year increases amounting to 135% since 2013) are increasingly adopting technological solutions to automate and streamline their firm’s processes to make things more organised.
That increased efficiency can have a monumental impact on profit. Adopting solutions that offload some of the administrative workload of running your firm frees up more time for billable work.
These tools include client intake solutions, interactive client portals, time recording, and bill reminders.
Step 2: Implement the right technology to achieve your goals
Implementing the right technologies is a crucial step towards accomplishing your firm’s goals in 2022. We’ve seen a consistent trend in which growing firms have adopted client-centred technologies at a much greater pace than firms with shrinking revenues.