Is your firm ahead of these key legal trends for 2022?

Posted by Colin Bohanna, general manager, UK and Ireland at Legal Futures Associate Clio

Bohanna: Consumer demand for more remote-enabled legal services

There’s no doubt that the past two years have sparked an unprecedented level of change in both our personal and professional lives – and crucially, in how lawyers run their law firms.

The question that should be on every solicitor, barrister and other legal professional’s mind is, what’s next? We can provide some insight.

In our brand-new Legal Trends Report, Clio has analysed data from thousands of firms and legal professionals to assess the level of technology adoption and growth markers of the most successful firms.

The results strongly indicate that new technology-enabled capabilities are part of a longer-term shift that will be further driven by consumer demand for more remote-enabled legal services.

Some key insights from the report are as follows.

The measures that matter for revenue

The data reveals there is one thing that law firms that are growing their revenues do more of than other firms: embrace cloud-based and client-centred technology.

Firms that had, on average, increased their revenues by 135% since 2013 had done this at much greater rates than other firms. Overall, those firms who were growing were:

  • 41% more likely to use online client portals;
  • 46% more likely to use online client intake and relationship management solutions; and
  • 37% more likely to be using online payment solutions

The success of these firms underscores the importance of understanding how to effectively harness the benefits of these flexible technologies in an ever-tightening and highly competitive market.

Measuring success

Another of the most striking differences in technology adoption among growing firms observed in the report was their use of firm reporting tools.

As a whole, growing firms are twice as likely to be using reporting tools than shrinking firms—a difference that reached as high as 175% in 2019.

The takeaway from this data is that growing firms are more likely to increase their revenues because they have access to the information and insights that help them assess how their business is performing, which also allows them to focus more attention on planning for additional, ongoing growth over the long term.

Client-led change

The increased adoption of technology also reflects a massive change in legal client attitudes and expectations.

In 2018, only 23% of consumers were open to working with a lawyer remotely. Now, much of this change is client-led:

  • 79% of consumers see the ability to work remotely with a lawyer as a key factor in choosing who to work with;
  • 67% said they would look for a lawyer offering both remote and in-person options when searching for a lawyer; and
  • 58% want the option to have a consultation through video.

This is just a small selection of key findings from the report. Published annually for the last six years, it is widely considered one of the most trusted resources globally for insights into the current and future state of legal.

If you’re seeking to grow your law firm, the insights contained in this industry report could prove invaluable.

The 2021 Legal Trends Report is available to download for free by clicking here.

Or, to see for yourself how Clio can support your legal firm to work more effectively while increasing revenue, request your free seven-day trial today.


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