When it comes to converting law firm data over from one legal practice management system to another – the words ‘baby’ and ‘bath-water’ spring to mind. The value of a law firm’s data should never be underestimated.
One way of viewing the current legal services market is that the legal profession is locked in a race to the death with non-qualified providers, tempted by the lucrative chunk of legal work that is not reserved to qualified lawyers and which forms a big part of their income.
This article will focus on this one specific section of the GDPR, article 20, which requires ‘portability’ of data containing personal information, and in particular the technical measures to be taken.
In this article, I talk about my own personal experience of receiving great customer service and look at the lessons that law firms can learn from looking to another sector for tips.
“The legal market is in a remarkable state of flux. In less than two decades, the way in which lawyers work will change radically,” writes Richard Susskind in Tomorrow’s Lawyers. These changes will pose new risks for law firms. Those that fail to manage them could struggle, but for nimble and forward-thinking firms, they present opportunities.
Compensation claims, particularly for minor injuries as a result of road traffic accidents, are the centre of ongoing tension between the insurance industry and those who represent claimants. The Civil Liability Bill aims to put an end to what the government sees as the high number of “minor, exaggerated and fraudulent claims for compensation resulting from whiplash injuries sustained in road traffic accidents”.
I saw the future of the legal industry in a warehouse in Shoreditch. That perhaps sounds like an unusual thing to say about a $700bn global market, but after visiting a legal tech company recently in London’s most dynamic quarter, the true scale of what could happen to the legal sector was laid bare. What I saw is not the end for all lawyers, but instead an artificial intelligence (AI) whirlwind hitting the current world of paralegals and junior associates, whose working lives may very well be about to turn upside down.
The headlines sound marvellous to hard-pressed law firm partners (don’t all weep tears of sympathy into your beer): “Gateley partners to share £25m”. Wow. An exit route and, what’s more, a means of realising a goodwill value for your practice, as well as the return of your capital. What law firm partner could want more? Well, the substance, of course, is probably far removed from that glossy appearance, or at least a good deal more complicated.
Process maps can take a number of different forms and, depending on complexity, involve numerous sub-processes. Commonly used forms include swimlane diagrams, value stream maps, organisational process structures and the more comprehensive ‘SIPOC’ models (which details the interplay between Suppliers, Inputs, Process steps, Outputs and Customers).
Not many lawyers would consider themselves masters of process. When lawyers talk about their work, they typically focus on ‘high-value’ activities such as advocacy and counselling. But the truth is process is a massive part of what lawyers actually do on a day-to-day basis.
Human error is a leading cause of reported data breaches in the legal industry, and mistakes like sending an email to the wrong person can have serious consequences under data privacy laws.