Law is one of the most competitive industries, and to stay afloat in the ocean of competition, your practice should look to market trends for guidance. Trends tell you where the majority of law firms are headed in terms of processes and solutions, and keeping a keen eye on them helps you devise strategies to grow your firm. In 2019, the market is headed in these directions:
1. Sophisticated data protection and cybersecurity
Protecting data remains a top concern among law firms across the world, and local data in particular doesn’t look good. According to a Texas Lawbook survey, 4 out of 5 law firms in the state have experienced data breaches and security incidents in 2017 and 2018. And as compliance laws like the General Data Protection Regulation push for tighter data security, better customer transparency, and staggering violation fines, the need for a robust cybersecurity and business continuity plan is more pressing than ever.
In response, more and more law firms are turning to cloud solutions to store, manage, and encrypt their data. This practice allows them to better prepare for and handle cybersecurity attacks. They will not only be able to restrict user permissions using multifactor authentication (MFA), they can also backup their data as often as necessary. This way, in the event of a disaster, no data will be lost, downtime will be minimal, and business can resume immediately.
Clients will always pick a firm that guarantees data protection over one that doesn’t. Whatever the size of your firm, you have options on how to implement data protection and cybersecurity. Big law firms often have an IT department to take care of their data needs, and small law firms with tight budgets recruit the help of managed IT services provider for a flat monthly fee.
2. Client-focused business modes and models
Clients are clamoring for cheaper, more efficient models of doing business, driving law firms to adopt technology-based solutions to address the demand. Some even go as far as partnering with technology companies to develop their own tools and software. One of the pioneers of this trend, Littler Mendelson P.C., launched ComplianceHR in 2015, a software that makes it easier for businesses to be compliant to federal and state jurisdictions. By using programs that focus on clients’ needs, law firms are more likely to keep their current customers.
Apart from bespoke technology solutions, client support portals are also on the rise. This is in response to clients’ call for a more transparent means of sharing information and documents like invoices and balances. And because 63% of internet traffic now happens on mobile devices, law firms should start optimizing client communication apps for mobile. No matter the size of your practice, your clients should be able to reach your business using their mobile devices.
3. Agile law firms
Law firms without borders are becoming the new norm as practices welcome virtual collaboration tools and remote work into their workflows. This trend is in part due to advancements in technology, and in part to the young blood joining the workforce. Powerful computing devices and cloud-based services enable data access even outside the office, while millennials demand better work-life balance.
And even though your business may not be ready for a completely virtual law firm — a firm that does not occupy a physical office and where employees work from home (or anywhere convenient) — some of its practices can be applied to your law firm. For example, by holding a virtual meeting instead of a physical one, you can save on travel time and overhead costs.
The trend is to jump on the technology train or get left behind. Terminal B is a leading technology solutions company for small law firms. We’ll help you get on the loop, so your practice stays competitive and relevant. Contact us today.