Many corporate law departments and law firms are legal analytics novices: they have not yet developed the ability to ground their guidance in historical data, measurement and statistics. In order to do so, they must incrementally increase their capacity to capture, organize and analyze data related to the practice of law, much like a karate student learns fundamental skills before building upon that knowledge to advance from level to level.
Complying With Domestic and Global Requirements by Changing the Way We Value Data Privacy
Law departments are maximizing internal staff and embracing innovative resourcing strategies as legal needs continue to rise. This infographic summarizes the key takeaways from the 2019 HBR Law Department Survey.
It is an increasingly competitive market for law firms. Law departments are bringing more work in house, continuing to consolidate the number of outside firms they use, and sending more work to alternative legal service providers. To differentiate themselves, law firms of all sizes are seeking strategies to provide increased value to their clients, while simultaneously increasing profitability.
Law firms are all too aware of the strain that crucial but unbillable tasks such as marketing, time management and pitch development have on revenue loss.
Automation is becoming so important for law firms today that even the American Bar Association is encouraging more legal professionals to adopt business automation services. Legal automation software makes law firms more efficient, more profitable, and gives attorneys and staff more time to focus on clients by simplifying processes essential to day-to-day operations. Once you discover the many benefits of automating the different processes in your law firm, you’ll realize the rewards of doing so, as well.
Four years ago, we introduced a thesis called “Your Firm 2020.” At the time, we predicted the majority of law firms will expect legal technology to support better automation, mobility, and collaboration. We also noted that cybersecurity would be one of the most pressing concerns. As we publish this paper, we’re closing in on the final quarter of 2019 and we think those forecasts have largely played out.
Law firms, like any other business, must continuously track their key performance indicators (KPIs). These metrics go far past the Billable Hours metric that most attorneys track closely and are a great way to help legal teams better manage revenue and expenses. KPIs provide law firm partners and administrators with data analytics that provide an overview of performance for the total firm and across the various firm “slices” such as by timekeeper, practice group, or office. To get the maximum benefit from tracking KPIs, law firms must choose their KPIs wisely. Below are the KPIs that every law firm should track to boost firm revenue and profitability.
Law firms are in the business of helping people, but they are still businesses. Large law firms have teams of people working on analyzing and investigating their performance on key metrics. Smaller law firms, on the other hand, may struggle to allocate adequate resources to analyzing their financial metrics. Regardless of firm size, there are specific metrics that the firms must track and publish to their attorneys. It is ironic that some attorneys want to focus on spending time with their clients, but if they don’t focus enough on their financial metrics they may not have enough clients to spend time with! To ensure that the firm is financially profitable and growing their client base, it is important that every law firm tracks five essential sets of metrics.
Legal Lab 2019, HBR’s fifth annual gathering of leaders from leading law departments and law firms, marked a turning point from prior years where we were poised on the brink of change in the legal industry.
Managing a records retention and disposition program is one of the chronic challenges for any organization in the information age. Businesses and government agencies of all sizes are seeking to implement or improve these programs due to increased risk of cybercrime and data breaches, the complexities of complying with a variety of data privacy laws and regulations worldwide that dictate how long personally identifiable data can be retained, and the desire to reduce their data footprint in order to cut back on their storage expenses however possible.
Law firms are daily targets for cybercrime and targeted data breaches. Criminals are keenly aware that
law firms can be a “back door” to valuable confidential data, such as trade secrets, intellectual property
and financial information related to potential business deals. In fact, 23 percent of law firms reported
that they have been the victim of a data breach at some point, according to the ABA’s 2018 Legal
Technology Survey Report. Meanwhile, corporate clients are ramping up due diligence efforts to ensure their outside law firms are protecting their information with comprehensive information security controls. They also want to be assured their firms can quickly and easily respond to all possible compliance items or requests.
In a profession enamored with centuries-old precedent, the term “legal innovation” has long been an oxymoron. Lawyers were commonly—and often rightly—perceived as too stagnant and tradition-bound to embrace radical change. But more recently, legal innovation has taken off, garnering extensive buzz in the industry.
Law firms have long talked about the attractiveness of migrating their IT infrastructure to the cloud, but they have not made appreciable steps to date. This is due in large part to an understandable fear of negative client reaction, especially in regulated markets such as finance. In truth, restrictive outside counsel guidelines of even a few large clients often were enough to put the brakes on cloud initiatives.
The rise of data analytics has in the past decade substantially impacted how businesses operate and provide services. The legal industry, on the other hand, has been much slower to adopt analytics than other verticals. That is beginning to change, as interest and investment grows in legal organizations.