Sysero: How the pandemic is redefining legal transformation
The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it unprecedented challenges for today’s law firms and legal teams. From quickly finding ways to transition to remote work to rethinking how to collaborate with remote-based clients, legal service providers have had to rapidly rethink how they operate. As legal leaders continue to grapple with the short-term impacts of the pandemic, it’s difficult to look beyond the moment. However, one thing is certain: the pandemic will have a lasting impact on the legal services sector.
Prior to the pandemic, many legal services providers recognised the need for innovation to differentiate their firms and exploit opportunities - but few were likely to pioneer efforts within their firms. The pandemic will change that. Moving forward, legal services will require a digital-first mindset, the adoption of new business models, and a reinvention of the way lawyers work. Here is a look at how the pandemic will forever change legal services, and most importantly, how you can adapt for the post-pandemic future.
Remote Work Will be New Normal
With social-distancing measures in place, law firms and legal teams have to quickly transition to remote work environments. It’s a trend with staying power. A recent Virgin Media Business survey predicted that 60% of all employees will regularly work from home by 2022. For legal teams and law firms, this means finding new ways to keep lawyers, staff and clients connected, productive and collaborative.
One outcome of the current crisis is that more firms are recognising the benefit of a cloud-first strategy. Cloud-based infrastructures provide the ability to quickly scale and offer greater mobility and flexibility to users. For example, cloud-based applications like workflow automation and client portals can be used to grant lawyers, staff and clients access to templates, transactions and contracts via their browser, wherever they may be working.
Legal Work Will Become More Commodised
The traditional law firm partnership model is already showing stress cracks - and the current crisis will only make them worse. As budgets tighten and the need for commoditised legal work grows, legal services providers will need to rethink how they deliver their services to clients. To do this, providers must look beyond traditional service delivery models to offer greater accessibility, mobility and transparency to their clients.
One way that legal providers are already overcoming the commidisation challenge is through client self-service portals. These cloud-based, client-centric portals empower legal services clients to quickly access firm-managed legal documents, when and as required. When clients require a legal document, such as an NDA, they can simply log in, fill in the required information via an online form, and produce their own document on-demand. This just-in-time delivery model not only elevates the client experience, but also helps drive profitability and differentiation for the firm.
Differentiation Will be Crucial to Survival
The need to differentiate has always been a challenge for law firms. However, post-pandemic, it will be a challenge that is crucial to overcome. Law firms can typically differentiate themselves in three ways: knowledge and expertise, service delivery and client satisfaction. Fortunately, firms only need a single solution to address all three.
By creating a customised, integrated and automated solution to power everything from client intake, document generation and service delivery, legal providers can start to develop true competitive advantage. Take for example, how UK-based law firm Wedlake Bell unified and streamlined many of its legal processes using a single Sysero system. From a cloud-based knowledge base and digital client onboarding to records management and the automation of manual administration tasks, Wedlake Bell has successfully used Sysero technology to share and manage its knowledge, innovate the way its lawyers work, and ensure a consistent, elevated client experience.
The implications of the COVID-19 crisis will be long-lasting, yet transformative. While law firms and legal teams may have identified the need for legal innovation prior to the pandemic, now’s the time for action. Providers that can successfully deliver more agile, efficient and profitable ways of working will be the dominant players in the legal market that lies ahead. If you need help in transforming your law firm for the post-pandemic market, get in touch with our team.