In today’s rapidly evolving legal landscape, firms of all sizes and in all areas of legal practice need to stay ahead of the technological curve to succeed.
As our technological capabilities advance faster than ever before, law firms that use software solutions to manage their practices can experience lower overhead costs, increased lead conversions, better compliance and data security measures, and more efficient operations.
Often, it’s a competitive edge that you can’t afford to miss. Let’s explore some exciting new trends.
How technology can dictate the success of your practice
For law firms, the adoption of technology isn’t about “if,” but “when.” According to Gartner:
- 21% of legal CFOs are pursuing workplace automation as their main priority
- 52% of legal technology executives project that IT budgets will increase in the next year
- By 2026, 40% of legal teams will have workflow automation technology to support in-house work
In terms of challenges, law firms will have to balance technology adoption with issues such as:
- Cybersecurity threats
- Compliance needs
- Cost efficiency
- Return on investment
If your law firm is ready to increase productivity and profitability in 2024, here are the top technology trends to help grow your practice.
Top 5 technology trends to grow your legal practice
Technology is crucial for law firms to stay competitive. Adopting top trends like AI for document drafting, improving email marketing automation, and strengthening cybersecurity and compliance measures can increase productivity and profitability while ensuring better compliance and data security—and that’s not all.
1. Using AI technology to draft documents
AI technology is just like any other tool—it can be useful if you use it correctly and in the right circumstances.
It’s also rapidly becoming a game-changer in the legal industry. With 2023’s explosive AI developments, legal teams are increasingly relying on AI for document creation. Firms can use large language models like ChatGPT to draft initial contracts and other legal documents faster and more efficiently than with manual methods.
Keep in mind that AI still lacks human judgment (and it may not be completely up-to-date). The use of AI for document creation should be strictly for brainstorming and initial drafts. Qualified legal professionals must always review and edit computer-generated content for accuracy and tone.
2. Marketing automation and communication tools are improving workflows
Marketing your law firm effectively can be a big challenge for law firms. Not only is marketing a specialized skill set, but it also requires a lot of time and a lot of touches with leads and clients. Enter: marketing automation.
Marketing automation is the process of sending automated communications to a target audience. With marketing automation, you can:
- Stay top of mind with leads and existing clients
- Establish better client relationships
- Increase your marketing ROI
Marketing automations also help you meet clients where they’re at. Law firms can leverage email, video, and SMS automations to stay in touch with leads and clients.
This can lead to better conversation rates and higher client satisfaction. Consider that many people prefer to receive text messages over emails.
- 90% of consumers open a text within 3 minutes
- The average person responds to a text message within 90 seconds, but takes 90 minutes to respond to an email
Marketing automation is typically built into client relationship management (CRM) software, and for law firms, it’s important to look for legal-specific solutions. Legal-specific CRM provides features designed just for law firms, meaning they will better facilitate your work.
3. Prioritizing compliance and security
As the legal industry becomes increasingly digital and remote work remains prevalent, the need for cybersecurity and compliance measures is greater than ever.
Remote work has led to an increase in communication channels and data sharing, which poses a challenge for compliance teams in detecting data security risks.
Data breaches have real consequences: data breaches cost organizations on average $1 million more than they did four years ago, before the remote-work boom.
Data breaches can result in the loss of time, client trust, public reputation, and profit. Look for law practice management software that provides extensive security benefits. Cloud-based software stores your firm’s data with the most advanced security protections, including encryption on all firm data transfers.
This has driven security and compliance to grow investments in tools that better manage these risks. Firms must ensure they have robust measures in place and that they’re using practice management platforms that prioritize compliance, both with the ABA and state bar associations. It’s also important to verify if any software provides enterprise-grade security.
Look for software that provides PCI compliance, two-factor authentication, user-level accesses, and auto backups and demonstrates a commitment to internal security assessments.
4. Integrating alternative fee models
The legal industry is experiencing a shift in business models, moving away from traditional billable-hour work to subscription and flat-rate fees. This change in billing models requires software solutions that support them.
Alternative fee arrangements can provide more flexibility for clients who may not be able to afford a large up-front retainer, or ensure law firms are still paid the same for their work and expertise, even if they can accomplish tasks in less time due to automation.
5. Getting noticed online with SEO
In addition to these technology trends, law firms are also prioritizing their online presence through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and SEO-friendly websites.
The benefits of SEO include:
- Visibility in a competitive market by ensuring that your firm ranks near the top of search engine results
- Building trust and credibility through providing valuable information to your audience and consistently ranking highly on search engine results
- Targeting the right audience by using the correct keywords in your content to reach your desired audience, based on practice areas, demographics, and geographical locations
SEO is a specialized area that can require a big time commitment—time your legal team probably can’t spare. That’s where turnkey website solutions come in. They provide law firms with SEO-optimized websites that are secure, tailored to your firm’s brand, and integrated with online payment tools for client convenience.
Make 2024 your best year yet with CosmoLex
CosmoLex is a comprehensive legal practice management software that includes legal CRM, website design, content creation, on-site and technical SEO, hosting, security, and on-site payment tools. It’s all the tools you need to grow your firm, all in one place.
Try CosmoLex for free today and see the possibilities for yourself!