Law consultancies have undergone major changes in the past decade due to emerging trends like new technology, client-experience enhancements, heightened security measures, and shifting industry expectations. While the changes may seem daunting initially, they also represent extraordinary opportunities for clients and legal professionals.
These trends can also change the practice of law forever, and the shift can affect far more professionals than previously anticipated. For example, according to a recent LexisNexis report, nearly one-third of lawyers could end up working as consultants by the year 2026. A look at the most significant trends among law consultancies can provide insight into how each individual can adapt to exciting developments within the field.
Increased Data Analytics
The use of data analytics has become the norm as legal agencies adjust to the information age. According to Thomson Reuters, 68% of legal firms now use some form of data analytics technology for both case research and company growth. Given the breadth of information that the legal field naturally entails, this type of analysis usually involves big data automation. For example, the firms listed under the Best Law Firms often use software to research the history and laws that can benefit a client’s unique case. This is one of the best ways to get an edge over the competition. Law professionals can also use data software to customize directions given to their legal assistants.
Predictive software has the added bonus of providing insight into loopholes or potential problems long before they arise. This allows a law consultancy to tackle immediate challenges without compromising long-term goals. Using streamlined data analytics is among the top ways to improve the collection and interpretation of legal information.
Personalized Client Services
Another rising trend is that law consultancies can now take a more personalized approach to customer service. In a conventional legal consultancy, much of the focus is often on invested hours or billable input. For many professionals, this emphasis on billable hours is necessary for a legal business to survive. Unfortunately, the focus on time investment often took precedence over client satisfaction.
Moreover, the traditional approach can be counter intuitive since the lack of retention makes clients more likely to look elsewhere for help with any future cases. The good news is that improved technology can help law consultancies offer a more client-oriented approach to every case. This streamlined approach can include digital access to client portals, personalized logins, and video conferencing. Some law consultancies now offer legal glossaries and a la carte catalogs so clients can customize their experiences and take advantage of applicable laws or statutes.
Outsourced Administrative Work
Outsourcing administrative work is another important trend that deserves consideration. Although the term “outsourcing” sometimes has controversial connotations, there is a strong likelihood that this rising practice can enhance a legal consultancy.
Outsourcing may help legal professionals eliminate repetitive administrative tasks like filing, calendar management, or report preparation. Second, outsourcing can help consultancies give back by offering contract opportunities to underserved communities. Some of the most commonly outsourced duties include the following:
- File storage using secure mobile or cloud software
- Word processing or legal typing
- Virtual desk reception services
- Legal document management
- Time tracking and billing
Improved Data Security
One of the most important trends among law consultancies is improving data security. This trend is in response to a growing number of threats, hacking incidents, and cybercrimes in the legal world. For example, the American Bar Association reported a 3% increase in security breaches among firms in 2020 alone. These data breaches are devastating for data-intensive businesses like consultancies since they often retain sensitive client information.
Fortunately, the best data security practices can protect firms against theft, phishing, or other malicious acts. These practices can include two-factor authentication, email encryption, risk audits, and established protocols for responding to risks. Some consulting services even hire in-house counsel or crisis managers to help mitigate problems.
The law consultancy field has undergone tremendous changes in the past decade, and experts expect the industry to continue transforming well into the 21st century. Legal professionals can prepare for the future by implementing new technology and ideas. By staying on the cutting edge of trends, trained professionals can make the most of their expertise and ensure the effectiveness of their services.