A common problem is facing law firms today – business continuity in crisis and a poor customer-centric approach to law practice.
The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. This simply means that in every crisis, be aware of the danger but recognize the opportunity.
It’s no longer news that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it. The whole ecosystem of legal practice has been affected adversely.
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted every aspect of our personal lives, and the economic uncertainty created by this crisis will surely impact every facet of our economy as well. The legal industry is no exception.
Many in the legal profession are asking which practice areas will flourish and even expand. Which practice areas will be the hardest hit? What does this mean for the individual practitioner?
What can law firm’s lawyers do to ensure that they weather this storm as best as possible? What is the whole ecosystem going to look like post COVID – 19? How do I survive post COVID – 19?
In an article dated March 19, 2020, Titled: “Technology Is Key to Stopping Coronavirus Wiping Out Law Firms,” legal thought-leader, Richard Susskind argues that “if law firms . . . cannot find a way to work remotely in the coming weeks, COVID – 19 will rapidly run them into the ground.” He implores them to embrace technology like “Teams, Signal, Zoom, Slack and Google meet” to survive.
We agree, but these are just the (new) table stakes. Change in underlying behaviour and processes will be needed–and those who don’t change, will certainly not thrive, and may not survive.
So let’s focus on the key factors the legal service industry needs to work on urgently:
For the past two months law firms across Africa have experienced one major issue, reduction in operating time due to the COVID – 19 pandemic. In many cases, it wasn’t because of lack of tasks to accomplish but mostly due to the fact they were on lockdown and did not have the infrastructure to work from home, monitor or support work.
Implementing a business continuity plan is a must for law firms of all sizes. If the plan was put together haphazardly or hasn’t been updated in years, then it creates a liability. When disaster strikes, like the current pandemic the firm will not be adequately prepared, resulting in costly disruptions and potentially even compromising its chances of survival.
It’s a shockingly common question we hear: Do law firms and attorneys really need a business continuity plan (BCP)? And the answer is indisputably “yes”, especially for smaller practices.
At a time when lawyers and judges rely heavily on data— increasingly digital, cloud-based and accessible from anywhere—business continuity for legal services has become vital.
It’s not just data-related disasters that firms and the judiciary need to prepare for. Any disruption in service, whether from a cyberattack, fire, natural disaster, a utility outage (internet or power), or a second or third wave of the pandemic can cause a costly long-term break in continuity.
Having a business continuity plan and tools is a necessity. Do you need help on how to go about it? CLICK HERE NOW to book a consultation session with us, and we will help you with the best solution for your Law Firm.
Organizations in other industries have already experienced the benefits of collaboration before the lockdown started and it played a major role in managing the work from home strategies for many of these organizations.
Now, this technology is making its way into the legal sector. No longer will firms have separate email, messaging, video, document sharing, calendaring and billing systems. Instead, you will start and end your day in the collaboration platform rolled out for your firm, every lawyer and staff member. You will receive and organize conversations that are either sent individually to you or as a part of a group of colleagues. You will send and receive emails within the platform, right next to the private and team messaging system.
When you need to speak face-to-face with a colleague, no matter where that person is located, you can start a video conference with a click of a button. After hours, you can easily see all of your messages, documents and emails on the mobile collaboration app.
In the near future, Legalpedia platforms will deliver access to a nearly endless array of other legal applications available in the marketplace – such as legal research, deposition, legal analytics and artificial intelligence software.
As workplace dynamics change and new technology platforms develop, law firms and the judiciary must consider collaboration platforms as a part of the organization’s larger IT strategy. Becoming familiar with the value brought by collaboration software is increasingly important for lawyers and judges, but knowing where to start can be challenging.
Our advice is, look for a platform that has a simple, easy-to-use interface and full training. Consider starting a collaboration deployment with a pilot team, then expanding across the organization. Look for key integrations that can be made, including an integrated email client that works with the organization’s email system, to ensure no interruptions in the flow of information.
Ensure capabilities for setting administrative controls in the system, as well as the ability to monitor use, employee adoption and ongoing data security and compliance.
If you have these covered then you have a fighting chance of surviving in the post-COVID -19 world where work has been redefined.
For more information on how to start the process in preparing for a disruption proof practice or a virtual law office or Courtroom, CLICK HERE NOW to book a consultation session with us, and we will help you with the best solution.