A study conducted by Wolters Kluwer indicates that a strong and growing record of investment and use of legal technology by law firms is associated with higher profitability.
Wolters Kluwer is a global information company that offers software, research and learning technology to the legal, business, accounting, and healthcare industries (among others) in more than 150 countries. The company surveyed more than 700 professionals in law firms, corporate legal departments and business-services firms in Europe and the U.S. to prepare its 2019 Future Ready Lawyer Survey, asking lawyers to “assess their future priorities and preparedness to identify what it will take to be future ready in the areas of: tools and technology; client needs and expectations; and, organization and talent.”
Among several other conclusions, the survey found that firms that are seen as “tech leaders” – those that have been early adopters of technology and plan to extend their technological advantage in future – report being more profitable.
As an article in The Artificial Lawyer about the survey wisely points out, “There is one possible fly in the profit ointment. Is this a case that the most profitable firms will have more money than the others, and so have money ‘spare’ to invest in exploring new technology and its uses? I.e. is this the other way around?” However, as the article goes on to say, whichever way around it is, clients are likely to benefit if their firm is a technology leader or is at least working to become one.
The study also found that there were very few firms (4%) that categorized themselves as “technology trailing” (with little technology now and few plans to improve the situation in future) compared to self-described “technology transitioning”(47%) and “technology leading” (49%) firms.
“Of the three types of organizations surveyed, business services firms are most likely to identify as Technology Leading (56%), with legal departments at 49% and law firms at 46%,” the Wolters Kluwer report says.
Into which category does your firm fall?
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