Law firms that want to earn business from larger and more profitable clients must be able to deliver on those clients’ ever-changing and ever-increasing needs.
A new Thomson Reuters white paper, “Navigating the New Legal Landscape: Why traditional client service and competition models are no longer viable,” discusses strategies for doing just that.
In particular, firms can boost their competitive advantage by maximizing their efficiency.
If your firm wants to bring in bigger clients and larger matters, know that it might require some reconfiguring in the way the firm operates. And the good news is that there are several ways to tackle those changes. Even better, those changes aren’t difficult or expensive to accomplish.
How legal tech can contribute to your firm’s success
The legal profession has been able to tap digital tools to boost productivity, lower operating costs, and deliver more value to clients.
A case in point is e-billing. It’s not new technology, and perhaps your firm already uses it. If it isn’t, it’s time. Most larger clients are demanding it. And in fact, it’s a win-win for both client and firm. It provides a more streamlined approach to invoicing. What’s more, it offers transparency on both sides of the transaction, since it gives everyone the opportunity to double-check the line items on the bill. This boosts a client’s trust in the firm, and it helps the firm get paid more quickly.
Speed is also what clients are requiring when it comes to answers to their legal queries. If a large corporation is looking to make a major acquisition, for instance, it often needs crucial information fast in order to keep the deal moving forward. It can’t wait for its legal counsel to flip through pages of regulations and rulings.
That’s why firms eager to land work from big businesses (and other large clients) are turning to digital tech such as AI-powered research platforms. These platforms bring together ease of use and continuous updating, allowing firms to get the answers their clients need right when they ask.
Digital technology also helps firms expand their expertise beyond their specialty. A specialty does boost a firm’s profile in the marketplace. But it can also limit its marketability. Larger clients are increasingly seeking out legal counsel that can respond to many different needs. That is requiring ambitious firms to expand their knowledge base that can grow as their clients’ legal needs evolve.
Create your own ALSP
Not all reconfiguration strategies are tech-based. Firms that are experiencing competition from alternative legal service providers (ALSPs) are responding by starting their own internal ALSPs. These business units provide standard ALSP-type services such as eDiscovery and litigation support, at lower rates than a law firm would normally charge. This approach allows these firms to compete for certain kinds of work that larger clients need. In addition, a “captive” ALSP can also be a source of new revenue for the firm, attracting business from non-clients requiring the services and support ALSPs typically provide.
An internal ALSP also allows a firm to be more nimble in responding to the legal market’s shifting needs. Firms can then provide both ALSP-type services as well as more “standard” legal representation. In other words, it can offer capabilities an ALSP simply doesn’t have.
Take the first step
New capabilities don’t have to add to your firm’s overhead. And that can make your firm even more attractive to larger clients. In fact, reconfiguring your operations can also boost profitability. We’ll explore that further in our next post.
Gain a deeper understanding of how your firm can prosper in the current legal environment. Download our white paper on the steps your firm can take to successfully navigate the new legal landscape.