A legal firm is only as good as its associates. And firms can’t lose sight of that as they continue to embrace technology to streamline workflows, manage information and meetings more effectively, and create a modern, hybrid work environment. But choosing the right technology can be instrumental in attracting and retaining the best talent, too.
Many legal firms embrace modern technologies to become more efficient and effective, and to ensure their people can respond well to client needs by working with the right information at the right time. Ultimately this is about the firm’s ability to thrive: profitability is paramount, and whether technology is supporting a legal team within a large organisation or a dedicated legal firm, competition is fierce, and the balance sheet is never far away.
In 2016, Deloitte published its Developing Legal Talent report, which focused on what the talent landscape for law firms might look like in the coming years. According to this report, “law firms will need to have a clear strategy for dealing with changes in client demands, technological innovations, the regulatory landscape and policy developments if they want to remain competitive and ensure they attract the best talent.” Stretching ahead to what the talent landscape might look like in 2025, the report concluded by predicting a dramatically separate set of priorities and responsibilities. With 2025 now very close, the need for a clear strategy remains, but the legal profession has shifted beyond even what Deloitte predicted—with technology taking on an even more vital role than expected.
The environment may have changed, but tech is still the answer
COVID-19 was the wildcard in this timeline; it forced digital transformation to accelerate in many sectors—including legal—to allow for hybrid working. And though laws and restrictions have relaxed, a less office-focused working lifestyle is now here to stay.
Technology advancements have facilitated this change, most notably in the growth of cloud, which provides firms with access to leading-edge technology virtually anywhere, at any time, without the need for in-house technical talent. Indeed, our own Dragon suite of products, which includes the law-specific Dragon Legal Anywhere speech recognition solution, is cloud-native for precisely this reason: to give our customers state-of-the-art features without the need for extra IT expertise, and to facilitate anytime, anywhere working.
User-friendly tech shouldn’t be confined to our home lives
This hybrid experience of work means the melding of two worlds. We no longer neatly separate our everyday life experience from work, and new associates to the legal profession are having completely different technology experiences compared to those starting out in 2016. Today, we can pay for everyday items with a smart watch, log in to online banking with a voiceprint, or dictate social media posts, emails, and shopping lists into our phones and have our words accurately turned into text. We can control our TV with voice commands and ask a speaker in our home to tell us what the weather and traffic are going be like as we head outside.
Increasingly, professionals expect these efficient, effective ways of getting things done at work too, whether they’re working solo or collaborating with others. For example, they don’t want clients waiting while a document is edited through endless internal to-and-fro processes. Ambitious law firms want—and need—these driven, tech-savvy people in their business, which means carefully selecting solutions that complement their workflows and help them deliver superior client service. The right technology can be instrumental in appealing to new legal professionals who are seeking forward-thinking firms to join. It can also help firms retain established legal professionals who are looking for ways to simplify their busy workdays.
Dragon Legal Anywhere boosts productivity and satisfaction
Remaining competitive is a constantly evolving challenge in the legal sector. Providing employees with modern, efficient workflows and tools for their everyday tasks isn’t just important from an employee experience point of view. The efficiencies gained from wise technology investments are instrumental in maintaining your balance sheet and giving clients the standard of service they expect from their legal counsel. The same technology can also serve as a hedge as more client’s demand “flat-rate” billing for routine, “vanilla” legal documentation. Instead of ceding this work to online legal platforms, firms can pair junior associates with documentation productivity tools to make this work economically viable for the firm.
Selecting the right solutions can be tricky; ideally, you need a purpose-built tool that offers multiple opportunities to streamline the various tasks that make up a legal professional’s day. Documentation is a core component of effective legal work, so it’s the ideal task to target with tech. Dragon Legal Anywhere is a versatile, cloud-based speech recognition solution that also provides useful workflow automation and productivity improvements, offering legal professionals the opportunity to work three times faster than when they type.
From new paralegals just getting to grips with their career, to barristers with decades of experience under their belt, Dragon Legal Anywhere can help you build a working environment that attracts and retains the people you need to thrive in a competitive landscape—to 2025 and well beyond.