We are beginning to see more diversity in structure across the industry and this has brought innovation into the spotlight. Recent reports which have been released reveal an awareness of the necessity to embrace innovation but a reluctance to be the first to take the corresponding steps. In this post we discuss the current state of innovation in the legal sector and how law firms can benefit from an innovation strategy supported by idea management software.
There is no doubt that technology is an enabler for innovation, facilitating creativity and potential that is quite new to the more traditional processes harboured by the legal sector. Accordingly, law firms must start recognising this and taking action.
Currently there is a wide disparity in legal innovators. For example, some lawyers are still very much stuck in the past, continuing to utilise the traditional structures and methods which have been deployed for many years. On the other hand, some law firms are leveraging remote access, deploying algorithms to assess cases and installing new information systems to streamline day-to-day activity.
Companies that are engaged in these more up-to-date technological practices are in a far better position to stamp out their competitors. These firms will be more appealing to a new generation of clients who expect technological prowess and innovative capacity.
There is a lot of potential in combining legal expertise with pursuit of new technologies, opening up opportunities for both employees and clients. However, we often get a sense that the majority of law firms are playing catch up with technology, rather than leading the way. Indeed very few organisations within this industry appear to look past the five-year point, which is potentially dangerous given the current rate of digital advances.
“Our ability as an industry to innovate, deploy technological solutions and operate globally is absolutely key to maintaining our position as a leading global centre in my view” – CEO, Top 200 firm, B2B
One of the most prolific technological advances being implemented by the legal sector is remote access. Although it has been around for a long time in many other industries, the additional levels of safety and security associated with confidential and sensitive information has meant it has taken longer to integrate into the legal sector.
Providing an exceptional client experience is ultimately the end goal for any firm. The client must be kept in mind at all times throughout an innovation process. Any decisions around new technological integrations or other disruptive ideas must be applied with the client’s needs at the forefront of decisions.
Law firms need to be marketing themselves as forward-thinking, innovative companies in order to reach new clients and retain existing ones. Of course it is essential to practice what you preach and any empty promises of innovation will be met with anger and frustration. Be sure to give examples of why you are an innovative law firm and display a convincing acknowledgement of future trends and technological advances.
Developing an innovation strategy
The aim of any innovation strategy should be to set out a clear structure and process for facilitating innovation in a way that is fluid, transparent and aligned with overall business objectives.
A clearly defined strategy is essential in order to onboard employees and encourage them to invest their time in the process over competing business activities. Striking a balance between formal processes and spontaneity is tricky but can be helped by innovation management software. Such a platform facilitates the capture and curation of ideas, whilst encouraging collaboration and an agile approach.
- There is certainly an acute awareness amongst the legal sector of the need to develop an innovation strategy in order to stand out from competitors.
- The key barrier to innovation in the legal industry is a reluctance to be the first to step away from the traditional structures and to invest in new technologies.
- An idea management platform can help law firms to seamlessly integrate an innovation strategy into their organisation in a way that is aligned with the overarching business objectives.