Other Industries Utilize Best of Breed Software—Why Not Legal?

By Stephanie Lica

16 Jan 2020 | Legal Technology

The legal industry has seen huge advances in recent years, with everything from global markets to remote counsel transforming the way that attorneys interact with clients. Unfortunately, however, many otherwise impressive law firms remain woefully in the past in terms of legal marketing and intake.

Piles of paperwork are far too common, as are slow intake responses and other hassles that annoy today’s busy clients. These issues dramatically hamper law firms’ ROI, making it more difficult for law firms to secure the volume of clients they require, as well as waste valuable time and effort on marketing that could easily be automated or outsourced.

This refusal to adopt promising technological solutions confounds clients, who are accustomed to streamlined, technologically-coordinated protocol in virtually every other facet of daily life. From hospitals to sports venues and everything in between, they rely on their smartphones to navigate the world around them, and they’re instantly put off by attorneys who refuse to follow suit. Why, then, do so many lawyers remain reluctant to adopt the very solutions that could make their lives easier and their law firms more profitable?

What Is Best of Breed Software? What Does It Look Like for Today’s Law Firms?

As the name suggests, “best of breed” refers to the most exceptional and up-to-date option capable of producing impressive results. Most importantly, best of breed software is customized based on the unique circumstances of the industry or organization it serves. Software that pays dividends in the medical industry, for example, will do little to address the concerns most prevalent among today’s attorneys.

Technological customization doesn’t merely apply to different industries. Software should also be targeted to address specific concerns within a given industry. Case management and legal intake, for example, constitute two entirely different matters. They are best served by separate software solutions designed to address unique concerns present within different aspects of the legal process.

Ideally, best of breed legal software will streamline every element of the marketing and intake process to ensure that leads move swiftly through the sales funnel to become dedicated clients. This software relies on automation, analytics, and a variety of other tools and solutions to enhance every aspect of client intake.

Why Are Lawyers Reluctant to Take the Technological Leap?

Many issues contribute to lawyers’ ongoing reluctance to adopt new technological solutions and keep up with advancements in other fields. Chief among them is a failure to truly understand the needs and expectations of today’s clients.

Many attorneys simply don’t realize the extent to which clients expect streamlined technological solutions—and the haste with which they will abandon ship when they encounter inefficiency. They also have no idea the harm that their lack of understanding imparts. Many fail to accurately track leads and other critical analytics. As a result, they never become aware of their firm’s greatest marketing strengths and weaknesses. Without proper insight, lawyers may never make the crucial changes needed to boost their marketing ROI or reach their full intake potential.

A key example of the attorney’s unfortunate status as out of touch: the alarming absence of electronic signatures (eSign) at most law firms. Adoption rates remain abysmal, even though this simple step significantly streamlines one of the most crucial elements of the legal process. This reluctance to adopt eSign is truly unfortunate, as this simple step could dramatically improve conversion rates for law firms in need of a quick boost. Already, eSign has seen impressive adoption rates in many industries, with an increasing share of real estate agents and insurance providers turning to this convenient solution.

Another major problem standing in the way of today’s lawyers? The very human problem of refusing to admit to weakness. Attorneys can excel in court while still struggling to master the most basic elements of marketing. This doesn’t make them bad attorneys—it just means that they require a little assistance. If not confronted head on about their technological struggles, however, many will continue with the status quo under the misguided notion that their current efforts are “good enough.”

The Future of Best of Breed Legal Software

If there’s a silver lining to the issues we’ve highlighted above, it’s the slow, but steady adoption of much-needed technological solutions. Little by little, lawyers are beginning to see the value of automated lead engagement, eSign, and other exciting developments. While these solutions are far from new in other industries, their increasing prevalence in the legal industry still warrants celebration.

As attorneys explore exciting technological options, they increasingly realize that these streamlined systems grant them a significant edge over the competition. It’s only a matter of time before law firms that fail to adopt prevalent solutions realize that they’re falling behind.

Best of breed software offers a myriad of benefits for today’s forward-thinking attorneys. Those who make the most of this impressive opportunity only stand to gain.

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