The legal sector was static and traditional for a long time now. However, with rising digital trends, things are changing and clients seeking legal services are moving towards an easier, safer and faster option; Virtual law firms or cloud-based Law firms. Thanks to digitization and web-based technology a law firm can handle its business from any corner of the world.
Since its introduction in the 70s, Virtual law offices have developed considerably. According to new research, around 800 lawyers in the UK work for Virtual Law firms and 9% of solo practitioners in the world are virtual!
Virtual law firms are basically firms that work online and have shed their traditional image of brick and mortar offices. These are operated completely from home or set up in a co-work space. Its workforce and services are no more situated in one place but dispersed in various locations.
We have created an easy to read infographic for you below to consider the trends when you are considering converting your firm into a virtual one:
The 5 Virtual Law Firm Trends You Should Consider
Lets have a closer look to understanding each trend
Online Legal Communities
(1) Online Legal Communities
These communities will change how law firms work. Many lawyers and firms are suspicious of such platforms. They feel that these are some unprofessional, free-for-all websites where people compete for cases.
But there are professional platforms, ones that connect potential clients to specific law firms. They give high-end services and valuable resources to their clients. These are more like spaces where best lawyers and experts share their expertise and knowledge, help others deliver better customer service and build relationships. Firms tend to invest their small portion in content development on such spaces so that they remain top of the mind. ADAM Global is one such platform with a network of professional firms enabling law firms to enhance their digital reach and work with accredited professional firms outside the legal industry to exchange and offer cross border business.
The Outcome? More valuable opportunities are created
Unique opportunities are presented to meet new clients and build relationships by providing amazing customer service and experience. They answer small basic queries so that law firms can focus more on their larger problems.
Telecommuters are people that work from home. Did you know that legal jobs are ranked #6 in terms of telecommuters? More number of lawyers and attorneys have started preferring telecommuting. They believe it helps them stay fit. 42% say they eat healthier and 35% of the people get more exercise.
Since virtual law firms work online there is practically no need for a lawyer to sit in a confined space in an office. He or she can do the same work at home, comfortably. This has shown a considerable reduction in the greenhouse effect and if they worked remotely 50% of the time then huge cost reductions are seen and 2000$ to 7000$ savings to the employees.
This option tends to attract a younger set of lawyers like the millennial who prefer telecommute and keeps the older workforce for a longer time period.
Online and Phone-System Helper Bots
(3) Online Helper Bots
Helper bots provide basic online services to potential as well as existing clients. These include answering calls, working on online portals and gathering and providing the necessary information for the clients to consult the lawyers as a next step. This gives law firms extra time to focus on their original clients and work efficiently.
Artificial Intelligence: Data Automation & Machine Learning
(4) Artificial Intelligence: Data Automation & Machine Learning
AI and Machine learning are two of the most important upcoming trends in the legal industry since it is faster and more efficient. It helps firms manage and store all of their data. Also, helps in decision making by studying all the data for efficient solutions. AI software improves document analysis, proofreads them and marks them as important for a case.
A huge work of law firms is taken up by the AI, i.e. to review documents, identify issues and risks and then counsel clients. Just with a few clicks and proper direction, an AI can do work better and faster than anyone else.
Answering Services: Online Meeting Rooms and Client Service Platform
(5) Answering Services: Online Meeting Rooms and Client Service Platform
Virtual law firms work 100% online. That means providing services, negotiating and counseling is all done on a platform. Hence, live operators are preferred by lawyers who follow up with clients and help with their queries. This creates a client-centric environment.
Also, live video discussions and conferences take place. Almost 36% of lawyers now use video conference. This saves a lot of money and is equally efficient to a face to face discussion.
Legal CRM Technologies
(6) Legal CRM Technologies
Law firms have started adopting customer relationship management technologies like Salesforce to help them manage all the clients and their data. These softwares keep track of the clients, their histories and past cases which is used as a help in the future case activities.
These trends give a brief idea about how the Legal industry is transforming itself and adapting to the digital world. The technology and services used now not only help the company but the clients as well, providing faster and better help.
As technology has started becoming commonplace, more law firms prefer working virtually and more individual lawyers prefer working for these firms. The same is true for Millennials since this is a more environment-friendly option and gives them an opportunity the opportunity to be more flexible and still be able to enjoy a great life-work balance. It is the ease and convenience provided to both the firm and their clients of which is fuelling the growth of Virtual Law firms.
With the rise in digitization and emerging technologies, a platform like ADAM Global has come in as a solution for global professional service providers. Besides offering a network of accredited professionals, it offers premium members a platform for enhanced cross border business. The network, with its online platform and communication tools such as the ADAM Digital Office, enables members for enhanced digital visibility and to an extent overcome the operational cost of maintaining a virtual law firm.
The platform integrates these trends not just for legal services firms but for a broad spectrum of businesses in the professional services industry including accounting, consulting, advisory, immigration, market research, healthcare, HR, It solutions. This allows firms from across disciplines to work together and offer their own clients a wide range of service offering through a multi-disciplinary approach delivered only by accredited service providers. Members enjoy an advanced tier-3 Network, an online B2B marketplace and a community of accredited professional service providers via a singular platform.
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Namrata Konde- Digital & Content Marketing Intern – ADAM Global (Connect with her on LinkedIn)
Namrata comes with a degree in biotechnology and is fascinated by how technology in various sectors can impact the landscape of today’s digital economy. To know more about how it is working with ADAM Global, send a mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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