Be it tweeting, blogging, googling or working in the cloud, our engagement with new technology platforms is unprecedented. For the legal market the message is clear: those who can successfully engage with technology will gain the competitive advantage.
Here are three reasons why lawyers should get with the times and embrace this brave new world.
1. Client development and marketing
The days of paper-based correspondence and face-to-face client networking could be short-lived. Research by the American Bar Association (1) shows that social media is winning the race, with blog posts reported as the most effective tool for client development. Nearly 40 per cent of lawyers writing a regular blog reported securing a client in this way.
In Australia, the stats on social media usage are impressive (2):
- 91 per cent of firms are using LinkedIn.
- 55 per cent are on Twitter.
- 36 per cent are using Facebook.
These platforms are now essential for any lawyer or firm who wants to remain in the loop and connect with clients and new talent. Other digital marketing platforms, like findlaw.com.au optimise your firms search visibility and are a great tool for connecting with prospective clients.
2. Become more effective
In the competitive global legal market, practitioners need to think strategically about how to use new technology to maximise efficiency. From e-filing to e-discovery, online research platforms to cloud sharing, technology can streamline processes across the board.
3. Stay mobile in the global age
Smartphones, tablets and cloud computing mean lawyers now enjoy an unprecedented level of mobility. According to the ILTA 2012 Technology Survey (3), 26 per cent of lawyers are using tablets for work while 94 per cent have access to email on a mobile device. This improved mobility is key to working more efficiently and meeting client demands for fast and accurate information.
Technology is no longer contained to the IT department – it is now an integral part of any commercial strategy. In this interconnected world, the lawyers and law firms that are able to best leverage available technology will remain ahead of the pack.
(1) American Bar Association 2012, Legal Technology Survey
(2) BRR Media 2012, “Australian legal sector social media snapshot 2012”, BRR Media Law
(3) International Legal Technology Association 2012, 2012 Technology Survey