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Test Your Law Firm: Is Your Firm Innovative/Efficient/Happy

Does your law firm envisions growth in its future?

If so, you’d better learn how to get along with the Millenials if you haven’t already.

It’s in law firms best interest to understand the Millennial mindset to unlock the talents and passions of a new generation of attorneys, because if not, law firms will be stuck with no lawyers in the future.

Law firms culture has historically been about the big office with a view, crushing hours, billable hour, imposing exorbitant expectations on junior attorneys to churn revenue.
But now it is changing, the old model is, in many firms, being flipped on its head. Smart, hard-working but forward-thinking Millennials are changing law firm culture.
75% of the workforce will be made up of Millenials by the year 2025

Who are the Millennials?

Millennials, also known as Generation Y or the Net Generation, coherat as consisting of individuals born between 1982 and 2004.

Workplace culture is an important factor in keeping Millennials engaged and excited about their work. we are seeing a big difference in the average tenure of Millennials in a new job, and the legal industry is no different.

We identified that there are three key characteristics of a workplace that are important for Millennials: innovation, efficiency and “good vibes”, often described as “happiness”.

If your law firm invisions itself being on top of the game here are three questions to answer through this article, Is my law firm innovative? Is my law firm efficient? Is my law firm happy?

Is your firm Innovative? 

Innovation = Risk, audacity and singularity
Whilst it is true that the legal industry as a whole is relatively slow to embrace innovation, law firms in practice are usually quick to embrace anything that will make them more successful. However in today’s innovative world you need more than superiority, perfection, mastery to stand out from the rest. The acceptance of innovation is a recognition that things can be done better and more efficiently. Who wants to work in a firm stuck in the ‘dark ages’?   
Being an innovative law firm is the key for law firms intent on growing and staying relevant and remaining competitive in an evolving industry.  

As the digital revolution creeps into all parts of how we work, law firms must ask themselves:

  1. Does your law firm have a client-centric approach? At the end of each transaction do you step into your clients shoes?
  2. Are your firm’s clients able to access information about the progress of their legal matters online?
  3. Does your firm have a CRM system?

According to the statistics from the Mckinsey Global survey on growth and innovation they found that:

  • 80% of executives think their current business models are at risk to be disrupted in the near future.
  • 84% of executives say that innovation is important to their growth strategy.
  • Only 4% of executives have not defined innovation as a strategic priority and have no plans to do so in the future.

As the numbers show, innovative companies grow faster and more profitably than the rest.

Is your firm efficient?

In today’s world, coping with job-related pressure is really tough. Anyone who’s experienced a full-time job as a lawyer knows that an average work day is not always long enough to get everything you need to do done. However, your productivity can be greatly improved by adopting habits designed to make you work more efficiently. An efficient worker uses the most of each minute of the day, giving his or her fullest attention to the most important tasks first.Ask yourself the following questions to see if your firm is as efficient as it should be?

  1. Does your firm meet their clients expectations in terms of speed in dealing with legal tasks?
  2. Is your law firms practice management system ‘cloud based’ ?
  3. Is there a material disconnect between the hours invested in a matter and what you bill?
  4. Has your law firm moved from paper to an all digital workflow?

Is Your Firm Happy?

According to the statistics found by Naz Beheshti she found that:

  • Happy employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees.
  • When it comes to salespeople, happiness has an even greater impact, raising sales by 37%.
  • “close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50%.”
  • we still control roughly 40% of our happiness in a workplace
  • 89% of workers at companies that support well-being initiatives are more likely to recommend their company as a good place to work
  • 96% of employees believe showing empathy is an important way to advance employee retention
    Highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability

A study by The McKinsey Global Institute shows that productivity improves by 20-25% in organisations with connected employees. Employees who are motivated, find pleasure in their work. A similar study by Gallup indicated that employees who are engaged in their work are 27% more likely to report ‘excellent’ performance.

How can this be?

Because happiness is, primarily, an inside job. In other words, happiness comes from within a person and their performance is reflected in their work.

Companies that explicitly focus on new methods of improving the working environment, help their employees work in a way that brings out the best in their capabilities and helps them work, perform, and live better.

Here are a few questions to examine if your firm is a happy firm:

  • Are your law firms employees valued and held accountable for the work that they do, rather than the time they spend at their desk?
  • Does your law firm recognize their employees progress and compensate them?
  • Does your firm have good communication between employees and managing partners?

In the near future, Change will shape the legal industry. This change will most likely be influenced by the Millennial. But ultimately, firms that want to stay ahead of the curve in the current legal industry need to be willing to adjust their mindset according to change, break away from limitations often with the traditional practice of law, and find a better, more efficient way to continually deliver value to clients.

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