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

Does your law firm envision growth in its future?

Does your law firm envision 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 your best interest to understand the Millennial mindset to unlock the talents and passions of a new generation of attorneys. If law firms fail to integrate legal innovation and technology like legal document automation into their practices, they ultimately face a lawyerless future.

Law firm culture historically consists of a big office with a view, crushing hours, the billable hour system, imposing impossible-to-meet expectations on junior attorneys to churn revenue—but now, the old model is being flipped on its head. Smart, hard-working, and forward-thinking Millennials are changing law firm culture. In fact, 75% of the workforce will be made up of Millennials by 2025.

Who are the Millennials?

Millennials, also known as Generation Y or the Net Generation, consist of individuals born between 1981 and 1996 who are often characterized as tech-savvy and achievement-oriented.

Workplace culture is an important factor in keeping millennials engaged and excited about their work. Today, 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 three key characteristics of a workplace that are important for Millennials: innovation, efficiency, and “good vibes” or happiness.

If your law firm invisions itself being on top of the game, it needs to answer three questions: Is my law firm innovative? Is my law firm efficient? Is my law firm happy?

Is your firm Innovative? 

Innovation = Risk, audacity, and singularity
While 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, or mastery to stand out from the rest. The acceptance of innovation like legal document automation means recognizing that things can be done better and more efficiently. Who wants to work in a firm stuck in the “dark ages?” Being innovative is the key for law firms intent on growing and staying relevant in an evolving industry.

As the digital revolution continues to take over, law firms must answer these questions:

  1. Does your law firm have a client-centric approach? 
  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 challenging. Anyone who has worked a full-time job as a lawyer knows that the average work day is not always long enough to get everything done. Nevertheless, you can greatly improve your productivity by adopting more efficient habits and legal technology like legal document automation. An efficient worker makes the most out of each minute of the day, prioritizing 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 your 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 by Naz Beheshti:

  • Happy employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees.
  • “Close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50%.”
  • 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 organizations with connected employees. A similar study by Gallup indicated that employees who are engaged in their work are 27% more likely to report ‘excellent’ performances.

In one of his recent articles, Ben Aston support the view that it is also more likely that when employees are emotionally invested in a company’s success, they will provide the best service to the customer, have improved morale, and take less days off from work. This results in better sales, higher profit, and happier shareholders.

How can this be?

Because happiness is an inside job. In other words, happiness comes from within a person and 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 allows them to work, perform, and live better.

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

  • 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 reward them?
  • Does your firm have good communication between employees and managing partners?

In the near future, change will shape the legal industry—change that will most likely be influenced by the millenials. As a result, firms that want to stay ahead of the curve in the legal industry need to be willing to adjust their mindset according to change, break away from the traditional law practice, and find better, more efficient ways to continually deliver value to clients.

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