Legal trends for 2021 – What can we expect?
Legal trends are set to change in 2021 more so than ever before. 2020 has seen plenty of challenges and a lot of change. Adaptability has been the name of the game this year if firms have wanted to survive. Whilst many trends are changing due to Covid-19, it’s encouraging to see so many businesses embrace the digital revolution. There’s no denying that this has been on the horizon, pandemic or no pandemic.
Here we take a look at the legal trends set to help the industry move into 2021.
Increased use of technology
Since the pandemic, the use of technology has increased by staggering amounts. It’s expected that this is only set to rise as we move into 2021. Don’t believe us? Well the statistics speak for themselves:
- 50% of consumers say they are more comfortable with technology
- 52% say they are using technology more
- 58% say technology is more important to them now than before the pandemic
- 53% say cloud technology is a necessity to them
The most important consideration for law firms here is that the use of technology to streamline processes is something that clients have now come to expect. They want their legal experience to be efficient and stress-free, with excellent client care. Your firm is at risk of losing clients if you’re unable to provide exactly that.
The pandemic has brought to light the benefits of remote working for those in the legal industry. The realisation that firms can operate with their people working from home has been both sudden and unexpected. From time-saving through to flexibility and a better work-life balance, this remote way of working has been quite the revolution for solicitors across the country.
It’s not only your staff that benefit. Clients have more options when it comes to scheduling appointments. People aren’t tied to public transport services or child care, for example. That’s a really attractive prospect for clients who struggle to attend a physical appointment. The advent of virtual will witnessing and remote court hearings have given everybody something to think about.
As we head into the new year, you need to think about how versatile you are when it comes to delivering services. Are you able to provide virtual services as well as face-to-face meetings? Do you make use of online portals where your clients can track their case progress. It’s all food for thought.
Lawsociety.org suggests that firms should adopt a cloud-first approach to managing their law firms. This makes sense if the majority of consumers are looking for virtual services. Not to mention employees who might want the flexibility of office and home working. Clio’s research team compared caseload volumes and revenue collection between firms using certain types of technology solutions and those not using them. This included features like client portals and paperless billing. It showed that lawyers who used client portals had a significant advantage when it came to casework and revenue. In 2020, they saw up to 17% more casework and were projected to collect an estimated £17,822 more, per lawyer, in 2020.
Now more than ever, client experience needs to be at the forefront of a legal firm’s business strategy. A lot of law firms are stepping up to the plate – this includes your competition. This means thinking beyond the outcome of a client matter and focusing on the actual experience of working with their solicitor.
Many firms are partnering with other service providers to offer comprehensive solutions to their clients. From chatbots to online intake forms and payment portals. Firms are also embracing technology and artificial intelligence as ways to heighten efficiency and improve client services.
Law firms that are prioritising client experience are going to be one step ahead in 2021. You’re going to need to keep up.
The demand for legal services will always be considerable. People will always have legal issues and the need for legal advice. With a more than one per cent industry growth level in the previous year, this legal trend is expected to increase further.
That means different expectations, different goals, and different prospects. Whether you’re a new firm starting up, or an established firm aiming for growth. You’ll need to understand all of this so that you can meet the needs of your clients.
Need some advice?
If you want some guidance on how best to make the most of these legal trends in 2021, then please get in touch with us today. Outsourcing your accounts is definitely something that can give you the time to focus on what’s important to your business. Why not start the new year with a technological bang?
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