Law firms are always adapting. Change is what ensures a firm can stay on top of the challenges they are facing. Firms that stand still will get passed by others. Especially if they are smaller firms. And that is very true for the Colorado Springs area.
You practice law in an area that is always expanding. More people are moving to Colorado every year. Colorado Springs is a bustling, growing city where the legal challenges faced by the population evolve all the time. And it means law firms must evolve too.
Here are three of the biggest challenges that you must navigate as you build your firm in 2018 and beyond:
- Ratio Balancing
The ratio of legal assistants to lawyers at a firm is one that is always talked about. And one of the issues is that technology is making things a lot easier for lawyers. A lot of the jobs that you could only get done through a legal assistant are now doable using technology and software. But does that mean legal assistants are less important?
In truth, it depends on the firm. A larger firm may be able to let go of a few legal assistants. They still have others in that job at the firm. Tech will fill the other gaps. And if a lawyer does need an assistant’s help, they will have the personnel to provide it.
But smaller firms do not have too many legal assistants. If you have five lawyers at your firm, you probably have two or three legal assistants, at most. Getting rid of even one will throw off your balance in a big way. It results in the others being overworked. And lawyers may not have the help they need in different moments.
- Client Collaboration
The lawyer and client relationship is always changing. In the past, clients were hiring lawyers for specific jobs. That was the relationship. Now clients want more or less, depending on their situation. Some clients want a lot of involvement in their own defense. Others want their lawyer to provide a full service package, where communication goes beyond the usual business hours.
The best way to handle these issues is by setting up secure client portals. These are sites or software you can use to communicate with clients online, share information and provide remote assistance. The communication is very secure to ensure that all data is protected.
- Tech Investments
Smaller firms in Colorado Springs must figure out what tech is useful for their needs. All the latest gadgets and software look useful to small law firms. But you cannot invest in everything. It is about finding the right balance. You must figure out what bits of tech are going to provide you with the most value. Then you can go and invest in them.
Finding this balance is key for smaller firms. Say you feel that you are spending too much time on research. Maybe you can use machine learning software to help ease that burden. Now you must find the right software that fits your needs and budget.
Tech can help firms a lot, but the implementation must be smooth. You do not want to bring on more problems, waste money or let clients suffer because the implementation did not go smoothly.