5 Benefits of Building a Culture of Innovation at Your Law Firm

5 Benefits of Creating Culture of Innovation in Legal Sector

Technology has advanced tenfold over the past several decades and the legal sector should acknowledge the opportunities for technological innovation.                

Anna Talamo|
June 27, 2018

Today, innovation is a top buzzword in almost every industry. Companies of every scope are looking for ways to grow revenue, cut costs and increase engagement, and the legal sector is no exception.


Oftentimes, innovation is misinterpreted to mean radical change only, however, incremental innovation is more common and perhaps more beneficial. The people closest to pain points – employees, consumers and partners – are in a great position to suggest smaller, more attainable changes. The more law firms empower their stakeholders with a voice, the easier it is to collect new innovative ideas.


By implementing little changes into the culture of a company, such as modifying business models and adapting to new technology, firms will be able to keep up with the ever-changing legal landscape.


Technology becomes necessary for success

Technology has advanced tenfold over the past several decades and the legal sector should acknowledge and embrace the opportunities for technological innovation.


The Association for Information and Image Management found that 74% of legal businesses are still utilizing manual processes to gather information, evidence and documents. These processes are often inefficient, time-consuming and tedious.


Artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to expedite the amount of time taken on these monotonous practices, leaving time for lawyers to work on more imperative tasks.


AI helps with document review, contract drafting, legal research and predicting case results. For example, an algorithm built using the Supreme Court case database correctly predicted legal outcomes 70.2% of the time.


This increase in efficiency is also beneficial to clients since it can help them in their decision making process.


Collaboration increases engagement

Companies with collaboration at the core of their culture are likely to produce innovative solutions to challenges.


A Stanford study found that participants who worked collaboratively stuck at their task 64% longer than those working alone. These collaborative workers also reported higher engagement levels, higher success rates and less fatigue.


Collaboration seems to have worked for Davis Wright Tremaine’s De Novo Team, which was created to better help clients procure legal services. The team includes people with several perspectives like legal techs, recruitment personnel and consultants with unique backgrounds in traditional and in-house firms.


The team created ways to better handle routine high volume tasks with techniques such as process-mapping, data capture, analysis and visualization. They’re also using dashboards to track clients’ progress, status and cost.


Discover better solutions and bring new value to clients

Internal innovation is driven by external demand; clients expect their legal team to produce effective and efficient results.


DLA Piper’s marketing team has been able to produce some seriously notable outcomes for their clients. Kim Rennick, director of sector marketing, was inspired to adapt their analytical strategy and innovation after reading a Time article about new and interesting ways Big Data was being used on college campuses.


Now the firm gathers and analyzes data to identify what leads to shrinkage or growth. They built a predictive model that their lawyers utilize for their clients.


When clients take the firm’s advice, there have been some impressive results, like taking a 48% annual decline in revenues and transforming it into a 14% growth spurt.


New business models are embraced

Billable hours are becoming more and more obsolete within legal; clients have long complained that the billable hour causes lawyers to prolong finding solutions.


The billable hour also focuses on the practitioner’s input (time) rather than the output (results.)


By implementing a culture of innovation into a firm, firms are able to identify new ways to bill clients, such as flat fees and fixed rates.


In 2015, GlaxoSmithKline revealed that 84% of work assigned to law firms was done through alternative fee arrangements, proving that the popularity of the billable hour is decreasing. 


Increase employee retention

Company culture is strongly linked to employee retention.


The study, “Consequences of Individuals’ Fit at Work,” found that “employees who fit well with their organization, coworkers, and supervisor had greater job satisfaction, were more likely to remain with their organization, and showed superior job performance.”


There is a lot of talent currently in the market and it’s necessary for law firms to take the time to focus on retention tactics.


Above The Law identified factors that make law firm work environments toxic including inconsistent feedback, little room for growth and lack of openness.


“The lack of communication often viewed as a lack of transparency, which will ultimately cause a loss of trust and declining morale,” says Jill Huse, co-founder of professional services consulting firm Society 54 LLC.


By combating these toxic tendencies through empowering employees with a voice, firms may see greater commitment and productivity from their talent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Receive insights and tips on how to build buy in, promote, launch, and drive better financial results from your innovation program.