Why Technology Needs To Be In The Vision For Your Law Firm
by Guy Remond, with Dave Zumpano and special guest Bill Bloom
What’s your vision for your legal firm? How do you see it changing over the next five years? Do you see a place for technology in your plan?
When the internet first became popular 25 years ago, users were happy if they clicked on a link and it worked; but now they are aware of its true capabilities, they want it to look good, be quick, intuitive, and simple to use.
They want to be able to sit on their couch with a mobile device and do what they need to do in a time-efficient and effective way.
However, despite the demand from consumers, it’s becoming clear that some sectors (for example, finance and legal) are quite far behind when it comes to embracing change; there’s a reluctance to bring in technology or learn about the benefits to their customers.
How the entrepreneurs are building on their success
At the other end of the spectrum there are forward-thinking entrepreneurial business owners such as independent financial planner Bill Bloom. During the pandemic, Bill created a new technology company, Diane Money, that uses artificial intelligence (AI) designed to help users reach their financial goals by automating their investments and tracking expenditure.
You can hear my full conversation with Bill on the Legal Community Podcast.
Bill: “You have to give the consumer options and make it easy. My wife and I have a two-year-old son. He knows how to use an iPad, how to scroll, and how to use YouTube. If you can make something so simple that a kiddo can figure it out, it’s a game-changer and that’s the future.
You have to learn and understand the technology. It’s here. It’s present. We have access to opportunities that can ramp up your business and open it up to a whole new client base.
The way things have been done is like the Stone Age. There’s a lot of regulation in both of our worlds [financial and legal industry] that needs to be addressed; but if you don’t have a bigger and better vision for the future, then it doesn’t matter what industry you are in, you are going to be left behind.
You need to open your mind to the ways in which technology can simplify your processes and make them a lot more efficient.”
The consequences of resisting technology for business growth
Bill touched on how businesses are being left behind by resisting technology, but they’re also missing out on an amazing opportunity to expand their client base. At Guidr (our online platform that provides self-serve legal documents while offering the support of a local lawyer), we’ve digitized estate planning services to encourage young people to write their will.
We’ve democratized and demonetized that service so it makes it more affordable and efficient to them. We know that younger generations want to use technology to meet their needs at a time and a place that suits them; using technology in this way gives forward-thinking lawyers an opportunity to grab that market share and make the most of it.
By offering this service, we’re creating an opportunity to nurture a new set of clients who are then likely to use your law firm for more complex legal matters. It’s a way to get new business now, and potentially safeguard it for the future.
Is technology capable of providing service at this level?
As Dave Zumpano (co-founder of Guidr) pointed out, it’s natural for lawyers to feel hesitant until the technology has proven its capability.
Dave: “If you want to achieve a goal, you have to follow a process which might consist of a number of steps. You can gather information along the way which will help you decide on your next steps. I’ve been building and refining systems for 25 years.
We were the first national legal organization to bring our systems to the cloud [storing and accessing data over the internet] in 2013; it’s all about efficiency, and I think technology is the same for all businesses. It speeds up processes. Artificial intelligence can think way faster than we can, and being comfortable to embrace it comes down to relationship and trust.”
There will always be forward-thinking entrepreneurial lawyers who are happy to be the first to adopt new technology, and there will always be people who prefer to watch behind the scenes before committing.
Technology has proven its worth
However, the pandemic accelerated and encouraged change at many levels and helped prove that technology has its place in the legal industry.
Dave: “The financial services, legal, and banking industry are amongst the most regulated industries. During Covid-19, we had to adapt quickly because the whole legal system shut down; virtual notarizations weren’t even legal or valid. The funny part is that the courts passed all these temporary executive orders to make it valid so we could carry out virtual notarization, but they didn’t make that law, so they expired.
It’s an archaic struggle, but we know that legal consumers are making demands for what they want, and they want to be able to take care of their legal admin 24/7 at a time and place that suits them.”
Where does technology fit into your plans for business growth?
Where do you see technology fitting into your legal firm? Are you enthusiastic but concerned about how secure it would be? Do you have reservations around how user-friendly it will be for your firm?
Guidr is committed to providing a secure, easy-to-use online platform to support your law firm to grow its business and meet the demands of existing and new consumers, while keeping your law firm at the heart of the service. Why not download our book and get in touch if you’d like to find out more? Email Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or me, Guy, at email@example.com.
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