The legal industry may have stayed the same for hundreds of years. However, with difficult economic times and constantly evolving technologies, law firms are now stepping away from what was considered ‘normal’ and are now changing their workplaces to reflect changes in society.
Here are just some of the ways that law firms are differing in modern times:
Social networking is becoming a fundamental aspect of every industry, which includes the legal industry. Rather than viewing social media negatively, lawyers and law firms are now embracing the idea of social networking and are using it as a tool to develop their business.
Not only can firms advertise their work on social media to grow the number of clients that they have, but these social sites can also be used to recruit new joiners, expanding the firm. More so, social media can be incredibly useful for cases, as it can help locate witnesses and things like photographs, videos and conversations, which can be used as evidence.
Thanks to the adoption of changes in the law world, electronically stored information is now allowed to be presented as evidence in the court. Similar to the idea of using social media as evidence, this means that instant messages, emails, data, voicemails and calendars can all be accessed and used as evidence. To sort out relevant information among a pile of documents, Elite Asia’s e-discovery solution is a powerful tool to help identify and produce reliable information for a law suit or investigation in a timely manner.
In the past, many lawyers would sacrifice their relationships and social life for their jobs. Where they would put practically every hour of their day into their law firm as they succumbed to the pressure of the workplace. However, this is becoming an idea of the past, as the legal industry is evolving to create a better work-life balance for their workers.
To bring firms into the future, workplaces are now introducing modern ideas like part-time workers, phased retirement and flexible working hours. The industry starts to open to any alternatives, allowing a workforce to maintain a home life along with their legal profession.
Becoming More Eco-Aware
Historically, law firms would be one of the worst professions in terms of carbon footprint – particularly when it comes to paper usage. Changes have to be made as being more eco-conscious is now fundamental if we are to reverse the damage done to the planet. To response, many law firms are now implementing a green initiative to their workplaces in a bid to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce overheads. Some are even extending their expertise into the environmental section, taking on cases revolving around climate change, fair trade and renewable energy.
Lawyers Working for Virtual Firms
Rather than being tied to the idea of a 9am-5pm workplace, the law industry is now evolving to include flexible working hours as lawyers decide to work for virtual firms. Particularly popular for those wanting to start a family while working, a virtual firm allows lawyers to become more entrepreneurial as they work the hours that suit themselves.
This new working style has become possible since technology and cloud-based storage has been implemented by the law industry, where lawyers can now access reports and documents online, breaking the geographic restriction.
Facing threat of recession, every workplace has become conscious of keeping costs down. Law firms, who have historically worked based on billable hours, are now prompted to revolutionise the way of charging and to keep clients satisfied. Billing methods such as capped, fixed, blended and flat fees are now becoming a popular way for law firms to bill their clients.
Although hesitant to change at first, the law industry is now setting aside old practices that have been held for years, adapting to fit into more modern ideas and uses of technology.
Here are a few of the ways law firms are introducing this technology to improve workload management.