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CIO blog: How technology can help lead law firms out of the 19th century

CIO blog: How technology can help lead law firms out of the 19th century

A technology person seeking a divorce will find the process just as frightening as many a lawyer finds the process of taking their firm into the cloud, writes IT lawyer Jennie Vickers.

“While we still have law firms with no website and only one email, we will continue to see law firms struggling to make sense of running a business in 2015," notes Simon Tupman of the Law Management Group.

"There are substantial opportunities for technology suppliers who can walk lawyers out of the eighteenth century and into 2015.”

Tupman made these observations following the release of the results of the latest Law Management Group's annual law firm leadership survey.

The survey notes technology challenges continue to sit at second place beating the more obvious challenges of fee pressure and only being beaten by the challenge of motivating and engaging staff.

Speaking after this week’s Leadership Challenge Seminar in Auckland, Tupman said: “If you read predictions for the future of law, we consistently see concerns about threats, challenges and risks from technology and disruptive new business models, but few are talking about the exciting opportunities technology can bring to their firm to thrive and succeed.

If you read predictions for the future of law, we consistently see concerns about threats, challenges and risks from technology and disruptive new business models, but few are talking about the exciting opportunities technology can bring to their firm to thrive and succeed.

Simon Tupman, Law Management Group

"We urgently need lawyers to see technology as the enabler of success in law and not the harbinger of doom. Consequently, technology suppliers need to be able to demonstrate this to firms who may be fearful of technology.”

Tupman sees those law firms with a CIO, as well ahead of the game and has advice for tech providers interested in delivering to this sector which needs to catch up:

1. Fully understand the fears of laggard lawyers;

2. Listen to their practice visions;

3. “Get” their expertise;

Read more: Big rewards from big data – and some provisos

4. Offer solutions which deliver innovation and risk management equally.

Ironically this is similar to the advice Tupman gives to those same law firms about better advising clients! A technology person seeking a divorce will find the process just as frightening as many a lawyer finds the process of taking their firm into the cloud!

It is time both lawyers and technology professionals stepped into the shoes of their clients/customers to provide solutions which fully recognise the power of fear to drive heads into the sand.

Photo by Jason Creaghan
Photo by Jason Creaghan

Jennie Vickers is ANZ director for the International Association for Commercial & Contract Management. Reach her at jvickers@iaccm.com.

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