The Times They Are a-Changin’
Posted July 7, 2020 to Legal Technology Trends.
Five months is not a long time but this year, it feels like it was a lifetime ago. We have had to deal with a deadly pandemic and an economic downturn, the likes of which have not been seen since the Great Depression. While we are all hopeful that most businesses will spring back to life as we emerge with our masks and spend more time working remotely, we know there will be changes.
Some changes come as the result of inventions. Others come from major crises. Personal computers and the internet have had ripples that have changed everything from how we work to how we decide what movie to watch. After 9/11, airports and commercial buildings changed their security requiring bag and body scans. In a few short months, “Zoom” has become a verb referring to doing a remote video call. Wearing masks and carrying hand sanitizer has already become part of my daily routine. I can easily imagine having color-coordinated masks for different occasions. While we cannot predict all the changes that will come from the turmoil of this year, we can be sure they will impact our work lives dramatically.
How will law firms change to meet the new challenges? Client demands for estate planning has increased. Unfortunately, so will the demand for bankruptcies. My town is seeing an increase in residential real estate transactions as city dwellers are looking to move to places where they can spread out and work from home more comfortably. Working from home, while challenging, will continue. This will have a domino effect on commercial real estate as businesses look to strike the right balance with office space when part or all of their workforce are working from home. With lawyers and staff more spread out, the trend towards cloud-based environments will accelerate. Vendors of the cloud-based practice management and billing programs would be smart to incorporate more tools for collaboration among staff and with clients.
As one of our clients recently said, “using remote access gets old fast.” Cloud-based products let you connect directly and securely to your work from wherever you. Even we have been surprised how many firms have been calling us for advice on cloud-based solutions and are now are ready to give up their servers. Already this spring, we helped two clients move their document and email management to NetDocuments.
Having gotten certified on many of the best options for small and medium firms, we are ready to help find the best fit for your firm. We are constantly monitoring changes to the server-based and cloud products and can help you find the best option for your firm to allow you to thrive in this changing world. Let us know how we can help!