To survive and thrive in these fast changing times, your firm must adapt and respond quickly to emerging trends. Here are four to consider:
(1) Social Networking: If your law firm is not marketing through social media, you are losing business. Social media tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook pages, Twitter and YouTube can help brand established firms, and help young attorneys make a name for themselves. Don't forget about the power of the blog. If you need assistance with managing social networking, consider a free consultation from a business such as Web Presence Esq.
(2) Going Green: Thanks to e-filing and e-discovery the legal field is on its way toward a greener future. But there is still a long ways to go in the paper intensive world of the law. Not only are we impacting forestry but there is also the environmental impact of ink and toner cartridges. Green initiatives reduce business costs, promote social responsibility, and respond to eco-conscious customers. Consider joining the Law Firm Sustainability Network, a growing group of environmentally conscious law firms, where you can gain access to successful green best practices.
(3) Alternative Staffing and Streamlined Processes: Sink or swim - firms are responding to client demand to become more effective and efficient. One way to achieve this is through standardized processes. Checklists, guidelines, and templates can all aid in streamlining and cutting costs. And firms are responding by strategically using non-attorneys to manage cases. One example of this is the SeyfarthLean which staffs its cases with project managers. Small firms are also following suit by hiring non-attorney case managers to supervise the process.
(4) Collaborative Law: Sure, we can laugh at touchy-feely terms like "conscious uncoupling", but the meaning behind this trend has deep impacts for society and how the law responds. Clients are realizing that long drawn out legal battles are lose-lose for everyone. With full disclosure, honesty, and respect, the collaborative process provides a non-adversarial resolution. Couples are looking for gentler ways to divorce through alternative dispute resolution. For example, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals is an association of lawyers, mental health, and financial professionals that supports the multi-dimensional issues arising from divorce. Probate law is also responding with collaborative processes to resolve disputes surrounding will contests and contested guardianships.
For a free consultation on keeping your firm on top of the trends, please contact me.