Law firms have long been perceived as traditional, often clinging to established practices while other industries embrace innovation and technology. This resistance to change is rooted in the belief that tried and tested models and methods ensure reliability and trust. However, in an era where technology is rapidly transforming our daily lives and every facet of business and law, firms must evolve or risk obsolescence. Often, sticking to traditional processes and methods can lead to huge risks for firms, gaps in processes and over reliance on a single person which in turn leads to overworked and stressed employees as well as presenting a huge business risk if that person is to go off on long term sick, holidays etc.  

Embracing modern technologies and solutions can help firms thrive into the future, reduce risk, and increase both productivity and profitability. In this blog, we discuss some key areas where firms can utilise new innovations to move their firm forward towards the future and stay relevant.  

Resourcing: Embracing Flexible Work Models  

Traditional law firms often rely on rigid, hierarchical structures. This model can hinder agility and responsiveness. By adopting flexible work models, including remote/hybrid working and freelance legal experts, firms can access a much broader talent pool and scale resources according to demand. This approach not only reduces overhead costs but also attracts top talent who value work-life balance and flexibility.  

Outsourcing support for departments can also relieve stress and means lawyers can do what they do best – practice law. Giving lawyers more time back to focus on client work means more profit and client satisfaction for the firm. It’s also important to accept that some processes and technologies are better understood and operated by entities external to the law firm, who can give those things real focus. 

Forward thinking firms are beginning to foster a culture that values results over physical presence. Working with staff members to give them a balance means they are more present and satisfied at work.  

Communication: Modernise and Streamline 

Effective communication is the backbone of any successful law firm. Yet, many law firms still rely on outdated methods. Modern communication tools can enhance efficiency, collaboration, and client satisfaction. Firms should be moving towards secure messaging platforms that support a culture of collaboration such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, or the Cashroom portal! Document management is also crucial for law firms, adopting a centralised management system can streamline processes and increase efficiency. The SRA (Solicitors Regulatory Authority) found that 75% of UK Law firms have experienced a cyber-attack in the last year, with emails being the primary target. While emails still have a place, we are seeing a shift towards the use of secure client portals for communication which both enhances clients’ experience and ensures security.  

Cybersecurity: Proactive Threat Management  

Law firms are prime targets for cyber criminals due to the sensitive nature of the information they handle. Despite this, many firms still lack robust cybersecurity measures, relying instead on basic protections that are no longer sufficient. Firms need to be conducting regular cybersecurity audits and implement recommended changes. Training of all staff is important as cyber criminals could target anyone within the firm at any time. There are multiple advanced security solutions firms can invest in, including encryption, multi-factor authentication and intrusion detection systems which are all easy to implement. It is also important to remember for lawyers out on the road and in court, logging onto public networks, they should be connected to a secure VPN for the firm when working remotely to reduce any vulnerability.  

Data-Driven Decision Making  

Many law firms are sitting on a goldmine of data but fail to leverage it effectively. By harnessing data analytics, firms can gain valuable insights into their operations, client needs and market trends, enabling more informed and strategic decision-making. For example, at Cashroom, we provide our clients with a management accounts package, providing law firm leaders with the data in a visual format that they can use to see where they are and where they are going, and make informed decisions. Firms can integrate analytics into their case management systems to streamline processes and improve outcomes, increasing overall profitability.  

The ‘special sauce’ for good Management Accounts is that in addition to the depiction of the data in recognisable graphs and charts, Cashroom provides commentary, advice and analysis from its team of accountants. 

Enhancing Client Experience with Technology  

Client expectations are evolving, with a growing demand for convenience, transparency, and personalized services. Law firms that leverage technology to enhance the client’s experience will not only meet these expectations but also stand out in a competitive market. For example, at Cashroom, we use a secure, dynamic, and user-friendly client portal where clients can access documents, audit logs, and view their personalized dashboards as well as easily communicate with their cashiers.  

More firms are embracing AI in multiple ways- one way is to work with providers who can help you use AI powered chatbots to provide instant responses to common client enquiries and questions, speeding up your response and lead times. Ensuring you are utilising all aspects of your practice management systems is also important – ensure thorough training to enhance client interactions and improve service delivery. Utilise integrations with your software, for example Cashroom’s portal integrates with leading practice management systems, increasing efficiency for the lawyers.  

The legal industry is at a crossroads. Law firms can no longer afford to rely solely on traditional practices if they wish to remain competitive. By advancing their resourcing strategies, modernizing communication, proactively managing cyber threats, leveraging data for decision-making, and enhancing the client experience with technology, law firms can usher in a new era of efficiency, security, and client satisfaction. Embracing these changes will not only future-proof their operations but also position them as leaders in the sector.  

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About Cashroom

Cashroom provides expert outsourced accounting services for Law Firms including Legal Cashiering, Management Accounts and Payroll services. Our mission is to free lawyers from the complexities of legal accounting by supporting the industry with accurate management information and allowing lawyers to do what they do best – practice law.

‘The Cashroom have been an integral part of MBM from their inception. They has supported the growth of MBM from a small firm of 15 people all the way to the 70+ partners and staff now working in the firm. I have first hand experience of the wealth of skill employed within the business and the cashiering knowledge is unrivalled. The fluid ability of Cashroom to adapt to the changing requirements of a firm on a daily basis, as well as the ability to cover holiday periods seamlessly would be a benefit to any law firm. The Cashroom portal provides a first class workflow system for all cashiering requests and, more importantly, provides the level of security that email instructions do not. Cashroom provide both a cost effective fully outsourced service that can deliver almost everything that an internal finance team would be charged with, as well as a wraparound service to support an internal finance team.’ 

Stewart MacBride
Finance Director, MBM Commercial LLP
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