Collaboration in the digital age: Why it matters to the legal sector

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Ryan Sparrow

Marketing Executive

It is a necessary skill – if not a job requirement – for lawyers engaged in today’s increasingly global, inter-disciplinary and technologically enhanced legal world to be able to collaborate. Lawyers and law firms that don’t do so are now at risk of being left behind.

Why has collaboration become a necessity?

Traditional views of law emphasise its hierarchical nature. Lawyers may work together, but there is always a star and that star is the one who brings in the money and is sought after by clients. The measure of success is billing hours, and lawyers are encouraged not to be team players.

But that narrative is changing. Star lawyers are not so much the need of the hour; more and more cases require lawyers to work together in a collaborative way to give clients the value they’re looking for. Customers are seeking a balance between cost and relevance; this means that lawyers must work together to complete projects quickly and within the cost parameters that the client expects.

Moreover, as the world becomes more complex, clients are looking for holistic solutions to their problems – which means law firms now have to find a way to provide value across a range of issues, not just their specialisation. This requires lawyers to work together through smart collaboration to meet their clients’ needs. Or they risk losing their business to a law firm that can.

Benefits of collaboration

There are several benefits of collaboration for law firms:

An increased level of business

Law firms with a range of practice-area professionals that are willing to collaborate are able to get more business from their clients. This is because collaboration among these different lawyers in a firm creates holistic solutions to client problems. Clients thus tend to stick with these firms and give them more business because they perceive greater value from the collaborative work done, based (at least partly) on the wider pool of intelligence used to generate those solutions.

Better retention of clients

Law firms that collaborate well are more likely to retain clients. Traditionally, there was a risk of losing clients if you lost your star lawyer, as clients would often migrate with these venerated employees. This risk is reduced with smart collaboration, as clients tend to appreciate the collaborative nature of the firm’s work and the multi-speciality, holistic value that it offers.

The role of digital transformation

Digital transformation has introduced a paradigm shift in how we work and how we view work. The introduction of AI and machine learning to analyse large data sets means that law firms now have greater insights to optimise their solutions for clients and provide value at faster speeds.

But it also means a cultural shift in how we work. The traditional approach of functioning in siloes is no longer effective. Instead, the workforce must be agile and able to collaborate to make the most of digital insights. Old methods don’t work with new tools, and lawyers are quickly learning that a collaborative approach to law is what the digital age demands.

Moreover, technology is changing the legal sphere and law firms that don’t embrace this new wave are at risk of being left behind. Collaboration, then, becomes a necessity between different fields and specialisations, with lawyers working with IT firms and software developers to streamline their services and enhance their efficiency. DPS Software has been in the game for more than 35 years, working with thousands of users across hundreds of legal firms, and we only see our role to be growing. The future of law is tech-based, and DPS’s vision is to support the development of the legal sector through offering innovation and cutting-edge technology.

To learn more about how DPS can transform your business in this digital age, get in touch with our friendly team.

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