Trends Aspiring Legal Professionals Should Watch Out For In 2021
While some legal firms and lawyers were tech-savvy and innovative pre-COVID, the pandemic has forced the rest of the profession to understand these trends to leverage their efficiency and productivity in the coming year.
Though legal technology has been evolving for many years. But the past twelve months have shown rapid growth due to changes in work patterns and shifts in client demands. While some legal firms and lawyers were tech-savvy and innovative pre-COVID, the pandemic has forced the rest of the profession to understand these trends to leverage their efficiency and productivity in the coming year. Below are the top 5 trends for aspiring legal professionals to watch out for in 2021.
Trends to watch out for in 2021:
Adopting Client-centric approach
As client expectations are increasing every year, the firms are concentrating more on value-based services and custom-made pricing models. Lawyers are trying to adopt a more client-centric approach to their law practice. They are growing client value by improving their service experience. Aspiring lawyers are adopting Legal Process Management (LPM) and developing systematic workflows to improve efficiency.
Firms and lawyers are collaborating with other service providers for providing comprehensive solutions to their clients. Provision of Chatbots, online forms submission, and payments portals are being embraced by the firms to enhance and improve their client services and to prosper in 2021 as well.
Emerging Technologies and AI
Quite evidently, technology is changing the face of law practice. The use of Chatbots is modernizing client service. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is seamlessly executing the growing number of legal tasks like legal research, document review, billing, and litigation support to contract drafting and even jury screening. Lawyers are using virtual reality tools to convey key points in a courtroom trial or they are using them to train new lawyers or to collaborate with clients and experts. The inclusion of data privacy and cybersecurity will also continue to play a crucial role in 2021.
The widespread use of Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and other video conferencing technologies within lawyers and clients has exploded as the pandemic forced everyone to work from home. Court proceedings have now moved online and high-profile trials are taking place on Zoom. The trend of virtual hearings demands new skills from litigators.
Micro-niches help legal firms to approach clients with specific goals and needs. An aspiring lawyer needs to deeply understand the client, their industry, their goals and their problems so that he can provide tailored services that will truly add value in the eyes of the client. The increased complexities in certain industries and clients preferring targeted services have created the demand for micro-niches and highly specialized legal services in 2021.
Lawyers are now taking advantage of this trend to become go-to specialists within their law field. They are targeting a small group of clients from a broader market to set themselves apart, laser-focus their marketing strategies and emerge as a thoughtful leader in their niche.
Digital marketing of law firms has become vital in this fast-paced digital world. Effective online marketing of a law firm requires multiple factors like a powerful website, well-developed social media profiles and good advertising. High-quality content will attract more search engine users to the firm.
Lawyers are now publishing unique and high-quality information in their content to showcase their expertise to their clients. It is essential to position oneself as an authority to gain trust with legal issues by posting authoritative content or stories of one's experience. Efficiently using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is another trending tool for legal professionals. SEO tools include targeting local keywords, categorizing websites and optimization of web pages. SEO helps clients to navigate the legal services that matter to them the most.
Committing to Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI)
2020 has shown huge advocacy for diversity, inclusion and equality in various communities and workplaces. A 2020 Clutch Diversity and Inclusion survey report show 65 per cent of employees were satisfied with how their companies responded to the anti-racism protests. Most companies are now standing against racial injustice and other discrimination in society. Law firms have ranked at the top as the key industry player in the fight against workplace discrimination.
Implementing DEI Initiatives has become the priority of law firms. They are aiming to build a solid reputation by ensuring a warm, supportive and caring work environment. This is also helping in attracting and retaining new talent in the legal sphere.
To conclude, 2021 aids in a significant change in marketing, technology and business-minded practice that is boosting modernized legal practices. The landscape of legal competition is changing and lawyers need to re-evaluate their ways to deliver legal services with the vision to create a sustainable and profitable practice in the coming years.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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