The way lawyers practice their profession is changing rapidly. And digital transformation is only accelerating these changes, incorporating disruptive elements that will radically affect the sector—just like we’ve seen it happen in other sectors and across industries.
All industries, without exception, are experiencing the emergence of new business models. These models use a variety of technologies that have matured in recent decades and have been catalyzed by COVID-19, altering the makeup of their value chains and breaking down the silos between sectors. On many occasions, disruption comes from unexpected competitors, such as startups and even companies from totally different industries.
Furthermore, businesses are quickly reinventing themselves by transforming data into an asset they can leverage, and digital technologies have become an enabler for both old and new businesses. This requires lawyers to have a solid understanding of the influence of technology across sectors. The way companies relate to each other within different ecosystems, and the playing field that law gives to technology, are some of the most pressing issues for all companies.
But grasping the concept of true disruption may be an especially difficult exercise for those who have a long track record of succeeding by doing «what has always been done.» This is the case with most large law firms and organizations, where there’s a rift between lawyers seeking to preserve the “profession” and the needs of consumers and an industry intent on satisfying them.
Law comes as no exception.
Now, looking to the future and the changes accelerated by the pandemic, many will need to re-evaluate and revise their long-term business models. Professionals and leaders will need to start leaning into tech, and identify and create new market opportunities while still reacting swiftly and decisively to manage future challenges.
Getting practical with digital transformation
In the legal industry, transformation presents an opportunity for lawyers to lead and enable the delivery of more secure, efficient, and client-centric legal services based on digital transformation solutions.
Studies from Gartner show that digital disruption is the most important function for businesses, immediately followed by finding talent who can provide new ways to deliver services to clients.
A study from McKinsey & Co. shows that organizations that have undergone a digital transformation are “23 times more likely to acquire customers, six percent more likely to retain customers, and 19 times more likely to be profitable.”
Digital transformation also has an impact on diversity, collaboration, and the organization’s ability to culturally adapt. The legal industry needs to do a much better job of being inclusive of every group—lawyers, technologists, data analysts, and people of various backgrounds, genders, and ethnicities.