There’s no doubt this year has been unique. There have been not only unprecedented challenges, but also unprecedented progress in the legal industry.
From video depositions and e-signing documents to working remotely and learning new ways to communicate with clients, necessity has been a large driving force in all of this.
That being said, I believe it is kicking off a new era of how law firms will be run from this point forward.
A New Kind of Competition
For starters, in my opinion, there is now a greater separation amongst law firms, just based on how different firm owners spent their time this year. Some dialed back significantly on marketing, human capital, and infrastructure, and instead opted out to wait for things to return to normal.
Others have really doubled down to invest in their teams, culture, marketing, technology, and other areas.
Let me be clear: these are the firms that will be successful in 2021 and beyond.
Going into the new year, I think the business of law has never been more important, and running your practice like a business, having a great leadership team, a strong culture, great accountability, KPIs, and metrics within the businesses is key.
This became clearer than ever this year. The law firms that had measurable performance and aligned teams were the ones who now have a competitive advantage.
Customer Experience is Key
Another change I believe will carry on into the next year will be a heightened attentiveness to customer service and client experience.
Law firms are no longer just being compared to other law firms. Now, they’re being compared to the brands that consumers do business with, such as Amazon, Starbucks, and so on.
With this, there is a new responsibility and a greater necessity to raise that standard within the practice. The firms that do this are going to be much, much better off.
Culture Will Always Remain on Top
While this year has shown rapid change in the legal industry, one thing it has also shown us is that culture will always play an incredibly important role in the success of your law firm.
If you were lucky to have a strong, aligned team that could weather any storm in 2020, you were much better off. If you have that going in 2021, you’ll be set up for success. That’s really the biggest thing, because challenges and various types of adversities are always going to happen. This year it was COVID, but next year it will be something else, and so on.
Plainly, if you’ve got a great team that’s adaptable and can make adjustments as necessary, you’ll always be fine.
As we look into the future, having that ability and being able to pivot quickly is going to be very, very important because technology and consumer needs will always continue to advance, but if you have a team that can keep up, you’re golden.