To IT or Not to IT: Why Your Firm Needs to Hire a Legal IT Consultant

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer through all the bad things luck throws at you, or to take arms against all those things that trouble you by putting an end to them? Yes, I am being a bit pretentious. But, Shakespeare’s words are relevant here. How do you deal with the day-to-day challenges of running your firm? Should you put up with it or do something about it? Simply put, if you want your firm to grow you have to take action. A legal IT consultant can help solo and small firms put an end to the challenges that are keeping them from being competitive with larger firms.

Why You Are Hesitating, Hamlet?

I have already argued in an earlier article that solo and small firms must embrace new technology in order to stay competitive. Nevertheless, I understand even a tech-savvy lawyer’s time is better spent being a lawyer than updating a website. Moreover, it does not matter if you have the latest software if no one can use it properly. So, who is going to train your employees to use the shiny and new technology? Set up, implantation, and training is a major time-killer. Add to this every other challenge that comes with running a firm.

The goal is to get lawyers back to practicing the law. This cannot be done without directly tackling the things draining your time. The fact is, technology can and will make your life easier and save you time. A legal IT consultant will use their ability to take some of the weight off your shoulders. Let them handle all your technology needs, therefore you can get back to your clients.

Bring an Objective Eye

I get it, Hamlet. Your firm is your baby. You have invested a lot of time and money in it. You want your firm to succeed, so it is hard to trust someone else with it. But, this is exactly what makes an IT consultant so beneficial. Sometimes, you are too close to something to see it objectively. An IT consultant is a neutral party. Vital changes will be made by someone who is objective. IT consultants are not yes men or untrustworthy. You can trust them to give you their fair thoughts on how to improve your firm.

You may already be using technology like case management software. However, one of the most common ways you waste billable hours is with bad software. You may choose your current software because a sales rep gives you a good pitch. It is difficult to realize why your current software is not saving you time without testing each one yourself. This trial-and-error process is just too time-consuming.

An IT consultant is not a salesperson. You can trust that they will recommend the best case management software for your needs. An IT consultant will learn what you and your staff need out of the software. They can assess which software meets those needs and ask the right questions to a salesperson. This process could take you weeks to complete on your own. Your consultant will handle the grunt work. You do not need to divide your time between cases and trial software.

Save Time and Money

Training is also not an issue. Lawyers tend to stick with bad software because it is inconvenient to train themselves and their staff in the software. The consultant will choose software that is the easiest to use and direct training themselves. Again, this is another task you do not have to deal with. You also save time spent on training, getting schedules in order, and implementing the new software. Overall, this is a much less stressful process for you and your staff.

IT challenges do not end after you install all the fancy hardware/software. We can look forward to AI solving this problem for us one day, but not yet.  IT consultants stick with you until the needed changes are complete. IT consultants do not just make suggestions and leave the rest to you. An IT consultant will develop a long-term strategy and work with you on how/when to best to make changes. There is no need to ask a ghost for advice. You can rely on regular updates from the consultant to make sure they are meeting goals.

Therefore, the most important part of an IT consultant’s job becomes to reclaim your billable hours and personal time. You have a dedicated professional handling all IT issues and implantation of new technology for you. Your firm can only grow if you are doing your job and helping your clients. The IT consultant eliminates the extra work that is important for growing your firm, but distracts from your billable hours.

Moreover, as you begin to add more technology you will also have to keep up with updates and changes. This is a difficult task even for fresh-faced lawyers. Technology is simply advancing too quickly to consistently stay up-to-date. Very few lawyers can dedicate the necessary time to keep up with all the changes, work with their clients, run their firm, and complete other tasks.

The IT consultant’s job is to keep up with the pace of change and trends. They will update your firm and guide you and your employees through those changes. Likewise, the shiniest, newest technology is seductive. IT consultants know what will work best for your firm. They will recommend only the technology your firm needs. You can rest assured that money is not being wasted on useless tech. The consultant will give you a detailed explanation on how/why the recommended changes will meet your firm’s needs.

Meet Goals with Less Stress       

One of the biggest challenges to meeting goals are employees. You can trust your employees to do the jobs you hired them to do. Employees, however, hate to have new tasks added to their workflow if they need to learn new skills. Employees are resentful of having to do a task they have little experience with or knowledge of. This creates extra stress on them and slows down the progress of their work. You cannot blame them for this. IT consultants realize it is a lot to ask of employees to add more duties to their plate.

An IT consultant will use their knowledge and resources to help your employees as well. The consultant does not simply train employees to use new technology. They serve as a guide and teach skills. The IT consultant will come up with a plan for helping employees adapt to their new tasks. This is especially helpful considering how multigenerational firms are becoming. Some employees will adapt quicker to their new tasks. The consultant will create specific schedules and strategies for these employees. Once the employees understand the changes, they will feel less resentful of the new work. This relieves stress and work gets started sooner. Thus, the IT consultant saves time and money in the short and long run.

There is no excuse not to take action. You should hire a legal IT consultant because they will help you grow your firm. Take your rightful place as king of all firms. The rest is silence.

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