Adaptation is essential for law firms in the digital future
I’m sure many of you can vaguely remember learning about Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection in a science class years ago. You likely haven’t thought too much about it since, unless you are one of the millions that read ‘Sapiens’. Darwin’s theory applies just as much to businesses now as it did to the animal kingdom in the 19th century.
While it is often thought the theory of natural selection focussed on the idea that the strongest survive, adaptability is commonly a defining factor in the longevity of the species. Much the same, law firms that can adapt to suit their current climate will see endurance in their business and with the right tools can grow to become more profitable and efficient businesses.
Much like climates and circumstances in our natural world that have changed, requiring species to adapt, technology too has evolved humanity. Add to that the catalyst of a global pandemic and it’s a recipe for rapid adoption of new digital solutions. Over the last year, the conveyancing industry has evolved more in a six-month period than would have otherwise taken six years under previous circumstances. A shift to digital conveyancing was in motion once it was clear law firms needed to adapt to weather the storm.
The digital era has placed the power in the hands of the consumer by way of a handheld device connected to the internet. The consumer has evolved. Their expectations changed before social distancing, continuing to develop the ever-changing world around us. The way they expect to be serviced has also changed. Home movers are no longer handling matters by paper and post for a range of services; they want to access quotes and complete documents related to their transaction online with ease of access at a time and location that suits them. Digital signatures, electronic identification solutions and communication channels through apps have all become a valued part of the client experience.
Law firms are ready to embrace legal tech
Law firms have tackled the challenges of the pandemic head-on, adapting by embracing technology to support them and their clients. The 2020 Wolters Kluwer Future Ready Lawyer Survey: Performance Drivers found 76% of legal professionals say the increasing importance of legal technology will be the top trend to impact their organizations over the next three years, yet only 28% are ready.
Returning to Darwin’s theory, these figures suggest that adaptation within the legal sector is slower than most. The challenge remains that firms are not evolving at a pace in line with consumer behaviour. While good ground has been made due to adapting to the current situation, there are strides to be taken to achieve long term growth in the sector.
Understanding your clients’ needs is the first step toward adapting your firm to service the modern home mover. They want to complete their home moving process online, from digital onboarding to the signing of documents. So where to start? Consumers are using eSignature technology to authorise banking documents, so why aren’t more firms using the technology with home movers? By bringing documents out of their literal mailboxes, you are connecting with your audience, you are fulfilling their needs.
As HMLR has set out a new digital identity standard, there is room to adopt these solutions within your onboarding process, making it digital. Law firms using our eCOS (electronic client onboarding solution) are bringing their clients' onboard in under 30 minutes by using digital onboarding tools. Firms are also maximising potential with the adoption of digital AP1s - reducing requisitions in the process. Understanding the value-add of adopting a digital conveyancing process, your firm will reap the rewards now and in years to come.
So, where do you want your law firm to end up in the digital future of conveyancing? Will you adapt like the crocodile to grow into the digital space, or will you be left behind like the woolly mammoth?