Opposing forces in the legal industry have always challenged change and see technology as a threat. Because of this, our profession has changed very slowly over the years. The changes that occurred in 2020 are now forcing the industry to evolve faster than it is used to, and law firm owners who don’t understand this and adapt to it will not be able to grow.
Many Law Firm Owners are Risk Averse
Why is it that some law firm owners embrace technology and are able to improvise, overcome, and adapt to the challenges they face while others are risk averse? Often it’s because during law school we are hounded with the idea that there is a specific way of doing things. And while there is nothing wrong with this concept when it comes to the law, we don’t understand that this puts us in a box. And if we don’t look at the box we are put in and look for a way out we won’t be as successful as lawyers that understand that we can do things differently. It is this difference that was exacerbated during COVID, where so many law firms went out of business while others had their most profitable year ever, including mine.
How Working Virtual Accelerated Change
When most states instituted lockdowns during 2020 and all businesses, including law firms, were forced to work virtually, the legal profession was hit the hardest. For a profession where sending communication via email was unheard of not that long ago, determining how to protect client files, communicate with our staff that are all working out of their homes, and have meetings with clients over Zoom or Skype seemed like an insurmountable challenge. And for many law firms it was insurmountable and they went out of business. But working virtually forced many of us to think outside the box for the first time and those of us who rose to that challenge found a new way of doing business and saw growth.
How Law Firm Owners Can Embrace Change
Embracing change is about changing our mindset and making sure that we aren’t making decisions from a place of fear. When we are making decisions based on the idea that if we don’t figure this out ASAP we are going to go bankrupt, then we can miss opportunities and make bad decisions. But when we make our decisions based on seeing the potential of a new opportunity and not focusing on the here and now we can embrace change, evolve as a business and see growth even during challenging times.
How to Grow by Crushing the Challenge of Change
In my recent episode of “Crushing Chaos with Law Firm Mentor” my guest Moshe Amsel and I discussed the challenges of change in the legal industry and how law firm owners can evolve from being risk averse to embracing technology. You can listen to the full episode here.