Ivan Rasic is CEO and Co-founder of LegalTrek, a billing software for law firms. Recently, I came across his August 16, 2016 article, “Law Firms vs. New Law: How to Face the Future of Legal Services?” In it, Ivan outlines 5 principles to help lawyers and firms navigate the change that market forces are putting on the legal profession. These include:
- Be flexible and have an open mind.
- Choose: legal profession, or business of law?
- Be aware of the fierce competition and act.
- Reconsider your law firm’s business model.
- Legal project management and tech for your agile law firm.
His article is a treasure trove of additional resources and research if you are interested in the future of law, the business of law, and other matters related to where the legal profession is heading.
One particular interesting part of Rasic’s article includes his discussion of Kodak:
Namely, they invested in RnD, they purchased state-of-art technology, they even leveraged internet photo-sharing start-ups as their lead funnel.
The only thing Kodak did not do? They did not change their business model. They decided to stick with printed photographs: they believed people would ALWAYS want to make printouts.
Let me repeat. Kodak helped create digital cameras and photos, but, in the age of digital photography, Kodak was still expecting people to print photos.They have bet their farm on that card.
That bet cost Kodak dearly.
Does this story sound crazy? Of course, hindsight is always 20/20. But how many of you feel it is strange that in the age of internet, web-based applications, cloud computing, legal project management, electronic files, law firms still charge by the hour?
The bottom line from Kodak’s example? You can RnD all you want, and use expensive tech, if, however you do not pay attention to your clients’ needs and desires, ultimately, you will fail.
It comes down to understanding how consumer behavior has changed, and what today’s legal consumer wants. Do you have a process in place to ask your clients for feedback? Even including a survey as part of your file closing procedures is a step in the right direction.