There are a few things we need to change in the legal industry.
Clients are not very happy with lawyers: The legal industry benchmark NPS for client satisfaction and service quality is 29% (global standards classify 50% NPS as excellent and 70% as world-class). This leaves a lot of room for improvement and some NewLaw providers have achieved fast growth with a client-centric focus. Lachlan McKnight admits LegalVision is obsessed about maintaining an NPS at around 70.
A lot of lawyers aren’t happy: Studies have found higher rates of depression that in the general population. 50% of law students, 33% of solicitors 20% of barristers reported they have experienced depression according to Minds Count Foundation.
Despite the unhappiness, the traditional law firm model has been financially successful and the legal industry has been slow to embrace change. Compared to other industries, legal work has not yet been disrupted by automation but significant investment in new tech tools is occurring. McKinsey predicts that in the future 23 % of a lawyer’s time may be automatable. While we cannot be certain of the timing of the impact, it is inevitable that automation will change how lawyers work. We are already seeing that automation enables clients to keep more routine legal work in-house where they can ensure work is done efficiently and the control the cost.
If you are a busy lawyer, mostly still using a phone, email and Word documents every day, how do you penetrate the alarming headlines to focus on what will equip you to flourish in a tech enabled world? How do you make sense of the changes and keep up?
One of the best things I have found is to listen to podcasts. I find that podcasts let you see inside the world of people who are trying new ways of working, both in Australia and overseas. I also like to hear what is happening in the wider business world - what are the trends that are shaping the way business works.
Here are a few of the podcasts I listen to regularly.
Peter Aprile and Natalie Worsfold are tax lawyers in Canada. I love the story behind their firm. They say they built the law firm that they’d want if they were in their clients’ shoes. They talk to lots of interesting people about how to do law differently.
Counter Tax Lawyers built a better law firm, for real.
Clarissa Rayward is a family lawyer based in Brisbane who created a podcast, and wrote a book, to open a positive dialogue about happiness in law. Each week she interviews other lawyers who have found success, overcome challenges and found happiness in their career. Her guests are a mix of established lawyers talking about how they managed to sustain a career in a challenging role and younger lawyers talking about how they are trying new ways of running a legal business.
You see being a lawyer takes a lot of hard work. We spend most of our time dealing with other people’s problems and as such it can be hard to see the good in all that we do.
US based Chad Main interviews innovators in the legal industry and the legal tech field about work they are doing to change the delivery and consumption of legal services. If you want to hear how lawyers are working right now using BigData, automation and blockchain - have a listen.
When technology is leveraged correctly, it makes attorneys even more effective.
Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist who looks are how interesting people have solved some of the everyday challenges that make work difficult. Things like how to learn to trust workmates you don’t like, how to fake polite enthusiasm without burning out, how to embrace negative criticism and rejection. I even enjoy the ads in this podcast - they feature an organisation that has implemented a great idea to improve our working life.
Managers: if you want innovation, stop falling in love with your own ideas and start listening to your employees. New data: managers overvalue their ideas by 42%. Frontline employees undervalue theirs by 11%.
Andrea Perry-Petersen looks at what is being done globally to improve people's experience with the law. She has found people doing really interesting work and it is great to hear positive news about solutions to access to justice.
As lawyers, we might think we are pretty special or that practising law is special – and of course, in many ways it is. But in regards to digital disruption, law is ripe for the picking.
Are there podcasts you listen to every week? I’d love to hear what you enjoy listening to.