Law firms have been utilising video conferencing for a number of years, whether it be for communicating with witnesses or for internal collaboration between offices and colleagues. But with an ever-changing corporate landscape, both in terms of the legal sector and the technology used within it, it is more important now than ever to ensure your solution is still solving problems, not creating new ones.
We have previously looked at how to get the right video conferencing platform for the right operational purpose, however there is more to expect from the office tech industry. Video conferencing has changed immeasurably in the past five years alone, and the emergence of new ideas like AI, fully virtual offices and cloud-based video as a service (VaaS) is leading to a further influx and uptake of this technology in all types of enterprises.
But how will these changes affect, and be implemented by, the legal industry?
Changes Shaping the Modern Law Firm
There are a range of techniques expected to increase in popularity as we move further into a technological future. In December last year, LegaltechNews.com discussed the feasibility of certain tech advances in the legal industry and how easily they might be embraced in 2016. Among the suggestions were two that have seen a huge rise in adoption this year: working from home, and finding more convenient ways to communicate with clients. These, of course, have become markedly simpler with video conferencing.
Now, you probably already use video to collaborate with colleagues and clients, but are your processes as streamlined as you’d like? Firstly, businesses have been migrating to the cloud in droves, looking for a secure yet easy way to futureproof their services. Furthermore, the option of a bespoke infrastructure is an attractive option for firms who can identify areas of their current methods that have become obsolete.
Back in 2015, LegaltechNews.com said, “In 2016, there is talk that that even more lawyers will jettison office spaces in order to create home offices as part of a cost-saving and convenience effort. Lawyers can successfully run a practice by working remotely, visiting client offices, meeting virtually and renting meeting spaces as necessary. Nearly every other industry has opened up to virtual working, so it’s understandable that it is infiltrating the legal world as well. Tools that make this possible include high-speed Internet, cloud-based technology, co-working spaces and more. Culturally, attorneys and clients have become more accepting of the idea of home-based offices for lawyers.”
Why You Should Change
We have already seen a huge uptake in video conferencing in the legal industry in the first half of this year, and as we move towards the second half of 2016, we can notice even more focus on agile communication. This means that current platforms and hardware will reach obsolescence, hindering the progression of workplace trends and threatening security. As we have previously discussed, old age platforms are dangerous in their lack of vendor support and their interoperability. Upgrading a current solution to support not just the changes within your firm but also the wider landscape of technology in society as a whole.
So, what is influencing these changes? Among other things, it is the client. Camille Stell, Vice President of Client Services at Lawyers Mutual NC, told the Business of Law blog, “21st-century clients will drive a revolution in the delivery of legal services. Clients will demand transparency, innovative problem solving and client teams that can deliver timely results at appropriate pricing.” The power is shifting to the clients as they educate themselves extensively before even sitting down with a lawyer. Working towards the development of client expectations, such as simple methods of face-to-face communication, is the best way to encourage a futureproof culture.