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Small Firms Cooling on Legal Technology

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But videoconferencing tools are hot.

Small law firms backed away slightly from legal technology in 2022, but their interest in video-conferencing tools remained strong.

A little more than four out of 10 small firms adopted some form of new technology in 2022, down from 50 percent in 2021 and 45 percent in 2020. Some of the big spends were for videoconferencing, telecommunications and cybersecurity.

Seventy-eight (78) percent of small law firm leaders said they kept their 2022 legal tech budgets the same as in 2021, after several years of steadily increasing budgets.

Those are some of the findings from the 2022 Report on the State of US Small Law Firms published by Thomson Reuters.  

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HR Challenges Facing Small Firms

In addition to tech challenges, some small and midsize firms are struggling to attract and keep top talent.

Firms can improve recruitment and retention by “ clearly defining how the lawyer’s role fits with the firm’s goals and what lawyers need to achieve to ensure their own progression; offering lawyers more control and flexibility as to what, when, and how they work; and supporting lawyers’ well-being, including offering training and health-related programs,” according to Thomson Reuters “Insights in Action” blog.

What makes young lawyers leave or stay with a small firm? Surprisingly, compensation is not the main reason.

“Other concerns, such as being treated with fairness and respect; feeling confident in the firm’s overall strategy and in firm leadership; and having the support of higher-level colleagues, such as partners all were ranked as more important than compensation in lawyers’ decisions to either leave or stay at their current firms” are more significant, according to Thomson Reuters.

Sources: Small law firms’ 2023 tech priorities: Business development & ensuring remote proceeding capabilities – Thomson Reuters Institute

Insights in Action: 2022 saw law firms move past the pandemic into a more client-focused service environment – Thomson Reuters Institute

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About the Editorial Staff

In an age of consolidation where increasingly impersonal transactions have made customer service an oxymoron, we bring together independent agents, insurance companies, and other industry specific service providers to develop and deliver insurance products and risk management solutions that benefit our insurance customers.

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