When was the last time you evaluated your legal services in terms of client expectations? How about your legal marketing plan? For most, it’s rarely, if ever. Yet, we work in a service industry. While the maxim “the customer is always right” might seem misplaced in the legal profession, it doesn’t diminish the importance of taking a client-centered approach to the delivery of legal services.

According to the 2018 Clio Legal Trends Report:

“Clients may be the ones to set expectations for law firms, but lawyers are ultimately responsible for delivering on those expectations by finding solutions that are in the best interest of both the client and the firm. This may include educating clients on the benefits of new technologies—especially if they ensure better value and reduce wasted time for everyone.”

Nevertheless, studies show that the legal profession continues to do little to effectuate change. According to Thomson Reuters’ 2019 State of U.S. Small Law Firms Report, while small law firms recognize their challenges, the majority do little to move toward potential solutions that improve firms and client experience.

For example, less than half of firms surveyed have adopted new technology in the past year. In addition, only 27 percent have changed their legal marketing strategy and less than one-fifth have examined their workflows or billing practices.

Clients Put Trust in Lawyers

Although technology is innovating the practice of law, interpersonal connections remain the foundation of the attorney-client relationship. Clients come to us with problems to be solved. They provide private information meant for our eyes and ears only. Clients expect us to utilize the tools of our trade to serve their legal needs. This includes securing their confidential information and dealings.

As the threat of cyberattacks grows and we see a rise in targeted spear-phishing, our clients deserve to know that we prioritize the security of the confidential information they share. Rich Lee (@RichLtweets) of Civis Analytics will discuss this unique position of lawyer-client trust at this year’s The Future is Now: Legal Services 2.019 conference.

Rich will explain how all lawyers, especially solo and small firm attorneys, can guard against data security risks that threaten personal information and could even violate ethical rules. Moreover, he’ll lay out how we can protect our firm and our clients with the proper tools, many of which may already be in our toolkit.

If lawyers can’t demonstrate a commitment to data security, our clients will go elsewhere. And, as clients become more tech savvy, lawyers who prioritize security are likely to reap the benefits of increased (and more satisfied) clientele.

Clients Don’t Just Search for Lawyers, They Research Them

If your idea of legal marketing is renewing your law firm’s yellow pages ad each year, all hope is not (yet) lost. However, as more Millennials enter the workforce, it’s time for your legal marketing plan to adapt to an entirely different consumer. Law firms that deploy technology to develop effective marketing campaigns for an audience who grew up with the internet and smart phones will win.

At The Future Is Now, Gyi Tsakalakis, (@gyitsakalakis) founder and president of AttorneySync, a digital marketing agency targeted to lawyers, will discuss how to better identify and retain clients through online marketing and relationship building.

Gyi will explain how attorneys can utilize automation systems, processes and tools to break through the clutter, accelerate professional relationships and demonstrate their value to audiences online.

“As more digital natives come into the marketplace, your reputation and online presence speaks for your knowledge, skills and experience,” says Gyi. “Clients are still coming to you over a competitor based on your reputation and relationship. That hasn’t changed. Now, use tech to better nurture those relationships, because that’s what clients are demanding and expect.”

The Future is Now will be held on May 16 at Venue SIX10 (610 S. Michigan Avenue) in Chicago. The conference brings together legal industry thought leaders to provide practical guidance on how lawyers can better serve clients in our rapidly innovating industry. The Future Is Now qualifies for five hours of professional responsibility CLE, including 0.5 hours of diversity and inclusion CLE.

Register before we reach capacity!