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law firm profitability

Legal Trends to Watch for in 2021

Posted by Samantha E. Whetstone on Fri, Nov 20, 2020

Legal Trends to Watch for in 2021

by Samantha E. Whetstone / November 20, 2020

With each new year, industries undergo changes. One of the largest, by far in 2020 leading into 2021 is flexibility and adaptability. This year has been a whirlwind of changes and new ways of doing things, and it's vital that as both individuals and an industry that we are able to adapt to survive. With that being said, another popular trend is digital transformation as it is revolutionizing not only legal, but every industry out there. Although the legal sector has previously been very slow to adopt digital changes, this year has made many firms adopt quickly and embrace it in order to survive current circumstances. Thankfully law professionals have begun to accept the digital business trends, realizing they have such a huge potential for both time and cost savings, and provides the ability to successfully work remote. These 5 trends are items legal should keep on their radar as we begin to close this chapter of 2020 and turn the page for 2021.

Movement to the Cloud

Cloud technology has no doubt been a major discussion in the legal industry for quite a few years. Many firms were slowly moving towards the technology, but those that put off moving to the cloud completely have now completely changed their outlook with remote working as the new normal. 


Mobility and Flexibility

law firm profitabilityThe functionality and performance of mobile devices as well as remote work spaces has drastically, and continues to, improve. Professionals understand the benefits of the ability to practice law anytime and anywhere. With legal specific technology, apps, virtual communication, and mobile responsive design many lawyers can complete almost anything they need right from their phone, laptop, desktop while at home, traveling or in the office.


Analytics and Performance Tracking

There is an enormous amount of data within a law firm, but also specifically for an individual department, timekeeper, and even client. As time goes on the data grows, and if it is not organized or in a platform that is easy to understand the value of it is essentially lost. Software applications, such as Business Intelligence, takes the vast amount of information and allows for trends to be found and displayed in a visually appealing way. This shows key drivers that would otherwise be missed by the human eye.

The legal industry is all about performance. Every level of the firm is interested, from the lawyer to managing partner, all the way up to the CEO. How many clients did you bring, in how much did you bill, how much did you make, how often do you win? With analytics and BI software, these benchmarks are very simple to track on a day to day basis. Analytics allow management an easy way to track how the firm is doing and make adjustments as necessary. 


Business Intelligence

Efficiency.. Efficiency.. Efficiency. Less time spent organizing data, creating reports, and analyzing the numbers. Less time waiting until month end for a report. More time to practice law. More time to grow the firm. Law firm business intelligence (BI) tools have and continue to advance. Gone are the days where it takes weeks, even months to get important information from your IT or Finance departments. Law Firm BI like Attorney Analytics gives role based information to all members of the firm daily.

We had a phenomenally seamless transition to work-from-home.  In this environment, the need for real time data is now even more exaggerated. Our attorneys can now get to data they could have never accessed before.  The ease of pulling info, in all different ways, is a game changer.  BigSquare has taken us to a new level!
-Steven Flaks, Director of Pricing & Project Management at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr

One of the best parts about legal BI software is that it takes all of the data and information and displays it in a visually appealing way to quickly glance and understand what it is you are viewing and recognize those important trends. Empowering your entire law firm with key data saves both time and money, and keeps everyone on the same page with how the firm is doing.


Online communities, social media & communication

law firm BIAs we all know, online communities and social media have continued to evolve. Many industry professionals connect with each other to share and update on the latest trends, ideas, and news. Legal, although sometimes slower to catch on than other industries, has caught the wave of this one and has been able to stay connected with colleagues, peers, and friends through social media, video platforms, etc. Communities and platforms such as LinkedIn allow lawyers and legal business professionals to connect from city to city, and even across the globe. 

Not only have companies and firms learned how to successfully work remote via video conferencing, phone calls, etc. but external meetings run this way are also vital to the success of a firm. The ability to message, email, call, video conference instantly has become the norm and a very simple way to stay connected and in communication with clients as well.


As you can tell, many of these trends are related to each other, and their ultimate goals are to help make professionals in the legal industries lives’ easier. With digital transformation at an all time high, understanding these popular trends only puts you and your firm ahead of the curve, which is the place you want to be. Taking that step up with a smart approach to tech adoption saves clients and firms alike a lot of time and money.

2021 will bring in in meaningful change as innovation, technology, and business-minded practice drive growth in modern law firms. The competitive landscape is always changing and lawyers will need rethink the way they deliver legal services in order to create a sustainable, profitable practice in the coming years




BigSquare is the leading provider of Business Intelligence for law firms and professional service organizations.  We focus exclusively on law firm reporting, law firm BI, law firm profitability and law firm analytics.


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Tags: Legal BI Legal Services Legal Technology Legal Software

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