Actionstep Publishes 2023 Midsize Law Firm Priorities Report
Results highlight business priorities, stress creation and mitigation factors, productivity mainstays and role of legal tech.
Actionstep partnered with Dimensional Research to conduct an online survey of more than 240 legal professionals who work at midsize law firms, including legal staff -- lawyers and paralegals -- as well as administrative support including practice managers, firm administrators, IT, finance, operations, HR, and other support functions.
Key Findings include:
"Midsize firms often operate in an environment with unique business challenges and conditions, including expectations to provide the high standards of client service of larger firms, but with fewer resources and investment dollars," said Early Stephens, CEO, Actionstep. "We have been partnering with midsize firms on their technology needs for decades and wanted to shine a light on their unique experiences. With this report, we sought to better understand the factors that matter most, including broader business priorities, resource challenges, stress factors and mental health, as well as overall work satisfaction."
According to Report findings, legal professionals at midsize law firms are dealing with challenges related to under-resourcing, balancing billable and non-billable tasks, consistent quality of work and effects on client service, among others. Key data-driven, actionable takeaways for midsize firms include:
Evaluate your tech ecosystem
Research found that 37% of surveyed law firm professionals reported that "entering data in multiple systems" is the non-billable task they spend the most time on. Along with lost time, disjointed systems can lead to lost or misinterpreted data, redundant work, and reliance on the wrong information. Findings tip: Evaluate existing systems for productivity gains – many firms do not use their current systems as well as they could. Choose a primary ecosystem as the center of operations and consider reducing or integrating disparate or siloed applications so data is shared across systems to create a more complete, easily accessible, cloud-based technology platform.
Automate the workflow
More than nine in 10 survey respondents said their firm has been affected by a lack of staff or resources in the past year, so the ability to work more efficiently and collaboratively are paramount. Automation can help reduce time, workloads, and streamline workflows. Findings tip: Gain back time and work/life balance by automating tasks such as document creation, query routing, calendaring, invoicing, matter management, and more.
Support flexibility for teams and clients
Report data suggests remote work may have a positive impact on stress levels among law firm employees. Findings tip: In configuring a remote or hybrid law firm environment, make sure there's alignment around goals, roles, and tasks, and that these are supported by cloud-based tools that enable collaboration and increase productivity.
Download the complete report here, attend a webinar on report findings, and read the key takeaways blog post for additional insights.