Practice Management like Project Management

Not to belabour a point but lately the more I chat with our clients (who are all lawyers), the more I hear this comparison. “Legal practice management is just like project management!”

For the few readers who don’t know us, we are a software house who specialise in the automation of the legal industry. It has been a monumental task to say the least but we have made decent headway over the last 40 years or so.

It seems to me though, that there has been more change in the collective mindset of our client base in the last 5 or 6 years than in the previous 35 largely, I think, because of AJS’s web browser based system which was released at that time. That and, I suppose, COVID forcing everyone to work remotely.

Funny that.

It’s like the one big penny has finally dropped and we are hearing all the right questions about how technology can actually be a whole lot more than just a necessary expense:

Questions like:

–        Can I be prompted when this happens?

–        Can I be automatically notified when that occurs?

–        How will this affect my automated task?

–        Can I change my report to include…?

–        What will it take to automate this…?

–        Is it possible to receive this in my inbox every day automatically?

–        Does your system integrate to…?

–        When will your mobile app be ready?

–        Where can I see all activity? Can I also attach this?

–        When will you integrate to the Courts?

–        Can I publish documents via my website? Can I charge for them?

–        Do you think we should give our clients access?

–        Did you see that American case management system, pity it costs so much?

And more. 

It goes on and on nowadays and it is encouraging to say the least. Also, a bit daunting. We will never run out of ideas and requests for future upgrades to the software.

In addition to the flood of tech questions and requests coming through, there are many very worthy statements and opinions emerging from the unlikeliest of quarters. We are all well aware of the “Legal Jet Set” of young, tech savvy practitioners who probably know more than I do about what is available out there – and we must never be so staid as to not listen to them and give credence to their ideas. I recently sat in a meeting with a client where they demoed a piece of functionality to me. – How is that for the shoe on the other foot?

What the younger set often lack though is the experience in manual drudgery. The time-consuming attention to detail that has besieged legal processes and hampered result driven demands for so long. There is absolutely nothing more invigorating than being able to take a manual process, perfected and honed over years, and automate it – and the results and ideas that emanate from that are incredible.

And that is why we are experiencing more and more practitioners of all ages and stages, comparing their work to modern project management – because legal matters are just that – projects – each with a beginning, a middle and an end. Simply put of course but with that mindset, almost anything is possible!

The marriage of manual experience and youthful tech savviness is a match truly made in heaven.

For more, read our related articles Practice Management Part I and Part II.

We have been singing this hymn for some time now.

Digby Vickers
Director at AJS


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