According to Market Watch, a survey of law firms and legal professionals on non-attorney staffing trends has revealed that, on the whole, law firms are making better use of their non-attorney personnel in running their firms. However, while there has been improvement in getting the full benefit from various departments, and while there have been shifts in certain job functions within law firms, the Information Technology (IT) department is still underutilized by a majority of law firms. It is smart law practice management to consider whether you are one of those firms and whether your IT staff could be more useful in helping you to achieve your firm’s overall business objectives.
Tips on Law Practice Management and Staff Utilization
According to the ALM Legal Intelligence Survey, more firms today are making use of their financial and accounting staff, asking the staff to provide tips on structuring alternative fee arrangements and on cutting costs. The role of librarians has also shifted into more of a training function as paralegals and attorneys do their own research once they are armed with the knowledge of how to do so. Marketing and business development staff are also playing a key role in many firms, although some suggested that marketing staff could branch out and could do more by incorporating client feedback.
However, the ALM Legal Intelligence Survey showed that the use of the IT staff was the weak point. IT staff tend to be pigeonholed, unlike others in non-attorney positions, and are not asked to contribute as much as they should to achieving overall business objectives. You can avoid this mistake by thinking outside the box as far as what IT can do for you.