We’ve spoken to dozens of law firms over the past half year or so and there are several common challenges and themes we hear when talking about intranets, knowledge management systems and all things Microsoft 365.
Law firm intranet challenges
The current state of play as we see it is that:
Is your law firm facing any of these challenges? Well, what's next?
- Law firms are expected to be engaging places to work and to utilise the best technologies that help their staff to be most productive. But many are struggling with what a modern intranet should or could be.
- Email remains a predominant internal communication tool.
- Law firm CIOs that are invested in the Microsoft 365 platform want and need to get more out of it. But how?
- Law firms are still struggling to understand where and how they can best create an engaging experience and create valuable outcomes using Microsoft Teams.
- Client retention, growth and experience is obviously critical to success. Putting aside client portals (another topic), how can firms best serve clients when client-facing teams have so many apps to consume in trying to provide that service?
- Law firms sometimes struggle to ensure that the knowledge being generated from the work done is retained as an asset to be repurposed appropriately for future transactions.
- Retention of talent is another obvious requirement, but how do you create engaging experiences for your staff that enable them to work the way that they want to?
- In a highly regulated industry, how do you ensure compliance, deal with ethical walls, quickly establish expected standards of work while at the same time promoting a firm wide culture and ways of working effectively?
- Leaving the best till last, it's utimately all about growth and profit. How are firms going to harness the potential of AI in day-to-day operations without bamboozling their staff and, importantly, without creating compliance and regulatory headaches?
Modern intranet requirements for law firms
We are seeing a huge increase in the requirement for modern intranet experiences amongst law firms globally.
Many (most) existing intranets are outdated and we regularly hear words and phrases like 'backwater', 'unreliable', 'never/hardly ever use it'. But firms and users understand the critical importance of organisational wide communications, knowledge management and better collaboration and governance. And they know – or at least strongly suspect – that AI is about to change everything.
What should a law firm intranet enable its users to do?
As a modern lawyer in a modern law firm your intranet should enable you to:
- Reduce email traffic and make internal communication more immediate and engaging, helping to build and reinforce firm culture.
- Leverage the firm’s greatest asset – knowledge – by making it easy to create, store, share, use and make decisions with.
- Facilitate effective, efficient, collaborative working within the firm, deriving benefit from strategic investments in Microsoft 365.
- Make stuff easy to find, wherever it may be, inside Teams/SharePoint, your DMS, PMS systems, custom databases etc.
- Make stuff personal. If information is not relevant to you, you should be able to hide it and free up screen space for the important stuff that you need to know.
- Provide insights into employee behaviour and the use of content that staff spend an incredible amount of time creating and curating.
- Automate mundane tasks, leveraging existing Power Automate capabilities within M365 for approvals, watermarking, redaction and more.
- Use AI to work faster and smarter, automating content creation but with a governance wrapper and appropriate curation controls.
- Do all of this in one place: in Microsoft Teams.
I believe we are now at a tipping point. Law firms have been pushing multiple boulders uphill for a long time, but relief is not just in sight, it’s here.
Utilising existing technology investments such as Microsoft 365 and making new investments in AI such as Azure OpenAI Services (with ChatGPT) and products such as Atlas, means we can now start moving to a new state of play, taking the opportunity to make a step change in productivity and employee engagement to create many more high value outcomes for your firm.
If you want to change your current state of play and understand how we can help do so, please get in touch.
Must reads for legal professionals:
Atlas: The law firm intranet of choice
Nothing else comes close to the power and flexibility of Atlas intranet.
- Platform of choice for organisations using Microsoft 365.
- Delivers quick access to expert knowledge and a frictionless route to answers.
- Bridges the gap between people, processes and technology to maximise return on knowledge.
- Enterprise grade security, smart tools for provisioning and governance of Microsoft Teams that your IT team will love.
Read more about why Atlas stands out as an intranet software solutions.