It's almost that time of the year again (in Australia, anyway). 1 July is traditionally when law firms increase their rates. Of course, with legal budgets having been cut, clients no longer tolerate this particular 'tradition.' So, what can you do?
Gilbert + Tobin came up with a novel solution for Telstra by offering the telco a compelling all-you-can-eat deal. Now, not everyone can do a G+T, but the question remains... what steps can you take to increase value for your clients?
This month's edition of Law Technology News has a couple of interesting stories on how document assembly can help.
David Jensen, senior director of knowledge management and information systems at DLA Piper, explains how the world's largest law firm is letting clients help themselves to basic documents.
And he predicts that document assembly is only going to grow in importance: "We expect that demand for document assembly applications will increase as alternative billing models become more prevalent and clients apply rate pressure on repetitive legal work."
Michael Mills, a consultant at Kraft Kennedy, looks at how other firms have been using document assembly to provide more cost effective legal services. Mills thinks all providers - including high-end firms - should be investing in document assembly. (And he should know. He was previously the chief knowledge officer and co-head of technology at Davis Polk & Wardwell for 20 years. And before that he was a partner at Mayer Brown.)
Mills points to the 2010 Hildebrandt Client Advisory which states: "Growing client insistence on efficiencies in the delivery of legal services, however, combined with increasingly sophisticated technology may well force a redefinition of commodity work and underscore the importance of all firms (including high-end ones) being able to deliver more standardized work products along with their more specialized services." [Emphasis added]
Isn't it time for your firm to work out how document assembly can help serve your clients?