As the COVID-19 vaccine makes its way throughout the country and more states are subsequently reopening businesses, the courts are also beginning to reopen. During this post-COVID transition, attorneys are likely to see an influx in prospective clients as they plan for various trials and hearings.
To hit the ground running as things open up, you need to do what you can to effectively take on new clients and reap the benefits of this increase in business—before your competitors do. Below are some best practices for law firms in getting and staying ahead in a post-COVID world.
Adapt to the “New Normal”
After a challenging year, it’s important to reflect on how your firm has evolved and the lessons you’ve learned. The pandemic presented law firms with myriad of challenges, and the strategies innovative lawyers used to overcome them will carry into the post-COVID environment. For example, new technology, video conferencing and remote work capabilities will continue to shape the future of the legal industry.
The fact is that most law firms aren’t reverting back to the way things were before the pandemic—and yours shouldn’t either. It’s time to adapt if you want to get ahead of your competitors.
Expand Your Law Firm’s Practice Areas
Some fields of law were harder hit than others during the pandemic, causing many law firms to have to make shifts in the types of cases they pursue. If you haven’t already, consider incorporating different service and practice areas to expand your focus. This may be invaluable to you as the pandemic reshapes the legal landscape.
Based on your firm’s particular market, it might be in your best interest to focus on additional practice areas that boost demand. Doing so can help you flourish beyond the pandemic as more practice and service areas can help balance out any decreased demand in a particular focus or location.
Continue to Embrace Legal Tech
The pandemic caused law firms to rely more heavily on technology than ever before—from online payment systems to video conferencing and virtual hearings. Most firms have recognized a positive impact from using this technology and intend to keep using it in the months and years ahead.
Two key legal tech tools to consider embracing moving forward include:
- Electronic Payments—With higher volumes of cases and the need for faster collection of pay, electronic payments have been hugely beneficial for law firms. Electronic payment expedites revenue collection, whether used to collect consultation fees, advanced fee deposits, or other types of payments needed when first working with clients. One key advantage of this payment method is the ability for people to pay remotely, which is vital when social distancing guidelines are in place. It’s also just convenient. Attorneys can further benefit from the ability to avoid forfeiting or discounting legal fees through the development of automated payment plans for clients.
- Video Conferencing—Today, legal clients want convenience when connecting with an attorney, which is where video conferencing comes in. From initial consultations to discussing cases, this technology has made it easier than ever for clients and lawyers to have consistent communication and maintain healthy attorney-client relationships.
Learn other ways to grow your law firm using the latest legal tech.
Build Brand Awareness and Strengthen Your Digital Presence
People are generally spending more time online than they ever have whether it’s reading news, scanning social media, or watching streaming services. In fact, the average person spends over six hours online every day, an hour more than they did in 2020.
Knowing that more people are active online, you can give your law firm a competitive edge by putting your digital brand in front of them. There are numerous tactics available to maximize your online visibility, including digital paid search ads and retargeting campaigns, improving SEO, social media ads, blog posts and videos.
Spend More Money (in the Right Ways)
Like most companies, your firm likely made efforts to reduce costs at the start of the pandemic, but as the courts and other facilities open up, it’s time to hit the ground running and start spending money again to bring in more new cases. You can expect rapid changes that will demand you to keep up through sufficient funding—otherwise, you may quickly fall behind. If you can channel your funds to the right areas, you’ll be able to maximize return on investment and stay ahead of the competition.
While marketing spend increases traffic and leads, that budget will go to waste if you haven’t invested in an effective process to convert those leads into clients. Legal process outsourcing can give your firm the help it needs to keep up with increased demand. A legal intake call center can help you maximize your marketing dollars by responding to every lead that comes in via your marketing campaigns—and skillyfully converting them into paid clients.
Better Than Before
By adapting, expanding, using the latest legal tech, maintaining a digital presence and making the most of their budgets, attorneys will have the chance to grow and become more successful than ever before.
Want to find out if you’re capable of handling the influx of calls as demand increases? Use this free scorecard to accurately evaluate your client intake process and identify areas in need of improvement.