Is your firm culture
future-proof?

Dana Denis-Smith|Obelisk Support

The future of legal work is changing and, long with it, how work will get done. The role of firm culture will be more significant than ever before, driven by a new generation of solicitors that will be the most demanding yet, expecting diversity on all fronts – of people, workspace, technology and wellness.

But are law firms ready to change? It’s a mixed picture, but those that tackle this now will succeed in the future.

Our report released before the summer, Back to the future: Reshaping firm culture, outlines four cultural pillars that law firms will need to embrace.

1 Promoting flexible workspace options that can be tailored to the needs of both workers and clients.
This is more than just a way of working. It’s a business model or philosophy and, when undertaken properly, it can reap some formidable rewards. Beyond just offering hotdesking or a laptop to work from a client’s office, flexible working puts the focus where it counts: on serving clients’ needs. By encouraging teams to work collectively, rather than focusing on the old barometers of face time, it promotes the delivery of improved results.

The biggest challenge over the next decade will be the increased expectations around equality and wellbeing. With demographic diversity expected as a bare minimum, solicitors of tomorrow will look to firms for personalised solutions that meet their physical and mental health needs

2 Fostering a future lawyer who is entrepreneurial and adapts to a variety of situations.
Lawyers have always been entrepreneurial, but the future lawyer will need to expand their roster of skills to adapt to an environment that is more business-oriented and tech-savvy.

3 Strategically adopting technology
that makes sense for specific, clearly defined objectives.
Firms will need to embrace work management technology with a millennial sensibility and adopt a holistic family of legal tech products.

4 Resetting the corporate climate to be more accepting of differences between people and how they work.
The biggest challenge over the next decade will be increased expectations around equality and wellbeing. With demographic diversity expected as a bare minimum, solicitors of tomorrow will look to firms for personalised solutions that meet their physical and mental health needs.

For some firms this will represent a significant change. There’s certainly plenty of effort being put in to deliver solutions, but fundamental change of this nature will take time and effort. It will also see the common practice of measuring employee satisfaction by hours worked relative to salary coming to an end, because it’s insufficient to address the employee happiness gap.

Our experience is that it’s possible to meet the changing expectations of a new breed of lawyers. Firms that tackle this now will be the ones that succeed. Failure to do so will mean firms playing a dangerous game in terms of their ability to attract and retain top talent.

This article can be found in Briefing’s September edition: Hot data

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EDITOR’S LETTER

Take a squizz at the news any day at the moment, and there seems to be a

Richard Brent
Editor-in-chief, Briefing
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BRIEFING DATABASE: OCTOBER 2019


In partnership with Peer Monitor
October 2019