You’re in! Now What? Tips for firms to get busy associates to adopt new legal tech

  • December 11, 2023
  • Tali Green

NOTE: This article originally appeared in JUST. Magazine

For as far as the legal profession has leapt ahead in technology adoption over the past three years, there is still a lot of ground to gain. Just about every practice area has a plethora of tasks that can be automated to free up time for work that is more enjoyable, more sophisticated, and more profitable.

But the billable hour model doesn’t exactly encourage efficiency, making it notoriously difficult to sell tech to law firms.

Which is why it is so exciting when a firm, especially a big one, finally signs with a legal tech vendor. It means that the vendor was able to convince the innovation team, the practice group, and IT that the product is useful, safe, and profitable.

After all that hand wringing, you’d think the next 12-months would be smooth sailing, right?

Wrong. Because often a product that was supposed to solve a major problem ends up collecting dust among a pile of other legal tech products that no one uses.

Associates have too much on their plates to learn about new tools, so they revert to the familiar – and inefficient - way of doing things. Meanwhile, the innovation team struggles to push adoption of the products that they fought so hard to onboard, partners get frustrated with mounting unsubstantiated costs, and vendors are crushed at year-end to learn that their product will not get renewed.

Which begs the question: what can firms do to enhance legal tech adoption among associates?

I took a tour across North America to gather best practices from innovation folks at some of the largest firms in Canada and the US.