Here Are the Obstacles Blocking Law Firm Growth—According to Business Leaders

Like other businesses, most law firms want to grow. But growth requires flexibility and a willingness to change. Business leaders within firms largely understand this, and they have unique insights on the strengths and weaknesses of their firms when it comes to expansion.

The most recent Small Law Firm Business Leaders Report from Thompson Reuters highlights some of the most pressing concerns law firm business leaders have about the limitations on growth. These insights offer every firm leader the opportunity to reflect on their own organization’s limitations and how to break through them.

Here are three key areas that business leaders see as obstacles to their firms’ growth.

Failure to Adopt the Right Technologies

Many business leaders at law firms indicate through the survey that they understand the importance of adopting new technologies to facilitate growth. These technologies include management analytics, E-billing, document automation, and collaboration tools. However, many firm business leaders express reluctance to adopt these technologies anytime soon.

At backdocket, we work closely with small- to mid-size law firms to ensure our practice management software meets their needs now and as they grow. We can attest to the dramatic impact implementing new, flexible technology can have on law firms’ processes.

Firms are increasingly finding themselves in more competitive markets with firms who have already adopted these tech tools. The risk is that firms who don’t use tech tools like practice management software will have their growth stymied by their failure to keep up with the times.

Reluctance of Partners to Change Service Delivery Models

Many business leaders don’t feel like they have the full support of the partners at their law firms, particularly when it comes to making big changes to processes. Though business leaders may feel supported to innovate in their role, that support doesn’t always extend to legal service delivery models.

Legal service delivery model is a term used to describe the way legal work is offered to clients. It includes everything from consultations to document review processes.

The pandemic forced many law firms to adapt to new delivery models quickly. However, as we move into a post-pandemic world, it’s clear from Thompson Reuter’s report that business leaders don’t feel empowered to push the envelope beyond what was necessary to navigate the upheaval of 2020 and 2021.

A Lack of the Right Team Members

One of the biggest limitations listed by law firm business leaders was the lack of financial and human resources support at their firms.

Adequately staffed financial and human resource departments give law firms the tools they need to grow. Financial teams focus primarily on firms’ bottom lines, while human resources help ensure the health of a firm’s teams and individual employees.

An investment in these departments is an investment in the future of a law firm. Hopefully, firms will be less opposed to the costs of these investments once the dust settles from pandemic-fueled shutdowns and market concerns.

The Takeaway: Stasis Threatens Law Firm Growth

The common thread in these three obstacles facing firms is a reluctance to embrace change. Whether that’s hesitancy adopting new technologies, in innovating how services are offered, or expanding a firm’s workforce, the obstacle is firms’ desire to keep things the way they are.

This is nothing new—in the legal industry or in business at large. Law firms become comfortable with how they operate and understandably are reluctant to deviate from what seems to be working. Unfortunately, growth requires change, and that’s a tough pill to swallow for many law firms on the cusp of significant growth.

Grow Your Firm by Adopting backdocket

At backdocket, we have strong, positive feelings about adopting new technologies. We believe many firms don’t realize how easily new tools can be integrated into the mix. We’ve designed our practice management software to make improvements to firms’ processes right out of the box. It’s intuitive and easy to integrate into every team member’s workflow.

If you’d like to learn how our software makes your firm more productive, more communicative, and more profitable, contact the backdocket team today to schedule a free demonstration.

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