Does the size of firm matter?
Legal process engineering isn’t just for the big firms, Michelle Hynes explains
The changing demand and supply of legal services means that the client of today is in a very fortunate position. They can source legal services online from large firms which are focusing on methods of process re-engineering to allow them to deliver services of value to clients, thus making them fierce competitors to the smaller firms.
The small firms face this challenge, particularly with emerging alternative business structures, the growth of fixed fees, and developments in technology.
It is rare for a small firm to have the ability (funds, knowledge or knowhow) to invest in a system of re-engineering, as the focus for solicitors is on practising law and delivering results to their client. There are not enough hours in the day to turn their minds to assess, evaluate, deconstruct and construct a new legal strategy or process-driven system which embraces the bigger picture of the delivery of legal services. It may be something addressed by partners, but to take it to the stage of implementation is rare.
Traditionally innovative lawyers, senior partners and savvy sole practitioners may have the notion that they would like to compete with the “big boys”, but in practice what is required in legal engineering is a detached appraisal of the processes within a firm, a clear road map of where it would like to go and someone with the necessary legal and business experience to be able to keep pushing forward slowly. Change cannot and does not happen overnight in any process re-engineering project.
Legal process engineering is thus a very valuable commodity to a law firm which wants to stay ahead of the competitive legal service providers. Those firms who invest in legal process engineering will stand a better chance of survival. It is an invaluable area of legal common sense, and a necessary one for firms large and small.
Legal process Engineer