For decades law firms have been observing the disturbing trend of high associate turnover. Recent studies show that lawyer attrition averages at 16% annually. This statistic is sobering considering that base pay, bonuses, and billable hours have all increased, while at the same time many firms have made great strides in improving work-life balance. In a recent study, the top reason associates listed for leaving a firm was lack of meaningful work and training.
Although provided with increased data and understanding of trends, law firms have been unable to significantly impact the rate of turnover in young associates. The solution to attract and retain talent is a commitment to fundamentally change the way that law firms (large or small) are run.
Streamlining the financial and temporal habits of law firms is a clear start to the kind of radical, committed change needed to reverse the trend of high associate turnover. The rising generation of lawyers were raised and educated during the digital era. By fully and completely embracing technology, law firms will not only increase their probable retention but will also increase their bottom line.
The flexibility that technology offers any law firm can be summed up in the phrase “work anywhere”. While the idea of working from any place with an internet connection adds to the work-life balance of young associates, the implications run far deeper.
Remember how the number one reason associates listed for leaving a law firm was lack of training? Storing all official matter files online allows for real-time edits and accessibility to those edits.
This accessibility means senior attorneys could easily train junior associates by allowing them to digitally shadow cases. In this scenario, little extra time and communication would be required from seasoned attorneys while training budding associates.
The cost of printing a sheet of paper averages between two to three cents, including ink and wear and tear on the printer. However, when you factor in the time to print, read, store, and either pass on or re-digitize the information to interested parties the true cost of paper becomes clear.
Law firms run on billable hours. In the zero-sum game of time, no office can afford to pay anyone to duplicate and triplicate work by insisting on keeping a paper storage system. Attorney efficiency is critical. Young associates will gain the additional benefit of reduced “grunt work”, leaving their time open for valuable training opportunities.
75% of companies in an ALM study listed hacking, employee mistakes, or third-party mistakes as their top fear for data security. These threats are real, and are a barrier to many law firms who would otherwise commit to digital file storage.
Cybersecurity is an ever-evolving topic that can seem intimidating. Law firms do not have to choose flexibility, efficiency, and fiscal responsibility at the expense of security. A partnership with a certified, experienced security provider can afford you the change your law firm needs with peace of mind.
Resistance to technology is another surprising trend in law firms. Seasoned lawyers and partners know their business well, and that business has always revolved around paper. While a survey found that 100% of law firms would prefer to have digital filing be their official method, only 16% report that their official matter file is stored in a document management system. 55% of attorneys reported that they prefer to work with paper, which leads to attorneys having everything printed-- at times including their email inbox.
Legal document management software is a simple, yet powerful, way your law firm can embrace technology and quickly reap the benefits described above. An office converted to cloud storage streamlines office procedures, maintains security, increases flexibility, and creates additional opportunities for training in one move. A digital firm is one designed to attract and retain new talent.
If you are interested in the efficiency and security benefits that NetDocuments customers enjoy all over the world, schedule a demo today.
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