Change Can Be a Good Thing

Guest blog posted in VBA Newsletter July 2019

As the world becomes more data dependent, those that take advantage of utilizing this data will succeed while others will be left behind. This is true in all professions but even more critical in the legal world.

In the legal arena, accessing the right data is key, creative searching is critical and not having to pay for it is just smart.

Mark Cohen’s @legalmosaic recent Forbes article entitled “Why Is Law So Slow To Use Data?” raises the question of why is the legal profession so far behind the times in terms of Data usage?

In the article he asked, “why is the legal industry still running on gut and instinct while the businesses it serves are propelled by data?” He references a recent survey by RELX Group which polled 1,000 U.S. senior executives in the survey “Law” finished last among industries—just ahead of government—in utilizing big data in some form. If your clients are data driven shouldn’t you as their attorney be even more data dependent?

Cohen suggests a major challenge is people’s“Resistance to change.” The Legal industry, like other traditional industries such as healthcare, insurance and accounting, are very slow to adopt new changes.

One of my favorite sayings is “the biggest challenge to good is better”. Many people (including legal professionals), take the attitude of if it works, don’t fix it. The erroneous belief that just because we have always done it this way and the fears of spending time, effort and money, lead many to actively resist change.

When looking back at our lives over the last 20 years, it is easy to see how embracing change has benefited all of us.Whether in the fields of business, medicine, leisure or convenience, we all feel on a daily basis how society has changed and how we have (at least in most cases) benefited from these changes.

Maybe change isn’t all that scary….

Cohen concludes his article with the following truism, “One thing is certain: in the digital age, legal providers that fail to make this investment will be unable to compete with those that do.”

In other words, don’t get left behind,start taking the steps to bring your practice into the Data Era and deliver your clients the service that they both demand, deserve and can afford.

About the Author: Steve Tover is the CEO of AnyLaw is a free service that provides a no-cost alternative solution to the unnecessary and exclusionary expense of legal research.