Legal executives push video conferencing to the forefront of strategic planning
Earlier this month, the Annual Legal CIO and CTO Forum brought together technical executives from top law firms around the country to discuss new trends in the legal industry and share best practices. One hot topic was how video conferencing has become integral to technical planning. In fact, one presenter noted that video conferencing is a “game changing technology.”
One panelist classified telepresence and video conferencing among the “Top 3 Technology Trends.” Why? Simply put, in this era of cost cutting and rapid decision making, it has the ability to instantly bring people together face-to-face no matter where they are at a fraction of the money and time spent traveling. In the legal industry, this is critical as it allows for more face time with more clients, which translates to billable hours.
Video technology is also much easier to implement and use than even a few years ago, making it more attractive to a broader audience. Moreover, decreased cost for bandwidth has enabled law firms to increase their investment in infrastructure, so their networks are ready to support high-quality video conferencing and telepresence across the organization. This helps drive greater collaboration without increasing costs, vital to competing in the changing industry landscape.
In addition to providing competitive advantage, several new trends in the legal industry are driving the need for video conferencing’s cost-effective, face-to-face communication, including:
- Consolidation of large law firms – A recent survey indicated that respondents expect there will be an increase in merger activity in the coming year.
- Globalization of legal services and firms – In an effort to serve large, transnational companies, law firms are globalizing their practice. As a result, mega law firms are emerging with several thousand professionals in dozens of countries.
- Push for more efficiency – To combat the price/value gap and remain profitable, law firms must become more efficient.
- Need to be untethered – Just like the business world as a whole, attorneys and legal personnel need to be able to conduct their business regardless of their location.
As Lumen Legal President and CEO David Galbenksi wrote in a recent article, “Law firms will need to evolve how they deliver service to their clients. They’ll need to discover how they can do it faster, better, and how to make it less expensive…And, law firms will need to change with the times—or wait until the market forces them to change.”
Video conferencing and telepresence can help law firms do all of these things so they can get ahead of the curve.