Australian lawyers and conveyancers say access to new technology and flexible working conditions is more important for work-life balance than remuneration, according to new research by GlobalX Legal Solutions.
The latest annual GlobalX Law Technology Survey, which surveyed more than 300 legal professionals, found lawyers and conveyancers think access to innovation and greater flexibility in their working life would improve their work-life balance, more so than increased pay.
GlobalX CEO Peter Maloney said the results reflect an industry shift, with more legal professionals realising the potential impact of technology in their day-to-day lives.
“While legal practitioners are notoriously skeptical toward the benefit of adopting new technology, 75 per cent of those surveyed said technology improves work-life balance within their practice,’ he said.
“A lack of readiness to implement new tech may be explained by the fact that while respondents cited new technology as the biggest benefactor to work life balance, the integration of business systems was viewed as the most challenging technology project by one in three respondents.”
“This is a reassuring finding, as we continue to offer our clients a comprehensive range of products that, together, produce value greater than the sum of their individual systems; our integrated industry-focused solutions synchronise staff, resources and processes according to best-practice, to have a practice running at an optimal level.”
President of the Australasian Legal Practice Management Association Andrew Barnes said increasingly, law firms are being expected to move toward paperless offices. Many have already embraced the concept and have modernised to move beyond traditional paper based approaches to practice.
“While the transition from a paper-based office to a digitised one may seem a daunting task, the flexibility now available to practitioners and their firms introduces new efficiencies and enhances profitability,” he said.
“With many firms already moving down this new path, it is imperative the profession stays up to date. Considering the latest technologies as they become available, and critically assessing how your firm can benefit, is a standard part of law firm management these days.”
Mr Maloney said the increased commitment to the digitisation of services within commercial and government sectors is influencing the local legal market, with nearly 60% of respondents identifying PEXA and cloud-based solutions as the current ‘tech trends’ affecting their business.
“The NSW government’s commitment to move 100 per cent of property settlements online by 2017 indicates a broader commitment to move away from paper-based transactions. This means those firms that fail to adapt with these changes will get left behind,” he said.
“Results indicate that cloud-based technologies are another area where firms are looking to invest, with legal practitioners identifying the increased need for fast, mobile ‘anywhere anytime’ access to documents and systems required to process matters.”
Mr Maloney said findings indicate value for money was the top priority for legal professionals when considering new software and services.
“A lack of funds for investment in technology remains the biggest impediment to change,” he said.
“So it is no surprise that when it comes to choosing a service, firms want to ensure they are getting the best value and long-term performance.
“This often comes down to working with a partner committed to a particular industry, who delivers ongoing enhancements to products, and offers support via training, helpdesk and professional services.”
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