Why Law Firms Are Rapidly Adopting The Intranet

Why law firms are rapidly adopting the intranet

Law firms are usually considered as laggards because when we think of industries that would quickly adapt to new technology, the legal industry takes a backseat, being tradition-bound. According to Gartner—only 19% of in-house legal teams are well-positioned to support enterprise digital efforts.

As expected, reinforcing this Luddite notion of accelerating digital transformation comes at a price. Industries keen to embrace technology increase business profit compared to those who fail to do, resulting in notable performance gaps.

Several industries count on the quick discovery of information. Any friction can stifle the performance and reduce the profit— which is why many law firms are seeking out effective managing of organizational knowledge which is a de facto in modern intranets.

New age intranets facilitate quick access to large quantities of information. As a central hub, intranets work as a collaborative platform that makes information readily discoverable. With the advent of AI in intranets, knowledge access and quick discovery powered by auto-tagging and personalization are making it a preferred choice for many.

The intranet for law firms will serve as a one-stop-shop hosting everything from sharing information, communicating, socializing, and seamless collaboration on projects and documents with a dedicated team, creating a smarter digital workplace.

Law firms adopting intranet technology are topped up with a plenitude of other benefits. In the 2019 Law Firms in Transition survey, 78% of the firms that created a more collaborative culture say that improved collaboration has resulted in improved firm performance.

Do not confuse the intranet with the knowledge management and enterprise collaboration platform of yesteryear with the latest iteration. There is much more to the story of intranet evolution.

Key Features Benefitting Law Firms

Recommended SMEs

For law firms, lawyers and their specialization are the real assets in delivering world-class outcomes. In many cases, the lawyers need to collaborate with SMEs to discuss their work as the expertise is spread across various places and practice groups. Here the intranet fills in the gap of recommending the right SMEs according to the case requirement, especially in large organizations with numerous lawyers, associates, paralegals, and partners. It is humanly difficult to identify everyone’s names, specializations, and cases they are working on.

A people directory helps to connect with lawyers with the comfort of getting all details like their contact information, background, the type of cases they are working in, and a summary of all work. The search feature pops up all the information while working on a similar legal case with all historical data, legal experts worked on it, and all relevant case documents.  It facilitates quick access to relevant information along with maximizing productivity.

Cognitive Search

Timely access to information is crucial for providing efficient service. There isn’t anything worse than wasting productive time discovering the right information. Case history and historical data access stand key in defining the success of any lawsuit.  Old keyword-based search has resulted in spending more work hours finding the information, insights, etc.

The AI version of the enterprise search uses natural language processing and machine learning to ingest, analyze, predict the intent, structure, and deliver information from multiple data sources. The intranet advanced search functionality facilitates immediate access to frequently updated files and legal documents without digging through multiple apps.

Cognitive search utilizes AI capabilities that predict, suggest, and auto-fill search terms based on profile, keywords, and past activities taking search to the next height. This helps end-users with timely, relevant, and contextual information speeding up their work delivery and actionize things.

Collaboration and Engagement

Usually, complicated cases and matters need collaboration from multiple specialized teams across the law firm.

The collaboration feature within the intranet allows users to share content, insights, and engage with coworkers by working together. With the infusion of AI and counting on the geo, activities, designation, department, etc., intranets are well equipped to surface relevant documents and showcase the right SME.

Law firms also heavily depend on documents and forms. The intranet makes it simpler by consolidating all forms in one place, saving time by sourcing information buried in multiple email conversations.

Additionally, the intranet provides the legal department with sources like news, articles, and updates. These offer a two-way communication channel for lawyers and attorneys to comment, discuss as well as share updates, and highlight key information across.

Besides work level collaboration, intranets help build rapport and can help stay connected with their colleagues with notifications around birthdays, work anniversaries, and events.

Personalized Information on Firms News and Corporate Events

Customized content delivery is crucial for intranet adoption within the workplace. Intranets were considered as knowledge dump yards back then. This made search a tricky functionality in surfacing relevant results. Digging the right information relevant to the key phrases entered in the search box ended up showing information with every possible match. It crowded the search results page too. Consequently, it is affecting the adoption of intranets and the purpose of it.

An intranet equips the user to locate case files, contacts, schedules, and other information in one centralized hub. This makes it easier for the user to find information quickly and focus on high-priority tasks.

Intranet personalization populates a recommended list of content like documents, important news, links to open a new case, access for upcoming events and training, and more tailored on the user profile, interactions, teams, etc.

Knowledge Management

It is not hyperbole to affirm that law firms have a large no of legal documents to maintain for their future use. The traditional method of updating and keeping a record of the document and versioning is difficult. That is why today’s intranet works as a central storehouse for all-important case files, legislation, precedents, and law articles. Organizations don’t need multiple sources to store or access information or knowledge instead all information will be stored on one platform which will be structured and organized to reflect the business of the law firm.

The intranet will be instantly and easily updated in the light of changing case law and new legislation, meaning lawyers will get access to up to date and relevant information all the time.

It will contain all the knowledge a lawyer needs to know from policies, case instructions, manuals, video tutorials, scripts, and training materials.

Tagging and categorizing knowledge will make it easy to search and access for the users.  It will be ideal for law firms because they have repositories of files and information that needs to be retained, even if any practitioner will leave the company.

Online Forms

Law firms require a lot of forms to fill in or documents to sign in. The online form automates the process, which includes everything from preparing for a new case to requesting the required data to timesheets to much more. It can be performed in minutes with a drag and drop interface and published to applicable documents.

Whether it is about filing an expense claim, recording time spent on each case, client details, booking a meeting room, etc. Intranet facilitates to complete of all such forms online anytime from anywhere, reducing the duplication of files and eliminating paper-based tasks.

Workflows like client onboarding, validating documents, etc., can be automated within the intranets with the advent of the latest technological advancements including PowerApps.

Employee Recognition

In the fast-paced work environment of law firms, acknowledgment for the efforts and work of employees for going above and beyond miss to have a platform. The intranet works as a central place to share kudos and get recognized among their peers. These shout out for employees or teams reflected in the intranet’s news feed boosts employees’ motivation and engagement.

Besides employee engagement it also leads to increased firm productivity and loyalty towards the firm, converting to higher retention.

Time to rethink your law firm’s intranet

Stale, musty repository of out-of-date news, policies that your employees knew and search results missing context are not going to bring in the change. An interactive, intuitive way to combat decentralized information, to better connect people and help locate relevant information from organizational memory is the missing piece in the giant puzzle. If you are charting a prudent technology roadmap toward success, it is vital to stay ahead of the game, and the intranet is one among them.

Besides serving the purpose, intranets are improving employee engagement, increasing productivity, ease of access to information, streamline business processes collaboration, and satisfaction.

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