Elevate Your Law Firm’s Competitive Edge with Data-Driven Legal Resource Management 

Today’s most successful firms know they must continually adapt and evolve. Those that have done so in the past can now take advantage of the new digital realities shaping our modern legal market.  

Data analytics steers their digital transformations, allowing firm leaders to look backward and forward simultaneously to make more informed predictions about where to invest resources and quickly respond to rapidly changing circumstances.  

Firms that fail to develop a data-driven approach to resource management fall behind in ways that risk permanently damaging their bottom lines. The gap between them and their competitors widens as data-driven firms continue to accelerate into the future.  

Here’s what I’m seeing in the field that shows why it’s becoming more difficult for firms that still use outdated horse-and-cart systems to catch up to those already speeding ahead on data-driven expressways.  

The need for proven methods to make legal matter resourcing decisions

Meeting today’s adaptive challenges requires using data to guide your legal matter resourcing decisions. Only by analysing data from prior matters can you make resourcing decisions today that meet the needs of:  

  1. Clients who want cost-effective services and equitable opportunities for lawyers from diverse backgrounds. 
  2. Diverse associates and those working remotely who want the same work opportunities as their traditional, in-office counterparts. 
  3. Associates who seek specific training and experience to build their chosen careers.   

Some firms I speak with still manually staff their legal matters. They describe too many moving parts and too little accountability in opaque processes. Partners tell me they feel frustrated without a proven way to meet DEI initiatives or satisfy client demands for inclusion and equitable work distribution. Firm leaders want to give associates the legal skills training and career experiences they want but don’t know where to start. Findings from the latest BigHand Legal Resource Management Report match what I hear in my discussions: 

  • 71% of NA and 63% of UK firms face client pressure to ensure the most cost-effective resource completes legal work. 
  • Firms have only partial or no data on opportunities for associate career development (54% NA, 55% UK) and lawyer training and development needs (51% NA, 49% of UK). 
  • But they want to do better, as reviewing career development options for associates is an operational priority for 49% of NA and 48% of UK firms. 
  • Reviewing matter resourcing and staffing matters based on profitability is a priority for 48% of NA and 49% of UK firms over the next 24 months. 

The data-driven evolution for effective legal matter resource management.  

Software that integrates client, matter, and resource management functions is the next evolution in the legal technology market. Resource management software integrations enable core tools to exchange and analyse data from essential sources such as your client relationship management platform and finance, timekeeping, HR, ethical walls and other programs. 

Formerly impenetrable processes open up. Decision-makers gain real-time visibility into team and individual workloads, skills, and experience. Partners can distribute legal work more efficiently, fairly and strategically, assigning matters to those in the best-suited positions. 

Partners tell me that after their firms adopt resource management technology, they are relieved and happy to allocate career-enhancing work and identify growth opportunities for junior lawyers. They are proud to proactively meet the diverse needs of young associates, which improves retention rates. Associates say that because they can see available assignments, they can request options to intentionally maximize their career paths.  

I’ve seen this clarity be especially beneficial in hybrid working environments. And perhaps most powerfully, it brings meaningful change to lawyers from diverse backgrounds, many of whom never had access to equal opportunities before.  

You still have time to advance beyond outmoded horse-and-buggy systems and join the race ahead. However, the need for data-driven resource management grows increasingly urgent as change continues to accelerate. 

Firms that are first to successfully implement resource management technology enjoy a home field advantage, setting the stage to compete for top legal talent, deliver the personalised services clients demand, and meet the evolving needs of a digital society.  

Today’s biggest winners are courageous firms with a mindset for quickly adapting to change, so I encourage all my legal contacts to get in touch to discuss how we can help embed those changes. 

About BigHand Resource Management

BigHand Resource Management is a legal work allocation tool that allows law firms to identify resources, forecast utilisation, manage workloads and add structure to career development for lawyers. The solution delivers real-time visibility of team availability, improved profitability on matters and supports DEI goals and equitable allocation of work.

BigHand Resource Management