Separating Myth from Meaningful Value in Legal Resource Management

Separating Myth from Meaningful Value in Legal Resource Management
It's time to set the record straight. A data-driven approach to work allocation, lawyer utilization, and talent retention strategies ultimately helps law firms deliver high-value legal services at a competitive cost.

Yet, misconceptions still prevent some firm leaders from embracing legal resource management technology’s full potential.  

Below, I’ve tried to separate fact from fiction to help my clients (and all law firms) to seize new opportunities to optimize resources, simplify work allocation decisions, and ultimately meet your client demands for efficient and cost-effective legal services. 

Myth #1: Software overrides human judgment in legal work allocation decisions.

Legal resource management technology aids human judgment; it doesn’t replace it. A comprehensive database of lawyers’ skills, education, experience, availability, and preferences inform work allocation decisions. This data allows you to move beyond feelings, memory, and guesswork toward objectively defensible decisions based on value and cost-effectiveness. When a new matter arrives, the system suggests the people with the right skills to do the work. 

At all times, originating lawyers remain in complete control. They can accept or reject recommendations as they see fit to ensure work allocation decisions benefit their clients and the firm. 

Myth #2: Legal resourcing software will fail to meet my firm’s unique needs.

Modern law firm resource management technology is designed to be highly configurable to support the objectives and legal workflows of various practice groups. Whether it’s corporate law, litigation, intellectual property, or another practice area, firms can define custom workflows, roles, and competencies to meet distinct requirements.  

Myth #3: Legal resource management technology ignores lawyer preferences.

Because law firms decide which fields and custom options to include in their legal resource management software, your firm can allow associates to input their preferences, interests, and career goals into the database. You may also let them request work in practice areas outside their current focus if they want a new challenge. 

The software will then consider their preferences when suggesting team members for new matters. This way, your firm meets each matter's needs and helps associates develop their careers at the same time. 

Myth #4: Work allocation technology is just spyware tracking who's busy or not.

While legal work allocation software does provide real-time visibility into lawyer workloads, its primary use is to promote more equitable work distributions. It analyzes workload data and trends over time to offer actionable insights and identify potential issues before they become major problems.  

Is a particular team member consistently maxed out while others have capacity? Are there specific practice areas or matter types causing workflow bottlenecks? 

With answers to questions like these, you can proactively rebalance workloads so no one person shoulders too much while others go underutilized. This helps minimize burnout risk and engage underworked lawyers while ensuring every matter receives the support it needs. 

Myth #5:  Managing legal resource management technology burdens leadership.

Our resource management software solution is highly intuitive and user-friendly – and built specifically with busy lawyers in mind. It’s easy to integrate with existing HR, practice management systems, financial systems, and other tools to collect a data for a thorough view of firm resources.  

This continuous connectivity eliminates the need for manual data entry while ensuring information is always up-to-date and accurate. Once a lawyers profile is inputted, it is extremely easy to keep up-to-date, including current workload, availability, skills, and career aspirations, to shape their career paths.  

BigHand also offers dedicated implementation teams that work closely with you to configure options to meet your firm’s specific needs. Comprehensive training and ongoing support help ensure a painless transition. 

The facts are that legal resource management technology is a flexible, adaptable solution that supports the diverse needs of modern law firms. In an era of lateral declining lawyer productivity, requirements for better work/life balance for well-being and DEI, those who embrace legal resource management software stand to gain a competitive advantage toward sustained success. Get in touch with me if you want to discuss this further. 

About BigHand Resource Management

BigHand Resource Management is a legal work allocation tool that allows law firms to identify resources, forecast utilization, 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