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Actionstep Publishes 2023 Midsize Law Firm Priorities Report

By: PRLog

Results highlight business priorities, stress creation and mitigation factors, productivity mainstays and role of legal tech.

DENVER - Feb. 16, 2023 - PRLog -- Actionstep, a leading provider of cloud-based legal practice management software supporting nearly 800 law firms in the US, today published its inaugural 2023 Midsize Law Firm Priorities Report ("Report"), a snapshot survey and analysis of the business priorities, resource challenges, stress factors, and technology realities and trends of US midsize law firms.

Actionstep partnered with Dimensional Research to conduct an online survey of more than 240 legal professionals who work at midsize law firms, including legal staff -- lawyers and paralegals -- as well as administrative support including practice managers, firm administrators, IT, finance, operations, HR, and other support functions.

Key Findings include:

  • Revenue growth, cost management, and talent are top law firm priorities: 47% of respondents say growing revenue or identifying new revenue streams is the firm's top business priority.
  • Law firm professionals enjoy many aspects of their work, with some clear exceptions: 55% say they like knowing they are helping people solve problems, while 38% say they dislike administrative tasks.
  • Stress continues to plague law firms: 72% report feeling stress, burnout, or being overwhelmed in the past year with understaffing topping the list of stress factors. 92% say that in the past year their firm has been impacted by staffing or resources issues.
  • Legal staff and administrative support roles have different stress 'triggers': Legal staff report more stress as a result of understaffing and client demands while admin roles are more likely to report stress from team or culture issues and lack of support from leadership.
  • Technology can help law firms adapt: 91% agree great technology is critical for client satisfaction, while 97% report additional online workflow and collaboration capabilities would benefit their clients.    

"Midsize firms often operate in an environment with unique business challenges and conditions, including expectations to provide the high standards of client service of larger firms, but with fewer resources and investment dollars," said Early Stephens, CEO, Actionstep. "We have been partnering with midsize firms on their technology needs for decades and wanted to shine a light on their unique experiences. With this report, we sought to better understand the factors that matter most, including broader business priorities, resource challenges, stress factors and mental health, as well as overall work satisfaction."

According to Report findings, legal professionals at midsize law firms are dealing with challenges related to under-resourcing, balancing billable and non-billable tasks, consistent quality of work and effects on client service, among others. Key data-driven, actionable takeaways for midsize firms include:

Evaluate your tech ecosystem

Research found that 37% of surveyed law firm professionals reported that "entering data in multiple systems" is the non-billable task they spend the most time on. Along with lost time, disjointed systems can lead to lost or misinterpreted data, redundant work, and reliance on the wrong information. Findings tip: Evaluate existing systems for productivity gains – many firms do not use their current systems as well as they could. Choose a primary ecosystem as the center of operations and consider reducing or integrating disparate or siloed applications so data is shared across systems to create a more complete, easily accessible, cloud-based technology platform.

Automate the workflow

More than nine in 10 survey respondents said their firm has been affected by a lack of staff or resources in the past year, so the ability to work more efficiently and collaboratively are paramount. Automation can help reduce time, workloads, and streamline workflows. Findings tip: Gain back time and work/life balance by automating tasks such as document creation, query routing, calendaring, invoicing, matter management, and more.

Support flexibility for teams and clients

Report data suggests remote work may have a positive impact on stress levels among law firm employees. Findings tip: In configuring a remote or hybrid law firm environment, make sure there's alignment around goals, roles, and tasks, and that these are supported by cloud-based tools that enable collaboration and increase productivity.

Download the complete report here, attend a webinar on report findings, and read the key takeaways blog post for additional insights.

Jobst Elster

Photos: (Click photo to enlarge)

InsideLegal Logo Actionstep 2023 Midsize Law Firm Priorities Report

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