Legal Services Brief

Why a “Hybrid Office” Strategy is Critical for Law Firms

by Ken Neal
December 14, 2020

My colleague at Canon Business Process Services, Fred Levine, has worked in the law firm community for over thirty years. Fred points out that today’s COVID-19 environment requires law firms to adopt new strategies for operating in today’s “hybrid office.” The legal hybrid office leverages outside support, as well as automated workflow processes and other technology solutions, to enable legal teams to efficiently work either remotely or in the office.

Recently we have seen a dramatic acceleration in the use of technologies that until now were often either under-utilized or seen as too cutting-edge in the legal industry. Part of the reason for this is that law firms relied more on in-house solutions to complete certain tasks. An example is that legal practitioners, associates and paralegals often relied on staff such as legal assistants to get the work done.

Now legal professionals have the option of using technology. Solutions such as remote service portals give practitioners the ability to submit and track their work-related requests as well as the status of legal documents in transit, anywhere, anytime. This also improves workflow by eliminating manual steps in the process.

The need to consider a hybrid office approach has motivated law firms to seek outside assistance to maximize administrative practices both onsite and remotely. This includes engaging an experienced managed services partner to help create and deploy best practices that can be crucial elements in transforming current business processes. What are some few key attributes that firms typically focus on when engaging a managed services provider?

One element is financial stability. This enables a services provider to invest in the training and development of both onsite staff and subject matter experts who will be crucial to providing top quality consulting, implementation and other services.

Canon’s flexible service delivery model is critical to supporting a hybrid solution. Our teams can be deployed onsite, offsite and/or offshore to support law firm operations with solutions ranging from document scanning and print/mail center management to discovery services and more.

Another important point is that a successful hybrid office solution requires a complex orchestration of critical factors. These include the right people leveraging the right technology that provides access to data and office services anyplace, anytime. Anything short of this will limit a service provider’s ability to deliver the widespread support and maximum business value that many firms need to succeed.

The legal field is at a crossroads, challenged by business strategies that are changing, perhaps forever. What seems certain, at least for now, is that to succeed, enterprises need to adopt a hybrid office strategy. Doing so can help your firm thrive in the days ahead.

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