Legal Technology Trends Uncover Two Distinct Firm Identities

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Results of new research study by Aderant show changing priorities of law firms – the emergence of Tigers and Bears.

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Study results reveal two distinct firm identities—tigers and bears—and the differing ways the two handle operational pressures and determine a firm’s strategy.

Results from a recent survey canvassing law firms from across the globe was released today, revealing two distinct firm identities—tigers and bears—and the differing ways the two handle operational pressures and determine a firm’s strategy. Tiger firms demonstrate a more aggressive approach to growing their businesses, with a focus on venturing out to “hunt” new clients in lieu of investing in their existing operations. Bear firms exhibit a more cautious approach, perpetually preparing for “winter hibernation” with an inward focus on selling additional services to current clients and leveraging their existing people and technology investments.

The 2014 Legal Technology Industry Survey by Aderant, the world’s largest independent legal software company, is the fourth comprehensive research initiative in a longitudinal study began in 2009 and is intended to provide insights into the changing dynamics of the legal industry and how firms are responding to those changes. While primarily focused on technology issues, the study also explored company health, client issues and competitive trends.

By evaluating new results and comparing with earlier versions of the study, Aderant was able to verify several particular trends arising within the legal sector, including:

1)    More technology spending, with shifting priorities. As firms are feeling client pressure to lower rates, they are responding by investing in automation productivity projects and cost-cutting solutions. 98.2% of all firms surveyed are more likely to undertake one or more technology projects throughout the year.

2)    Correlations between business objectives and IT priorities. Firms whose most important objective is adding new clients are more likely to be hiring additional lawyers and staff, and they are also more likely to have a lower IT budget. However, those who cited selling more services to existing clients as their most important objective, overwhelmingly intend to invest in productivity tools. For instance, 85% of large firms whose primary objective in 2014 is selling to existing clients have investment interest in solutions to automate processes and workflows.

Results from the 2014 Legal Technology Industry Survey are available in two reports, one focusing on trends among large law firms and another on trends among small and midsized firms. The two reports are available on the Aderant website for free download.


About Aderant
Aderant, headquartered in Atlanta, is a global provider of comprehensive business management software for law and professional services firms. With a 35-year history as a global industry leader, Aderant supports 3,300 clients in more than 30 countries. Its clients represent 70 percent of the world’s largest firms and 86 percent of the Am Law 200 across all segments of the legal market. Among these clients, Aderant has maintained a combined customer retention rate of more than 95 percent. Aderant’s complete suite of solutions includes: business development, calendar/docket matter management with built-in court rules, client relationship management (CRM), practice and financial management, time and billing, case management, document management, and business intelligence. Aderant helps firms more effectively and profitably manage, grow, and protect their businesses. More information is available at Twitter: #Aderant @Aderant / LinkedIn:

Aderant, Aderant Expert, the Aderant logo, Expert, and Redwood Analytics are trademarks of Aderant Holdings, Inc. Other brand and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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Megan Hall
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