Successful Legaltech Adoption Depends on People and Processes

Legaltech Adoption

The dynamic legal tech industry promises to revolutionize and reshape the landscape of legal service delivery. Yet, the successful adoption of these promising tools does not solely depend on the technology itself but significantly hinges on potential uses and the processes it involves.

Brian Kennedy, a senior lawyer and freelance consultant, provides insightful commentary on the various facets of integrating legaltech into a law firm, discussing everything from its potential to redefine service delivery models to the pitfalls to avoid when adopting new technology. 

Main Purposes of Legaltech Adoption

First of all, it is essential to understand what is legal tech. Fundamentally, legaltech can act as a “force multiplier”, dramatically increasing what is achievable when combined with the right people and processes. It can change the delivery of legal services and unlock new possibilities. That goes beyond digitizing existing services to potentially being able to create new ones.

  1. Tech enables firms to identify new business opportunities and enlarge the legal tech market size, which wouldn’t have been feasible without the use of technology.
  2. Tech ensures a better customer experience. Law firms are striving for continuous efficiency improvements in the delivery of legal work. 
  3. Tech creates transparency and enables lawyers and clients to collaborate more effectively.
  4. Tech helps clients manage risk and offers insights that otherwise might be lost — particularly with the advent of big data and all the possibilities that hold. 

The Role of Legaltech in Creating a New Legal Services Delivery Model

Legaltech, if you deploy it successfully, can be used to deliver more with fewer resources. But it’s not just about legaltech: firms need to look more broadly at how they deliver their services. 

Obviously, there are a host of things we could talk about. But in terms of new legal delivery models, there are two particularly current legal tech trends:

  1. The advent of law firms and alternative legal services providers offering legal managed services — an outsourced legal function to improve operations and cut expenses. 
  2. The rise of flexible resourcing models and on-demand lawyers. This allows firms and in-house teams to take a flexible approach to the size and capacity of their legal team in line with fluctuating demand without taking on fixed overhead.

“What’s also interesting is that these new delivery models have the effect of opening new roles like legal technologists and legal engineers and disciplines like legal operations, legal project management, legal process improvement, etc.” 

Brian Kennedy, a senior lawyer and freelance consultant 

How Can Human and Legaltech Interact in Law?

As the practice of law becomes more tech-driven, how do you make sure it still feels human? The key point is that it is going to be a combination. However, clients are not likely to choose between human and digital experiences. Instead, they are likely to rely on both to get the best result.

“I think law firms are going to need to evaluate which aspects of their work provide the most suitable opportunities for technological innovation, and, on the flip side, what aspects of the work are those where the clients will value a more personalized approach.” 

Conversely, though, there are qualities clients value in their lawyers that you can build into technological processes. These are things like transparency and being easy to work with. 

Also, the legal design movement plays a role in tech development. It’s about putting the end-user at the heart of the experience, considering how something is going to be used and how somebody will respond to it, whether that’s a lawyer within a law firm using a piece of technology or a client who’s going to see their service delivered digitally. When you start looking at things through a design lens, you can then start making technology look and feel more human.

Mistakes Law Firms Make When Adopting Legal Technology

  • Starting with the technology: Technology is a tool, not an end in itself. You need to have a clear vision as to what you want to achieve and what the metrics for success will look like. Only then should you explore tech solutions that will facilitate those aims. 

“Remember that successful adoption will depend as much on people and processes as it does on the technology itself. That’s why you have to put the end user first. You have to really understand the requirements of the end-user and stakeholders within the law firm.” 

  • Assuming that the interests of your stakeholders will automatically be aligned. Take the time to really understand them and think about how you can build a common vision for a particular tech initiative.
  • Doing everything alone. Getting the right team together is also key. You need to get the right blend of experience and include champions, sponsors, and early adopters, who are going to really help drive through the change. There might be some people who seem right on paper for your team, but if they don’t have a real desire to implement change or the bandwidth to be effective participants, then that might need to be carefully managed. 

Tips on Change Management 

Some tech initiatives fail because they don’t pay sufficient heed to the change management side of adoption. You might have the most brilliant tech solution in the world, which is a perfect fit for the law firm, but if you don’t manage the “people side” of change and generate that enthusiasm and buy-in, you won’t succeed. 

  1. Plans for changes must be client-oriented. Some law firms communicate very broad and general messages about the need for change, focusing on the requirements of the business and why change is important for the organization. But you’ve got to make it real for individuals. Lawyers need to understand how a particular tech solution is going to benefit them personally for them to fully support it. 
  2. Changing over to new systems and new ways of working will require time and effort at an individual level, not just at the organizational level. Don’t just assume that people will adopt something because the legal technology industry has told them to. You have to think about incentives, rewards, and recognition to boost levels of engagement.
  3. Be realistic as to the change capacity and change competency within the law firm. You might have a really great initiative but at the wrong time, for example, if you move forward with two pilots simultaneously when there’s not enough bandwidth. You need to plan for all those factors to support the adoption. 
  4. Don’t think that legaltech adoption is going to be easy. It’s going to take time, and you might not necessarily immediately get 100% of what you’d hoped for at the outset. You’ll need to take a “test and learn” approach and give the initiative time so that it can be assessed, refined, and improved. 
  5. Accept that sometimes things won’t work. That’s part of the learning process. 

“Don’t be afraid to pivot and change things up so that at the end of the process, what you’re delivering is something that’s going to excite lawyers and clients and really achieve the commercial aims that you wanted it to.” 


The understanding of what is legal technology and how it can be integrated and adapted within a law practice depends not solely on the technology itself but also on people and the existing processes within an organization. Successful legaltech adoption empowers law firms to multiply their capabilities, improve client experiences, and perhaps even generate new business opportunities. 

However, this success hinges on understanding the expectations of the end-user and aligning these innovations with the firm’s overall service delivery. Tech adoption should be undertaken with a clear vision, forging a common path for all stakeholders involved. While challenges are inevitable, maintaining an open mind, embracing a ‘test and learn’ approach, and being prepared to pivot can lead to exciting possibilities in the sphere of legal services, ultimately achieving the desired commercial goals.

Article by Yevheniia Savchenko

Yevheniia Savchenko is a Product Content Manager at Lawrina. Yevheniia creates user interface copies for Lawrina products, writes release notes, and helps customers get the best user experience from all Lawrina products. Also, Yevheniia is in charge of creating helpful content on legal template pages (Lawrina Templates) and up-to-date information on US law (Lawrina Guides). In her spare time, Yevheniia takes up swimming, travels, and goes for a walk in her home city.

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