New Year’s Resolutions for Legal Teams

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New Year’s Resolutions
for Legal Teams

January is a time where many individuals implement new goals or strategies for success. Each year between 40-50% of Americans set New Year’s resolutions. While a majority of resolutioners believe their goals for the year will create lasting impacts, less than half make it a full year.

Forbes cites improved mental health, physical health, and financial health as some of the top resolutions for 2023. Statista echos this list and adds reducing job stress as a perennial favorite. While businesses do not typically set New Year’s resolutions, the beginning of the year is often a time to focus – or refocus – on strategic goals.

Let’s take a look at some resolutions for law firms and legal teams, why they matter and how to help achieve them.

Financial Health

As we shared earlier, being financially cautious is a smart approach in 2023, Legal Dive’s Robert Freeman agrees. GCs and law firms alike will be faced with financial pressures from leadership nervous about a slow economy. Proactively planning a judicious approach to the P&L is prudent.

Cost control in the legal industry is underpinned by one thing: efficiency. In-house teams are expected to bring more work – and more complex cases – in-house. While law firms are likely to see a decrease in matters and an increased request for alternative fee arrangements. Both sides will be expected to deliver effective work in an increasingly efficient manner.

As team members have more work to do, outsourcing can be an attractive alternative. A legal services firm can assist with contract staffing, recruiting, and managing litigation support. Understanding what you can outsource and the impact on your bottom line is essential in 2023 planning. It’s important to remember that not all legal services firms are alike. Look for one that understands your unique needs and can craft a plan that fits you.

Physical Health

Don’t worry, we aren’t here to tell you to take 10,000 steps a day. However, keeping an eye on the physical health of your organization is just as important. When we discuss the physical health of your organization, we’re thinking about the tools you use to accomplish your work.

The first key to improving here is understanding your tech stack. What software do you have? How is it used? Are there any duplicate efforts? Are there any gaps? Whether you’re assessing your current tech stack or considering adding more, understanding the value each piece brings can help. We shared some tips on evaluating tech partners that are a helpful starting point.

The next step to improving your team’s physical health is ensuring the information your team manages is safe. Cybersecurity attacks are on the rise and legal teams are still expected to keep client data confidential, especially from cyber attackers.

Cybersecurity incidents have shifted in recent years from personal information being leaked to ransomware attacks, holding up key business processes. One of the most common methods of entry is human error. Legal teams must have a proactive approach to cybersecurity including education on best practices. In addition to proactive education, organizations should have a plan in place to respond to and mitigate an attack if one does occur.

Focusing on your physical health also includes who and how your data is managed. Your approach to eDiscovery, Managed Review, even trial support can impact the space your team needs in the real or virtual world. In conjunction with your financial health, taking stock of your partners or how much you manage internally in this space can make vast shifts in your team’s goals.

Mental Health

Law firms face challenges of business development, efficiency, and burnout. While in-house legal teams don’t have the pressure of business development, they do have a growing workload with little hope of additional human power in the coming year.

As a whole, the legal industry has a reputation for challenging work/life balance but The Great Resignation has changed how individuals approach their jobs. Legal teams that find effective ways to manage workloads can provide the balance job seekers want.

This may be a space for a legal services firm or technology investment to be part of the solution. Making strategic choices for software or human support can go a long way to alleviate some of the stress on your team.

Be smart about SMART goals

When setting goals, ensure they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. By setting SMART goals you can design specific plans or make strategic decisions to achieve them. Having a solid set of goals thoroughly outlined gives your teams a clear understanding of the coming year.

Additionally, remembering that you don’t have to do it all alone. Forbes indicates that 52% of resolutioners use a resource to help them stick to their resolutions. For some legal teams that may be a new piece of software or a new legal services partner.

If your team is ready to tackle your 2023 goals, connect with Array today. We can support your team in contract staffing, recruitment, and litigation readiness this year and beyond.