Responsible for But Underqualified
Could this perhaps describe the person in your law firm managing the technology?
In the overwhelming majority of cases – the person responsible for technology in your law firm is under-qualified.
This is often you, the founding partner (common in law firms using Apple computers), an Office Manager, or maybe an in-house tech person.
How does this happen?
You most likely chose Macs when you started your firm because you wanted to, simple as that.
As you started growing your team, you continued to manage all the computers, installing updates, and selecting technologies and software solutions as the need arose. Hence, you’ve always managed the technology in-house.
Once your team grows above 709 people the complexities and time needed to manage the technology increase exponentially.
The security grows more complicated, managing passwords, the increase in devices (laptops, tablets, phones, etc.), etc.
At one point you inadvertently shifted to a reactive mode, doing enough to get by and avoid major catastrophes, but no longer implementing everything you’d like to be. You may even have handed off this responsibility to an office manager or whoever in your office was most competent with technology.
You are under-qualified. Calling you this may come across as a jab to your ego. I assure you; it is not a personal attack.
The macOS is the most user-friendly OS. With managing technology for a law firm, this becomes a blessing and a curse.
Founding partners sometimes develop the belief that since they are confident using Macs, that they are qualified to manage all the technology needs of the firm. Truth is, the majority are not.
Are you an expert in mobile device management? Are you up to date on the current and ever-changing security threats posed to your firm? Do you know how to reduce the risk of a potential data breach? Do you believe the firm is not at risk since it uses Apple computers?
Are you skilled in introducing new solutions, ensuring you gain buy-in ahead of time, then build and follow through on a training plan to increase and maximize adoption to reap the rewards promised by the new solution?
Can you ensure that firm data is kept on firm owned and managed services?
Do you know how to build a technology strategy to first address risk and stability threats then systematically increase efficiency?
If you’re underqualified, it is likely you cannot give a confident response to each of these statements.
And that is only a fraction of what is involved in managing all the technological needs of a law firm.
You have amazing skill sets. You went to law school and passed the BAR. You’ve made it this far and in building your practice to this point you HAD to take on many roles.
But, the more roles you have which you handle while being underqualified, the more you will lose time, effort, and energy to create mediocre results.
I challenge you to make a list of all the roles for which you are responsible, then make the same list for your Office Manager.
Next, on a scale of 1-10, 1 being completely unqualified and 10 being the most knowledgeable expert you could imagine for that role, how do you score for each role?
Here’s my mindset shift: just because you are responsible for something does NOT mean that YOU need to continue to do it. This is a technology-focused article so let’s look through that lens.
If you or your Office Manager are responsible for the firm’s technology management, it does NOT mean that you need to do it all.
The person taking care of finances may be responsible for payroll, but few firms process and run payroll internally, most outsource it to a service like Paychex, Quickbooks or Gusto. Those services are experts and can reduce the chance of payroll nightmares while also freeing up time from your staff.
So, my challenge to you is to ask yourself whether the person doing the technology management in your firm is under-qualified.
And if so, how long are you going to allow that to go on? Payroll is the biggest expense in legal services, so maximizing your staff’s efficiency is one of the easiest ways to drive profitability in your firm.
If you can have an expert take over technology leading to a reduction in support issues and an increase in productivity through proper legal technology solution consulting and strategy, do you see how much your firm could stand to benefit?
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