This article was contributed by Cynthia Madison who works as an author at SmallBizClub.
For an industry that has always been regarded as traditionalist, holding onto outdated business models and shying away from change, the legal field has been undergoing major transformations in recent years. In an effort to remain competitive and cope with the challenges of operating in a world that is becoming increasingly digitalized by the day, law firms have taken to adopting tech tools and solutions.
In theory, this strategy should help legal professionals get with the times, providing the support they require in tackling modern-day issues and offering superior services to their clients, whose demands are getting more complex and confusing. In practice, things are a bit more complicated than that and don't always translate into the results one would expect.
The widespread adoption of digital tools and solutions by law firms also has concerning side effects, particularly when it comes to collaboration which is paramount in this sector. The numerous pieces of software used by legal professionals, each targeting different tasks, create an intricate and incoherent network that poses an obstacle to efficient collaboration. Therefore, legal teams find themselves in a difficult position, struggling to make sense of all the tech options they have at their disposal and make technology work for them, not against them. That's where Microsoft Team steps in, serving as a reliable collaborative platform for law firms and helping professionals boost their efficiency.
Barriers to collaboration in the legal field
Before we start discussing Microsoft Team features and the advantages they provide, let's first take a look at the collaboration challenges that most law firms face and analyze the root causes.
An industry centered on individualism
One of the biggest obstacles to collaboration is represented by the very nature of the legal sector which has promoted an individualistic culture from the very beginning. From as far as we can remember, the main focus in the legal practice was to increase revenue, and collaborating with other professionals in the field didn't exactly serve this purpose, which is why it has historically occupied a back seat.
What many law firms don't realize is that working closely with other legal service providers can in fact offer numerous perks. Take recruitment as an example. As experts at Legal Recruitment Agency UK explain, matching the right talent to the right role in this field can be an extremely time-consuming process without the assistance of legal recruiters.
The tough competition and the desire to dominate a certain legal area also prompted lawyers, solicitors, paralegals, and other professionals to act on their own. So, it's rather unnatural for many people working in legal practice to be part of a team and prioritize collaboration.
The complexity of the legal environment
The legal field is extremely intricate as it comprises many areas of practice and there are new categories emerging, such as cybersecurity, cannabis, or elder law, that add to this complexity. Legal professionals also work in many different settings and have different working styles. It's obviously quite difficult to connect all the dots and build a collaborative environment when there are so many variables that create a disparate workforce.
The wide range of tools
When it comes to communication and collaboration tools and apps there's a vast number of options to choose from. This means legal teams use a variety of platforms and tech solutions to perform their daily activities, and as a consequence, they are constantly jumping from one app to another, which is obviously not beneficial for their productivity.
Apart from the chaos that arises from using multiple communication channels, there's also the issue of cybersecurity looming around. Navigating online channels without taking the necessary safety precautions poses a high risk of data breaches.
Microsoft Teams provides the perfect collaborative solution for legal teams
Microsoft Team has already demonstrated its efficiency and reliability in providing solutions for all the above-mentioned challenges and issues. As part of the Microsoft 365 family, Microsoft Teams is a lot more than an app that lawyers and other legal practitioners can use to get in touch with one another.
The platform comes with a series of features for meetings and conferencing, calling, quick chat, file sharing, scheduling, creating and delegating tasks, work channels, and much more. This allows for smooth collaboration between legal team members and gives law firms the possibility to centralize all their work in one single space.
It offers a clear structure for teamwork
Before encouraging professionals to work together, one has to get them organized and create a framework to help them stay on track, and that's exactly what Microsoft Teams can do. Users can create different teams and choose the channels and tools based on the area of law and the type of case they're working on. They can use these channels to transfer and store data safely and work in a more organized manner.
It facilitates communication and collaboration
Microsoft Teams features a variety of options that encourages professionals to interact, communicate and collaborate with ease. There are tools for hosting meetings and conferences, making voice and video calls, sending instant messages, sharing files, providing feedback, tracking tasks and activities, scheduling, etc. The platform also provides dedicated features for creating guidelines and coordinating activities, sending emails to team channels, and improving team time management.
It allows for third-party app integration
If the law firm is already using other tools and solutions and doesn't want to give them up, Microsoft Team also allows for seamless third-party integration. That way, team members don't have to switch from the apps they've gotten used to or deal with the hassle of employing various separate collaboration tools. They can simply integrate their preferred software with Microsoft Teams and have all their tools in one single workspace.
It can certainly be difficult for legal teams to get on board innovative solutions and learn to do things in a new way, but the ease of use and the many advantages offered by Microsoft Teams make it worth their while.
About the author
Cynthia Madison is an author at SmallBizClub with a solid technical, business, and financial foundation. She's responsible for providing share-worthy articles that deliver value straight to the point. Cynthia enjoys watching thought-provoking TED talks on technology advancements in her spare time. She lives a “never stop learning” life.