The legal sector can be unpredictable with new trends and requirements emerging frequently and often unexpectedly.

Some trends can force firms to rapidly respond and change their ways of working for the long run, on the other hand, others can be short-lived. So what trends should law firms be paying attention to?

1. Data driven decision making

We are witnessing a move towards firms being data driven and basing decisions on relevant and related information, rather than intuition or opinion. The first step towards being data driven is having a modern technology platform, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365, in place to keep all your data in one safe and secure place. From this system you can begin to derive deep analytical insights.

Luckily the complexity of data analytics has reduced substantially in recent years due to business intelligence tools such as Microsoft Power BI and intelligence capabilities built into  many modern platforms. AI is drastically reducing the time spent by lawyers on manual entry, search and other time-consuming, low-skilled tasks. This is ultimately freeing up the time of skilled qualified professionals to shift their focus onto value-add tasks such as decision making.

2. Security and data attacks

The amount of confidential data a law firm handles can make them a prime target of attacks. In 2018, a survey by PWC UK found that cyber security was a concern for 82% of the world’s top 100 firms. However, for most firms, especially smaller firms, data protection can be somewhat of an afterthought, with more focus and investment prioritised around other areas.

Poor data management leaves firms vulnerable to external threats and this threat is only going to increase as hackers become more sophiscated. Discover more about this trend and how to protect your firm in our article – the risk of poor data management to legal firms.

Despite the headlines and worrying statistics, many firms continue to believe that they are well protected, or that hacks and leaks only happen to big law firms and so do not prioritise IT investments.

3. Client portals and chatbots

An interesting trend in the current age of convenience is the rise of client portals and adoption of chatbots. Client portals are increasingly being used by firms who seek to gain a competitive edge by making their services easy to utilise while also improving communication with their clients.

Portals can provide clients with secure 24/7 access to their documents and case information through just a few clicks. They can enable customers to digitally sign documentation rather than having to print, sign and return files. Portals can remove the need for lengthy phone calls or email trails, allowing firms to provide better and quicker service.

Both client portals and chatbots enable firms to put their client first, providing an improved customer experience by providing them with the information they require, when or wherever they need it.

4. Modern working environments

A modern law firm is made up of people who work remotely, in various office locations and/or on the move. Technology driven improvements are enabling teams across different locations to communicate easily.

The combined challenges of globalisation, a changing workforce and demand from customers for transparency are driving the adoption of systems that support virtual teams that span geographic distances to offer service and advice wherever or whenever it is required.

Whether you are a lawyer operating on your own, a virtual law firm or a law firm operating in a traditional office environment, modern technology platforms empower you to work from multiple locations. These systems allow you to access and update information and tasks on a mobile device in real time wherever in the world you happen to be. It is however critical to ensure your firm puts sufficient data protection in place if employees are allowed to take devices home or access client data on mobile devices.


The above trends offer a range of opportunities for legal firms in terms of providing a better and more secure service for clients as well as facilitating stronger collaboration and communication within your firm. To discover more about the tools available to help your organisation embrace these trends, download our guide – harnessing Microsoft Dynamics 365 to drive profitable outcomes in the legal sector.