In this article you'll find out how Professional Support Lawyers can add value.
Professional support lawyers are in a unique position when it comes to adding value to their firm through change initiatives, as they are at the coalface when it comes to gathering information, maintaining the firm’s knowledge systems and developing the firm’s profile.
PSLs are ideally placed to add considerable value particularly to fee earners as they are a trusted source of information. Here are just some of the ways PSLs can maximise the value of the support they offer:
1. Remove barriers to knowledge sharing
Many barriers to knowledge sharing can be overcome by effectively managing change within a firm. By working with fee earners in a collaborative way and demonstrating that there will be a positive impact on their work, fee earners will be more receptive to the associated change as they will be confident that it will eventually make their life easier.
However, Sophie Brookes, PSL Partner at Gateley, reminds us that change doesn’t happen overnight: “it's important to have an open mind about what success looks like: it might be a well-accessed database, full of useful documents or it might be better dialogue between fee earners about their practical experiences and technical knowledge … comparing progress day-by-day may be disheartening, but look where you were six months or a year ago and you should begin to notice a real difference.”
2. Raise the profile of knowledge management systems
As the trusted go-to on case work, PSLs have access to senior decision-makers, which means they are well placed to drive new initiatives forward, such as better knowledge management. Securing buy-in to new KM systems at the very top of a firm will create a culture of learning and information sharing that can benefit a wide range of work across the firm.
Organisational learning is such a valuable resource and, as the person who collects and redistributes a large volume of new information, a PSL is in the ideal position to understand and communicate the benefits that better knowledge management can bring to fee earners, the leadership team and support staff within their firms.
3. Embrace new technology
It’s no secret that some lawyers can be resistant to change, particularly when it comes to technology. This could be for a number of reasons, ranging from fear of increasing their workload and negatively impacting their time, to working with unfamiliar systems and adding a perceived cost burden.
New technology can take some time to get to grips with for any business, but many legal firms delay investing because of this initial challenge. PSLs can make a real difference here by demonstrating the value that new systems can add in terms of saving time and money in the long term.
Join us at the Professional Support Lawyer conference on 10 October 2018 for in-depth discussion around these issues and more. Click here for the full agenda and to book your place.