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Report reveals what lawyers really want

Report reveals what lawyers really want

Peter Maloney

An increasing number of Australian lawyers believe access to new technology and flexible working conditions is more important for work-life balance than remuneration, a new report has found.

According to the latest annual GlobalX Law Technology Survey, which surveyed more than 300 legal professionals, lawyers think access to innovation and greater flexibility would improve their work-life balance more than increased pay.

GlobalX chief executive Peter Maloney said the results are evidence of an industry shift, with more legal professionals seeing the value of technology and flexibility in their day-to-day lives.

“While legal practitioners are notoriously sceptical toward the benefit of adopting new technology, 75 per cent of those surveyed said technology improves work-life balance within their practice,” he said.

“A lack of readiness to implement new tech may be explained by the fact that while respondents cited new technology as the biggest benefactor to work-life balance, the integration of business systems was viewed as the most challenging technology project by one in three respondents.”

Mr Maloney said the digitisation of services within commercial and government sectors appears to be influencing the legal market, with almost 60 per cent of survey respondents identifying PEXA and cloud-based solutions as the current “tech trends” affecting their business.

“The NSW government’s commitment to move 100 per cent of property settlements online by 2017 indicates a broader commitment to move away from paper-based transactions. This means those firms that fail to adapt with these changes will get left behind,” he said.

“Results indicate that cloud-based technologies are another area where firms are looking to invest, with legal practitioners identifying the increased need for fast, mobile ‘anywhere, any time’ access to documents and systems required to process matters.”

Furthermore, the results indicated that value for money was the top priority for legal professionals when considering new software and services, Mr Maloney said.

“A lack of funds for investment in technology remains the biggest impediment to change,” he said.

“So it is no surprise that when it comes to choosing a service, firms want to ensure they are getting the best value and long-term performance.”

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