Changing Workflows in Law Firms and the Evolving Role of the Legal Secretary
Legal Practice Intelligence's summary of findings from a survey produced by US consultancy Traveling Coaches, as reported in ILTA's Peer to Peer Magazine
• The concept of the legal secretary as the centre of all communication and documents coming into and going out of the law firm has disappeared
• Partners have been doing more work compared to associates over the last few years
• Lawyers at the partner level have simply maintained their familiar work processes by introducing technology that complements the old workflow instead of fully embracing technology to change a workflow or look for inefficiencies
• Associates are practically begging for better efficiency tools and remote access ... They are not under any delusion that being at home means they are working fewer hours, it just means a more comfortable and relaxing environment in which to work
• Outlook is the lawyer’s most-used application ... More lawyers are managing their own mailboxes and may share only contacts and calendars with their legal secretary
• Instant messaging: many lawyers feel that quick internal messaging should move out of email
• Document creation is increasingly falling onto the shoulders of the lawyer
• Lawyers are looking for solutions to the document review workflow challenge.
• The file formats used by lawyers are continually expanding, i.e. Word, PDF, Excel, Powerpoint, graphics and multimedia
See also an article about a survey of law firms on the role of the legal secretary, covering: the secretary to lawyer ratio (1:3 found to be the median); managing the secretary workload; and tasks performed by secretaries on a daily basis for their assigned lawyers.
... and from US consultant Ron Friedmann - Client Service Lessons from a Large Law Firm Secretarial Cut
posted on 4 August 2012