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LTVS2021 Highlight: Jack Shepherd - Lawyer Bashing & Solution Adoption

At The LTVS2021, Jack Shepherd from iManage shared his tips on getting lawyers on board for adopting new solutions, as well as covering the risks of “lawyer bashing”.

Trying to get lawyers to use new technology and adopt new tools into their workflows can be very frustrating. What may seem like an obviously better solution or process, can take a lot of convincing just to get someone to give it a go. While it may be tempting to speak down of lawyers and make comments like “oh they’d still be using quill and ink if they could get away with it…”. This doesn’t help you in being able to convince lawyers to use new tech and processes - it just pushes them away and makes your job much harder. Making these negative comments and speaking down on people is what Jack describes as “lawyer bashing”.

“If you make the lawyers think that you are insulting them, or thinking down upon them, they are never in a million years going to use the tool you are trying to promote.”

It is also wise to avoid ancillary matters that could also be looked upon as lawyer bashing. Don’t get on your high horse and preach about how the billable hour is awful, or that the way they are doing things is hours slower than your way of doing things etc. If you come across as being preachy, you will break trust and the people you are trying to convince won’t believe you can actually deliver value to them. Jack emphasizes the importance of building trust with people and making them believe you have got their back. Only when they know you are on their side will they be open to listening to your ideas for how they can change.

Also avoid the temptation to judge them. If a lawyer thinks the best way to manage a project is Microsoft Word, that’s fine. While you might disagree with them, disagreeing with them isn’t going to help you convince them to change. In these situations, take time to understand why someone is doing the things they are doing now. Take time to understand their fears around changing. By really understanding people is ultimately how you are going to drive change.

To learn more techniques for ensuring solution adoption from a whole host of new and old speakers, join us for The LegalTech Vacation Scheme 2022 - tickets available now!

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