Law Firm Digital Transformation: Insights and Tips from the Digital Maturity Report

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Is your law firm “digitally mature”? According to Ultimedia’s 2022/23 Digital Maturity Report for the Legal Sector, based on a survey of the world’s top 100 law firms, over half of law firms have increased their use of technology over the past two years. Yet, the world’s top 100 law firms lag behind in digital transformation. While these findings are concerning, they also provide an excellent opportunity for law firms to assess their digital presence and determine what they’re doing right—and what they could be doing better.

We’ll jump into the key findings of the 2022/23 Digital Maturity Report for the Legal Sector below and what this data means for your law firm’s digital transformation.

Why is Digital Maturity important for law firms?

Results from our annual Legal Trends Report consistently highlight the importance of technology for law firms in terms of firm performance and client satisfaction. Beyond the obvious benefits of digital data security for law firms, adopting a tech-forward approach to your practice can help firms generate new leads, save time through automation, and provide a client-centered experience. In our new, digitally-inclined era, becoming digitally mature is non-negotiable.

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What does the 2022/23 Digital Maturity Report cover?

Ultimedia defines “digital maturity” as a measure of “how effective and innovative a law firm is based on their adoption and implementation of digital marketing and technology.” The report measures performance across ten areas, including website effectiveness, email marketing, and social media use, to create a digital maturity score for each law firm tested.

Key findings from the 2022/23 Digital Maturity Report for the legal sector

The 2022/23 Digital Maturity Report found that, while the top 100 global law firms have made great strides to improve their digital maturity, they aren’t keeping up with client expectations and the growing digital landscape. Notably, no firm scored above 66% for their digital maturity score, suggesting that the legal industry still has room for significant technological growth.

Some of the key findings from the 2022/23 Digital Maturity Report include the following:

  • While 80% of people surveyed are more likely to do business with organizations that provide a personalized content experience, only 3% of the law firms tested show signs of personalization on their websites.
  • 82% of people surveyed prefer brands with a “content presence” (e.g., videos, blogs, images, and infographics), yet only 52% of the law firms tested leverage video content on their websites.
  • While 80% of people look for law firms online, only 17% of the law firms tested followed search engine optimization (SEO) best practices.
  • 58% of website visitors originate from paid searches, yet only 13% of law firms use paid search marketing.

Additionally, most (74%) law firms tested poorly on audience size, targeting a known audience rather than casting a larger digital net to attract new clients. The vast majority of law firms tested also failed basic website load speed tests and accessibility testing.

These findings suggest a disconnect between how prospective customers assess and access law firm services online and what the top law firms are doing to attract clients.

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What Ultimedia’s key findings mean for law firms

The results of Ultimedia’s study demonstrate many deficiencies in how law firms tackle digital maturity.

For one, many firms invested significantly in website platforms. However, the results suggest that firms often fail to maximize the potential of their existing tech stacks. This is a critical reminder for law firms to leverage their existing technology when developing a digital strategy.

The most important takeaway from this report is the need to put clients first. Optimizing your digital presence and making the client journey as effortless and immersive as possible long before a client finds your website will help you provide a client-centered experience and attract new customers. By looking to the world’s top law firms for digital inspiration—in terms of what to do, or not to do—any law firm can chart a path to digital transformation.

Hungry for more legal insights? Access Clio’s 2023 Legal Trends Report to learn more about the state of the legal industry and how legal technology is helping firms thrive.

Categorized in: Clio

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