The 5 Qualities Your Legal Technology Consultants Should Have
You need technology to help run your law practice.
And you need help incorporating that technology into your practice.
No shame in that. And fortunately there are lots of consultants focused on helping lawyers use technology.
The trick is finding a great one.
In general, here are five qualities every technology consultant that you hire should have.
Obviously, the consultant should know technology, but what kind of technology?
If you need help setting up your email service then you shouldn’t get help from someone who specializes in document management systems.
Too many lawyers assume that “techies” are good at everything that involves computers. That’s why they hire the wrong consultants.
You also want the consultant you hire to be reliable, meaning they do good work consistently.
A good tech consultant will invariably be popular and get lots of work. Unfortunately, they often agree to take on too much work.
Then they are overwhelmed and that tends to make them unreliable.
Solo consultants fall prey to overwhelm, but not all of them do. The good ones are systematic, and can manage their workload well.
But the good ones are also more expensive.
So if you want folks who are knowledgeable and reliable, don’t be surprised if you have to pay more.
But good consultants will get you great results, and avoid problems. So they’re worth it.
You should not hire amateurs. Hire only professionals, because they’ll do a better job.
Professionals develop insights as a result of helping lots of different kinds of lawyers.
Amateurs mostly know what worked for them. Sure they might have a blog with a large following, but they have no skin in the game.
Amateurs mean well, and they are probably nice.
But they do not have enough experience to be reliable (see above).
So only use professionals. But now the question arises…
Should you hire professionals who specialize in helping only lawyers?
The answer is: it depends.
If you need helping picking out practice management software then yes. In that case you want someone who specializes in helping lawyers only.
If you need help with online marketing, then I’d say no. In fact, for help with ANY kind of marketing, I’d say: avoid people who specialize in helping lawyers.
But that’s a rant for a different post.
Bottom line: use only professionals, and consider whether it’s better to have someone who focuses on legal technology.
This is the hardest one. Especially, if don’t know a lot about technology.
You need guidance from someone who is knowledgeable and reliable, but also…
You need help from someone who won’t take advantage of you.
And since you probably don’t know much about technology (or at least not as much as the person you’ll be hiring)…
You are at a huge disadvantage.
So you need to find one of the rare technology consultants who are more interested in helping lawyers than in making a sale.
There’s nothing wrong with making sales. That’s good old fashioned capitalism.
But there is something wrong with steering someone into a sale, knowing that they have a bigger problem that should be addressed first.
The tech consultants you work with should have a fiduciary mindset, as opposed to a transactional one.
Those folks are hard to find, as I said. But, after getting to know hundreds of legal technology consultants, I know who the trustworthy ones are.
I’d be happy to help guide you if you need help. Just visit my contact page and make an appointment.
I can also tell you who to avoid, which is even more important.
In general here are some of the people to avoid, but if you want specifics I will only share that in private.
The best consultants are able to assess your most pressing need and explain the solution in a clear, easy-to-understand way.
One way to find articulate consultants is to listen to them speak.
For example, if you go to the ABA TechShow in Chicago you can hear from many speakers who are technology consultants.
Unfortunately, many of them (most?) will spew forth information that’s TBU.
TBU stands for “true, but useless.”
If, as you listen to them, you find yourself thinking the following things, then the information is TBU and the consultant is not articulate enough to help you:
- “I’m not ready for that”
- “That doesn’t apply to my situation”
- “I don’t have time to deal with that now”
- “You just told me 20 things, some of which might be useful but now I’m too overwhelmed to even figure out what to do”
- “You told me one thing that sounds useful, but you didn’t tell me how to start doing it”
The best consultants see technology in strategic ways.
They have sensible advice for how you can leverage it.
The worst consultants feel like they’re doing you a favor just by tossing out some information.
They believe information is all you need.
The truth is you need someone to help you figure out what to do, and in what order.
If you are interested in getting strategic guidance then you should consider joining the LawFirm Co-Pilot Coaching program.
I provide ongoing guidance by connecting you with trustworthy consultants AND fellow lawyers who are like-minded and similarly situated.
Getting the right kind of help growing your practice involves more than getting help with technology.
You probably need help marketing your practice, or improving operations.