How to encourage and support your team with new legal software

Wednesday 22 February, 2023

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Imagine you’ve organised a game of football. It’s been a fun match, but not the hard-hitting contest you’d envisioned, so you have an idea. At half time you gather all the players, throw them a differently-shaped ball and tell them that for the rest of the afternoon, they’re playing rugby.

It shouldn’t be a problem, you think. They’re already on a pitch, the kits are close enough to the right type, and the aim remains to get the ball to a specific place. A quick rules meeting and they’re off and running, surely. Except, of course, they don’t really understand the rules after just one discussion, they certainly don’t appreciate the tactics, and you don’t know how they feel about switching sports in the first place.

If you’re changing the game, your team need more than just an announcement. They need coaching and ongoing support. If you’re switching to a new system, software, or platform, the same applies. Here’s how to offer it.



If you’ve chosen your legal software well, you’ll have involved the whole firm in the search and the decision. That’s how you make sure that the system you choose has the greatest benefit for the greatest number. The consultation doesn’t stop there, however.

When the system is new and everyone is getting to grips with it, it’s not just a matter of training and practice — it’s also the time to continue the conversations that you had when you were selecting your new system. It’s the time for questions and concerns, as well as clarifying that everyone has a clear idea of what this new system is going to offer them to improve their work and their day-to-day experience.

It may feel like you’re simply asking people to reiterate what they told you when you were considering the switch. In many ways, that’s exactly right, but it doesn’t make the effort redundant. Now that the team have the system in front of them, the answer should be less conceptual and more practical.


Ongoing feedback 

Ideally, that line of communication will remain unbroken. You saw what your new software could do in theory, then in practice, and following that, you get to see it ‘in the wild’. Much like owning a new car, the test drive gives you an impression, but driving it every day gives you the full picture.

Encourage your users to express their concerns, raise their questions, and celebrate progress wherever appropriate. You need as candid a view as possible of the experience, and in getting that you know where to provide extra support, or indeed to seek the advice of your software provider. Any decent partner should offer support as standard.

Measuring and optimising

Ultimately, changing legal software was a commercial decision, and you need commercial results. Data is the perfect complement to more subjective (but equally important) reports of your fee-earners and support staff. If you know how to measure your practice management software, you can tell if it’s making a difference, and whether your team need extra support in using it.

It’s up to you exactly which data points you track, and in how much detail, but broadly they’d probably be:

  1. Efficiency
  2. Productivity
  3. Revenue

There is of course the less objective but highly valuable effect on wellbeing. You can simply observe that people are less stressed and more content, or you can establish it with things like anonymous surveys and just asking how people feel.

Making continual progress

For more guidance about leading your team through the transition to a new system or way of working, download your copy of:

Vive la Révolution: When and why running a better law firm requires cultural change

For more guides to greater efficiency, productivity, and compliance, download yours here.

We’ve helped over 1000 law firms make adjustments to their practices that have led to what one called ‘a transformative change in productivity’. To hear more about how they did it call 01252 518939 or drop Nathan a message here and we’ll arrange a no-strings-attached call.