Mike Morse Law Firm’s 90-Day Digital Transformation Disrupts Status Quo

Mike Morse Law Firm's Chief Information Officer is shedding light on the firm's 90-day digital transformation.

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Image by iStock/Lan Zhang

JG

John Georgatos

December 13, 2022 03:00 PM

The legal industry has a long and storied history and functions through long-established processes that are often resistant to change. It’s no surprise, then, that law offices typically take a traditionalist approach to technology. Many leaders don’t think that their legal organizations have the time, money or know-how to pull off a digital transformation. But the team at Mike Morse Law Firm was willing to try.

Like many legal small and medium businesses (SMBs), Mike Morse Law Firm once operated 10 years behind the technology curve. Enterprises in numerous industries have migrated to the cloud, so the legal profession’s traditional on-premises solutions have made collaboration difficult. This isn’t just an internal issue, either. Because lawyers bill by the hour, every hour spent dealing with outdated tech translates into higher costs for clients. That was the status quo that Mike Morse Law Firm wanted to disrupt.

After delivering a successful digital transformation for MDC Partners, an advertising and marketing holding company, I was invited to come to the Mike Morse Law Firm and prove that the legal industry is ready for change. With a good strategy and a full suite of Microsoft solutions, we achieved a comprehensive digital transformation in just 90 days. Now that our legal professionals have more time to work on cases, our success is providing a blueprint for other legal firms to follow.

Striving to keep up with technology

The pace of technological innovation challenges organizations in various fields. Like many SMBs, Mike Morse Law Firm faced challenges in technology integration, asset management, cloud collaboration and hardware depreciation prior to our digital transformation. Anyone with experience at an SMB has likely dealt with some of these roadblocks.

Further complicating matters, many people believe that digital transformation is a years-long process. Business leaders are understandably nervous about committing to what they see as a lengthy, expensive and difficult project with uncertain results. But that perception is not always well-founded.

For an SMB, speed of transformation is key. By transforming Mike Morse Law Firm in just 90 days, we demonstrated that a legal company can be a pioneer and offer a model for SMBs to drive digital transformation. Now our consultancy, Fireproof Performance, has begun to help other law firms with their own rapid transformations following that model.

Accelerating digital transformation with Microsoft solutions

As I see it, if an SMB’s digital transformation takes five years to complete, something is wrong. Our experience shows that once the appropriate strategy is in place, approximately 90 days is a realistic target for an SMB. At Mike Morse Law Firm, adopting a holistic Microsoft approach helped us transform quickly because the full suite of solutions—from hardware to software to the cloud—integrated smoothly. In fact, we used Microsoft from start to finish, implementing tools ranging from high-level device management through Microsoft Intune to comprehensive security through Microsoft Defender for Business.

On the hardware side, we replaced legacy workstations with a fleet of new Microsoft Surface devices and accessories. These investments allow our legal specialists to work on cases from anywhere, preparing them for whatever the future of work brings. Next, we replaced our legacy on-premises file storage solution with Modern Workplace software solutions from Microsoft.

By pursuing an integrated set of solutions, we developed a methodology that facilitated a rapid digital transformation. Our business leaders were far more comfortable with the project when they saw how soon we could reap a return on our investment. Our goal was to make it easier for our legal teams to collaborate, no matter where they are. Security considerations also played a part in our transformation, and the new technology has been an improvement from our legacy infrastructure. Now we’re optimizing our analytics and reporting processes to give decision-makers more insight into operations.

Opening the future of law for legal SMBs

I’m excited about the implications that this project has for our industry. We’re already sharing our experience with legal firms through Fireproof Performance, and they’ve embarked on digital transformations of their own. Many legal firms already use Windows, and their familiarity with Microsoft products has made it easier to take this big step in the evolution of the legal space.

Though we’re classified as an SMB, this transformation has empowered our team with tools that are typically reserved for enterprises. Our technical infrastructure is no longer holding us back from competing, and we’re already primed for the next phase of company growth.

Our analysts expect that this transformation will continue to deliver cost savings and optimizations in the long term. In the meantime, we’re seeing benefits that include increased flexibility and scalability, improved security and enhanced collaboration. We believe that other legal firms that follow in our footsteps can reap the same rewards.

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