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Is Your Bar Association Evolving?

Advances in technology

Paul Terrell

June 27, 2017

Technology can make a significant impact in the legal sector, with law firms and bar associations creating efficiency by automating processes and using the time saved to improve service for clients and members.  However, some organisations have been slower to adopt new technologies and are missing a trick in service delivery.

Much of the legal profession is devoted to common and traditional matters such as articles of incorporation, wills, share dealings and divorce, to name a few, all of which compete with information publicly available online.  As the industry changes law firms and bar associations must change too.  To succeed in this new environment and to better serve customers and members, the legal profession must embrace technology and capitalize on the opportunities at hand to ensure they continue to succeed in the current market.

Advances in technology have resulted in clients expecting more value from the services that lawyers provide.  Clients have the power to contrast and compare different lawyers through on-line forums and ratings systems.  They can access information and carry out research through e-law sites.  In such a competitive market place, some lawyers are setting up virtual law practices where clients can access legal help online, through a secure portal.  By taking their practice online, they reduce their costs substantially, enabling the offer of fixed or highly competitive rates without the overhead of bricks and mortar offices.  Virtual offices allow customers to have access to the advice they require when they want it in a 24/7 society.

State and local bar associations are not immune to the industry pressures brought on by technology changes, either.   Bar associations need to evolve and adapt to the changes in the market in order to stay relevant and provide additional value to their membership base.  Membership dues and other fees alone are not enough to sustain a fully functioning bar, and many seek contributions from corporations.  However, corporate contributions have reduced substantially thanks to the financial down turn in 2008 and bar associations have had to find alternative, non-dues revenue sources. 

Several bar associations have turned to HotDocs Market for help in generating incremental, non-dues revenue.  HotDocs Market is a publishing and ecommerce platform that helps bar associations to quickly and easily update and distribute legal forms to members.  Members subscribe to the bar association’s forms to generate legal documents for clients with pinpoint accuracy, more efficiently and profitably, all the while generating additional revenue for the bar association via the content subscription.  Revenue generated from content accessed through HotDocs market can exceed $100,000 annually for some bar associations.

For law firms, HotDocs Market provides the only document assembly platform in the cloud offering easy access from any device to a wide array of legal templates from trusted legal publishers. This ensures less time spent creating documents and more time spent addressing client needs.

Technology has significantly altered the practice of law over the past 10+ years and bar associations and law firms are facing ever-increasing pressure to do more for less.   HotDocs Market can make a significant difference to legal content publishers and the lawyers that use that content.   HotDocs Market is the ideal publishing solution for a bar association, enabling the delivery of customizable, subscription packages of automated legal forms to its members.

To find out more about HotDocs Market and how we can increase your non-dues revenue please contact paul.terrell@hotdocs.com


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