Updated: Dec 20, 2021
By Ryan Groff, Practice Management & Product Advisor at LEAP New England
The viral and hilarious “I’m not a cat” video demonstrates great law firm change management. (1)
I know because it’s what my company has been doing for law firms across the world for nearly 30 years.
While funny, the exchange between Judge Ferguson and Attorney Rod Ponton purrrfectly (sorry) captures what law firms need to manage change and adopt the right tools. LEAP has helped tens of thousands of law firms simplify IT, reduce overhead expenses, and flatten costs, so we know good change management when we see it. Law firms need to:
Be honest about the problems they face
Empower patient and focused leaders
Gain support from professionals who know legal tech
Honesty About the Problem
Mr. Ponton was honest about his problem. He was not a cat, he was using an unfamiliar computer, his video was filtered, he didn’t know how to remove the filter, and he had already sought some initial assistance.
It is actually very difficult to be this honest, but law firms encountering issues and facing the prospect of change should get as close to Mr. Ponton as they can, cat allergies notwithstanding (sorry again).
Law firm change management requires honesty. Law firms cannot adjust to the new digital landscape of law unless they are honest about the learning curve and are committed to improvement.
Take a quick inventory:
What are your firm’s basic needs every day, week, month, and year?
What tools does your firm currently use?
Where are the gaps between your firm’s needs and its current tools?
Patient and Focused Leaders
Judge Ferguson was patient and remained focused on the urgency of the problem.
Judge: Mr. Ponton, I believe you have a filter turned on in the video settings. Ponton: I’m prepared to go forward with it, I’m here live, I’m not a cat. Judge: I can see that. I think if you press the up arrow…
Patience and urgent focus, when properly balanced, are powerful tools that help teams change and adopt new tools. Kerry A. Bunker and Michael Wakefield observe the effect in Harvard Business Review:
“A sense of urgency keeps positive energy flowing and increases productivity. Patience, however, is just as important. Realistic patience involves knowing when and how to slow the pace so that people can adapt. A lack of patience with people can undermine their commitment and impede the change process.” (2)
When Mr. Ponton was willing to put up with a less-than-ideal situation, Judge Ferguson remained patient, yet focused, on the urgency of the problem: that counsel showed up not as a cat. Judge Ferguson also clarified that the shared exchange from Zoom with Mr. Ponton should not be used to shame lawyers or the legal profession, but to emphasize the commitment of good-natured folks who keep law open. (3)
The Judge puts his finger on an important point. Lawyers are not always given a chance to cultivate their leadership skills during law school, but their careers will not advance without these basic skills.
Law firm leaders are legal experts, but usually not legal tech experts. Enter LEAP.
LEAP Knows Legal Tech
We have all been in Mr. Ponton’s situation. Something goes awry, and we can’t immediately fix it. All lawyers and paralegals need legal tech training to stay current with the times and be prepared for anything.
LEAP knows legal tech and has been training lawyers around the world for decades so their firms can work smarter and make more money. LEAP helps small and midsize law firms specifically because these firms help people. Law firms using LEAP benefit from real LEAP employees that live in every region where law firms use its software and provide the following services:
LEAP designers include licensed attorneys who automate local court forms so required fields preload with your client information. Visit the LEAP forms library.
LEAP provides personalized demonstrations tailored to your firm’s needs. Request a demo.
LEAP provides fully-virtual transitions, installations, and implementation with real people. Download our transitions brochure.
The LEAP Help Center offers support access and on-demand learning articles. Visit the LEAP Help Center.
LEAP University provides free, on-demand, video training courses available 24/7 to meet the busy schedules of everyone at your law firm. Go to LEAP University.
These are just some of the ways LEAP works very hard to make sure law firms know how to use technology. Once trained, lawyers and law firms using LEAP are confident, efficient, and better serve their clients. As a result, they make more money. Law firms have seen their revenue increase by 30% within the first three months of using LEAP.
Change with LEAP
LEAP offers great law firm change management. LEAP knows legal tech and is ready to provide your firm with personal consulting, transitions, installations, and implementation.
(1) Judge Ferguson, Twitter post at 1:06 PM · Feb 9, 2021. https://twitter.com/JudgeFergusonTX/status/1359202090824966151. Accessed February 10, 2021.
(2) Kerry A. Bunker and Michael Wakefield, “The Balance Needed to Lead Change.” Harvard Business Review (September 16, 2008). https://hbr.org/2008/09/leading-in-times-of-change. Accessed February 10, 2021.
(3) Judge Ferguson, Twitter post at 4:20 PM · Feb 9, 2021. https://twitter.com/JudgeFergusonTX/status/1359250939312566272?s=20. Accessed February 10, 2021.