What is legal service productization, you ask?
As defined here, “a productized legal service is a legal service that can be conveniently produced, sold, and delivered to a virtually unlimited number of clients.”
In short, you should be able to sell and deliver your legal services as software products, under the SaaS (Software as a Service) model.
Further, as the above-mentioned article goes:
“Productized legal services have to check a few boxes to qualify as fully-fledged legal products.
Commoditized services. Only certain services are susceptible to productization. Namely, we are talking here about services that do not require a bespoke path. These services should be able to satisfy the needs of various clients, without much differentiation in the approach;
Production. The production of the service itself has to be organized in a way that supports scaled demand. In doing so, you may use technology, certain forms of on-demand outsourcing, and likely a combination of both.
Accessibility. The legal products have to be made easily accessible to the target market. In the case of claiming compensation for disrupted flights, the target customers are consumers at large. Online service available via a website or a web app seems to be the perfect medium. This will, of course, vary on your target audience.
Delivery. Just like production, delivery also has to be scalable, for the service to make economic sense. This aspect is also frequently supported by technology.
Marketing. Of course, depending on the company’s strategy, it may make sense to use scalable channels to reach consumers en masse. It will largely depend on the underlying business model.
But (why) should lawyers productize their legal services?
One of the most significant trends brought to the legal market by Alternative Legal Service Providers (the ALSPs) is the variety of delivery methods (of legal services). These make legal services less complicated and expensive, and therefore easier for clients to purchase.
If law firms wish to stay relevant in this increasingly competitive field, they need to market their services using a hybrid model.
Of course, nobody should consider cannibalizing their bottom line. However, law firms could consider the path of a cautious innovator, and disrupt parts of their business model at a time.
As a result, a law firm could retain its bread-and-butter billable hour (biglaw) model while it introduces legal products.
Productized legal services (i.e., legal products) could play a twofold role in the said hybrid biglaw business model.
For one, legal products could act as standalone offerings. As such, they would fall under all the SaaS (i.e., Software as a Service) best marketing and sales practices. Revenue modeling would also be reasonably straightforward, given what we can learn from the SaaS industry.
Additionally, legal products may (and do) act as lead generation channels. As such, they help law firms fill the top of their sales funnel, with the intent to upsell those leads with their traditional bespoke line of services.”
Legal service productization will become even more prominent in the wake of the pandemic. Moreover, products like LEXolution FLOW lower any barriers for lawyers significantly since coding isn’t needed to create a product with your know-how.
These are just some factors that will accelerate productization. However, that doesn’t mean bespoke projects would entirely disappear. It only means that commoditized legal services would be rendered in a more effective way, thus freeing up time for more strategic work.