The Impact of Mobile Apps on the Legal Industry With Keith Hardie [Podcast]

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In episode #16 of the Fliplet podcast we were joined by Keith Hardie, European Marketing Director at Bryan Cave. Keith has worked in the legal sector for 12+ years, during which time he has witnessed the industry shift towards a more digital and mobile-first marketing strategy.

What’s more, Keith has been involved in the creation and distribution of enterprise mobile apps in recent times. An indicator that innovation within the industry is once again shifting the focus towards new technology.


00:37 – Why are mobile apps popular in law firms
02:20 – Discovering the value of content marketing through apps
04:33 – Other ways mobile apps have been used in law firms
05:16 – How to extend the lifespan of event apps
07:05 – Who should be owning and driving the implementation of apps?
10:54 – Things to consider when creating new apps for an organization
13:54 – The importance of not doing too much too early
14:22 – The evolution of websites vs apps
16:51 – How should law firms analyze the value they get from mobile apps?
19:43 – Why a single app is never going to be a solution for a law firm
20:22 – Where will the big opportunity in law firms be in the future?
22:04 – The potential of gamification in law firms
22:45 – The challenge of AI in the legal industry

Why have mobile apps become so popular in law firms?

Keith suggests that law firms are the ideal place for mobile apps to thrive, primarily because of the rise in content marketing. Law firms already have a vast amount of content available to them and mobile apps are simply another way of firms making their content available in a digestible format for their users.

Initially, putting content that law firms already had in a PDF format into a mobile app was incredibly compelling. However, that was only the beginning for how law firms have used applications for the benefit of their users.

Using mobile apps for both external and internal events, dawn raids, and internal communication are just a few examples of other ways law firms have used apps.

Who should be owning and driving the implementation of apps?

Law firms tend to have a variety of businesses that are branded under the one single firm. Keith points out that this essentially drives a need for individual apps within each of these separate organization. Each app will probably be targeted at a different audience and thus, might contain varying content. That said there may be some overlap between mobile apps.

Marketing teams that are leading the creation of mobile apps should have the capacity to understand what makes an engaging mobile app and what will or will not work depending on their target audience. However, the actual content for the apps will more than likely come from the lawyers/partners themselves, as their input (and the law) is crucial to the content of the app.

Things to consider when creating new apps for an organization

Start by using content that you already have, but air caution towards the amount of content that you actually put into your app. According to Keith, there has been a tendency for firms to put everything they know into their first app. This inevitably results in an app that contains too much information for the user to consume.

The main aim of a mobile app is essentially to own some real estate on the device of your intended user. You may not necessarily have to put everything that user wants, or everything you’re capable of supplying, into that single app to achieve that desired result.

How should law firms analyze the value they get from mobile apps?

From a marketing perspective it’s relatively simple to obtain the data you’d like by using analytics software. Metrics such as ‘number of downloads’, ‘session per user’, ‘time spent on each screen’ and others can be tracked and analyzed.

You can then use these metrics to optimize your enterprise mobile app to improve it’s performance in the future.

On another level, law firms are always interested in the price point of new technology, particularly mobile apps, as they require not just one single app, but multiple apps. As Keith reiterates throughout the podcast, it’s crucial to have more than one mobile app:

“It’s not just that it’s better [to have multiple apps], it’s almost impossible for a law firm to think about one app… Law firms are not structurally set up in that way.”

By creating a single app, a law firm would simply have an unnecessary amount of irrelevance, and ultimately an ineffective mobile app.

Where will the big opportunity in law firms be in the future?

“The big things happening in the mobile, will happen to the legal industry.”

Voice recognition and the ability to bypass the need for using a screen to access information will be massive for the industry. The content of legal apps will have to improve in order to keep up with this shift in technology.

The introduction of gamification to essentially make law fun, is something that Keith suggests no law firm is really doing very well. And lastly, the growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is what could be the next steep hurdle for the legal industry as a whole.

Don’t forget to check out the full podcast on the Soundcloud player above, or through any of the other podcast services. You can get in touch with Keith through his LinkedIn