The law profession today – quality, marketing and the cloud
Eurojuris magazine talked to Kyrre Richard Osmundsen, partner at Adnor Advokat AS and leader of the Norwegian Bar Association in Middle Norway, the professional body and interest group for lawyers and trainee lawyers. We discussed SaaS, legal associations and what it means to be a lawyer in today´s Norway.
Being a member of Eurojuris and the Norwegian Bar Association is both optional. Why join in?
"The only overlap is the provision of education and training. Apart from that the memberships complement one another," explains Kyrre Osmundsen. What is more, one has to complete 80 hours of training within five years in order to renew the membership with the Norwegian Bar Association.
For Kyrre Osmundsen there are considerable personal and professional benefits from being part of an international network. "A small company in the middle of Norway has difficulties to compete with major companies in the capital or outside of Norway. We depend on networks or associations that can offer a wide range of competences," he points out. Because background checks and quality control are absolutely important, the Eurojuris referral system speeds up the process of finding reliable partners. Overall, „time and quality matters,“ he emphasises.
Recently Eurojuris Norway has negotiated two important national agreements in insurance law, his field of work. "It would not be possible for our company alone to negotiate national agreements with insurance companies," he points out.
The importance of IT: From SaaS to Instagram
After turning away from long term IT agreements, most clients need software that is based on cloud technology. As a result SaaS – Software as a Service – is an important field of work for Kyrre Osmundsen right now. „There is an increase in agreement development and clients are asking for that kind of agreements,“ he says. With no instalment and no special hardware needed this new cloud based technology ultimately found its way into his law firm. He explains, „we have been working with this IT software model for two years. You just log on – all IT services, including security and support, are provided from somewhere else in Norway.“ Concurrently Eurojuris Norway had negotiated an exclusive deal with the service provider to enhance the collaboration between law companies. For Kyrre „it is easier to exchange information, which saves time, and we also have a common intranet.“
Nonetheless collaborations and memberships reach a limit. Most certainly every company wants to be known for their individual work and their company name. A company´s main marketing strategy is normally based on the company name and not Eurojuris. However, "our collaboration is very improtant and we are dependent on a strong unit as Eurojuris Norway to give us an edge in the strong competition between lawfirms," he notes.
Overall the legal marketing field has become more important and diverse. "When I studied I did not know I had to be a seller" he laughs. Sure, back in the days the hear-say was enough. But today, because of more lawyers entering the market, competition has become more serious. Kyrre Osmundsen is sure: "principles, ethics and quality will always be more important than advertisement."
Nevertheless his company accepted today´s marketing challenge and is advertising in diverse channels. "We have to be visible and use tools as facebook, direct marketing, twitter and instagram," he concludes.