The legal profession is in the midst of a profound change, and it’s being driven by new technologies. In the past, the traditional model for law firms large and small relied largely on reputation, word of mouth, and traditional methods of advertising in order to create a client base. However, with the rise of internet technology in the 90s and the revolution in mobile technology of the 2000s, this model is undergoing a seismic shift that threatens to leave behind those who can’t or won’t adapt.

While reputation and word of mouth will always be important components of a law firm’s success, new technological advances have made it possible for firms to engage with their clients on a personal level which is unprecedented. One of the most innovative ways to do this is through the development of a mobile application for customers’ and potential customers’ smartphones.

Depending on a firm’s practice areas and size, the type of app which will be right for them can vary widely. A personal injury lawyer working at a small firm, for example, may want an app designed to give their clients information about the type of documents that they need to be keeping track of and allow them to take pictures of an accident that can instantly be uploaded to the lawyer’s website. A divorce lawyer, in contrast, may want an app that can help users calculate child support payments or alimony estimates.

These types of innovative, personalized apps can make clients feel more integrated into the legal process, and ensure a sense of closeness with their attorney. Not only can this help to attract and retain clients, but in the long run, a good app may now be one of the best ways available to help build reputation and word of mouth.