We recently caught up with guest blogger, April Brown, to discover how Covid-19 will transform law firms. This is what she said:
“It is, without a doubt, that COVID-19 pandemic has changed everyone’s life – no matter their occupation, lifestyle, etc. Law firms aren’t an exception from this as many had to work around the restrictions and social distancing to keep running. Even as this pandemic had transformed businesses for a handful of months, it has also changed what is to come.
The good news is, law firms have already started to see learning opportunities, as the world slowly recovers from COVID-19. In fact, law firms have already found new ways to keep going to better accommodate clients during these hard times.
Here are 5 ways that COVID-19 has transformed law firms, thus far:
Video-Streaming Court Cases
“Since the pandemic, judicial leaders throughout the U.S. have grown more lenient to using videoconferencing to commence most court cases and hearings,” says Charlie Fraser, a HR at 1 Day 2 write and PhD Kingdom.
“It has been reported that the first instance of videoconferencing was in early April 2020, when the Texas Supreme Court had made the decision to implement it, having the lawyers and some of the justices appear remotely for an oral argument session.”
Despite federal courts’ initial hesitation on videoconferencing, this method of communication would soon seep into courts, even as the world enters post-pandemic.
Booms In Certain Areas Of Law
Law firms have started seeing significant increases in cases involving certain areas of law. One of the most significant booms comes from settling workplace disputes over working from home capabilities. Along with the controversy of remote work comes more cases calling for better working conditions for essential workers – those who have to work despite the pandemic: grocery store employees, delivery workers (i.e Uber Eats, Amazon, etc.), doctors and nurses, etc.
As those two issues come to light, law firms have seen a trend that outweighs smaller (or at least less significant) cases.
Reinventing The Work Style
As more and more law students are entering the workforce, they’ll notice a significant change in how they’ll do business. Rather than have law students wait to become fully-fledged lawyers, they’ll be introduced to a new culture that can promote radical and positive change in the profession.
With social distancing comes the opportunity for new talent to work from home, thus making law firm hierarchies more flexible. As new talents learn to adapt to technological changes and embrace remote work, law firms will continue to explore various platforms to meet the new demands of their clients.
More Demand For Technological Skills
“With people using technology more than usually, since the start of the pandemic, there is now a demand for technological skills in the law industry,” says Isaac Morgan, a business analyst at Writemyx and Brit student. “The good news is, the next generation of legal professionals are more likely to excel in this department, because younger generations are more tech-prone than the older generations.”
With that said, future law professionals will have to demonstrate the following skills to succeed in the industry:
- Working knowledge of various software and hardware
- Have digital expertise (i.e. application process)
- Working knowledge of videoconferencing apps and devices
- The ability to attract clients and build long-lasting relationships with them (even when social distancing)
More Brand Awareness
Finally, there will be an increase in brand awareness, as law firms navigate through the pandemic. Rather than wait things out, there’s nothing wrong with promoting your business. Brand awareness allows law firms to keep clients informed as much as possible via social media platforms.
Plus, law firms are already looking into improving their websites to make them user-friendly and convenient for clients and prospective crowds. And since more and more people are online nowadays, even BEFORE the pandemic, brand awareness is a great way for law firms to stay relevant and active in the industry.
While it’s true that these unprecedented times can take a toll on industries everywhere, law firms can still work their way around the pandemic. In fact, the pandemic has actually made them more proactive in their business practices, even as they continue to abide by social distancing rules.
The ultimate goal lies in not only helping clients with their cases, but to also educate the future generation of talent during these hard times. With a roadmap set, law firms will learn to sail through uncharted waters and help people in their times of need.
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