Speculating on what the “new normal” will look like has become a national pastime over the last several months. While this year has taught us all to be cautious with expectations, there are some takeaways from the pandemic that we’re more certain of than others.
Remote working works
If the American workforce has been resistant to remote work, then the legal industry has been dragging its heels at the front of the pack.
There isn’t an excuse anymore. While COVID-19 has been a work-from-home trial-by-fire in many ways – especially for attorneys with small children at home – the consensus is that remote working works. Collaboration takes place, caseloads are managed, courts are figuring out how to operate remotely, and, most importantly, clients’ needs are met.
Expect shifts in client demands for the coming years
Speaking of client needs, COVID-19 has turned valuable practice areas on their heads. Labor and employment attorneys have experienced a surge in demand that will likely continue. Healthcare has as well. Other areas, especially distressed industries like travel, will see a consistently shifting landscape.
The takeaway? Your firm should take a close look on what your client’s needs are and how they line up with areas of high demand to ensure that you’re providing the most valuable services possible.
Focus on client relationships
And speaking of clients again, client relationships are everything. Remote working has been a successful experience for attorneys in part because it has necessitated a renewed focus on clients and their needs. Communication has been key. Even the quick check-in email jotted off to a client in a time of crisis was shown to be highly effective.
So stay in touch. Be ready to shift your client-service capacities as the landscape changes (again). Invest in knowledge and expertise, your team’s ability to advise throughout crises, and build trust with your clients.