The COVID-19 outbreak has presented a set of new changes that require most industries to adjust their usual operations. Like other sectors, the legal industry has experienced massive transformations – from embracing technology to communicate and handle cases to reducing the chances of having face-to-face interactions between lawyers and clients. Furthermore, law firms should prepare for a full spectrum of scenarios, of which its outcome is based on the effectiveness of economic and public health policy interventions. Here is a list of some of the positive developments arising from the pandemic.
The COVID-19 came as an awakening call to almost every industry. The pandemic was unpredictable, and its continued impact is increasing peoples’ awareness of any other similar situations that could arise and present worse outcomes. The pandemic’s influence on legal systems is mostly seen in the courtroom. Subsequently, lawyers are finding new ways to engage their clients without necessarily meeting up. The increased alertness may lead to decisions (both by lawyer and clients) that combat the situation.
Law firms are among the many sectors that have been lagging in embracing new technology. For a long time, these firms overlooked the impact technology could have on their operations, productivity, and the value it will bring it in terms of quality, pricing, service, and timing. The pandemic has changed everything, and every law firm is in a rush to adopt the most current technology. There is more investment in cloud computing and other related digital solutions. Law firms and lawyers are now leveraging virtual meetings such as video conferences to get in touch with their clients. This mode of communication is beneficial when the meeting involves many people. Today, technology isn’t large-firms’ luxury but a necessity to every law firm.
Accept the Reality
Lawyers have had to accept the changes brought forth by COVID-19 and look for viable ways to combat and improve the situation. Lawyers have been known to work from their offices for the longest time possible. But as the pandemic hit and people are required to maintain social distance, lawyers have to embrace alternative options to interact with clients. For the past few months, legal firms have had to rethink and restructure their operations to keep up with the progressing change.
Build Client Loyalty
The COVID 19 crisis came as a reminder to lawyers and law firms are just an aggregation of people. It’s also evident that it’s people who buy legal services and not companies. Although lawyers have been too busy to follow up clients’ matters in the past, most firms have established proactive contacts with clients. Similarly, people want their lawyers to understand that they have needs, anxieties, and aspirations. So they expect lawyers to help them address their problems, simplify their lives, and achieve their ultimate goals. That will help attorneys understand clients’ changing needs and engage in meaningful conversations to enhance service, value, and relevance.
Embrace the Present and Find Sustainable Solutions
Many people tend to focus on the future and rarely embrace the ‘present’. Law firms have always based their decisions on the past and focused their viewpoints on the future. Only a few people appreciated the present. But with the effects of the pandemic, many lawyers have changed their focus and perceptions. Today, there is an increased emphasis on clients, people, and companies. There is also a collaborative effort to find viable and sustainable solutions to improve operations and client support.
The pandemic has changed how lawyers communicate with their clients, particularly those in jails and prisons. Like other areas, these institutions have changed their operating procedures to combat the pandemic. Almost every center has suspended physical visits and restricted any other form of contact visits. Instead, many facilities have implemented alternative methods like video meeting. Although some institutions allow lawyer-client visits, procedures are restricted to some level. These changes will push lawyers to implement viable strategies while offering legal help to people who need it.
Seize the Opportunity
Although there is a negative perception about the COVID-19 pandemic, some have identified opportunities they can use to scale their businesses. Some people work best under pressure. While there is little recorded development, the pressure to meet increasing overhead has significantly reduced, which is a good thing. Most people are encouraged to work remotely, so there is a need for law firms to re-evaluate the nature and size of their physical offices, the furniture and space, compensation structure, and scope of compliment required to support client services. The transportation costs have also reduced since lawyers don’t need to move from one place to another. West Palm Beach DUI lawyer Brian Gabriel has fully embraced the new paradigm. “At first it was tough, but I figure the faster we embraced it the better.”
COVID-19 has created a lasting impact on law firms. This leaves law companies with no choice but to adopt new regulations while maintaining a high service level. Moreover, law firms should assess their operation and adjust strategies accordingly during the pandemic. This will make them more agile, learner, and adaptable.