The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot about how businesses work — and law firms are no different.
According to the 2021 Report on the State of the Legal Market from the Center on Ethics and the Legal Profession and the Thomson Reuters Institute, not only is technology gaining more acceptance, but also took major steps to ensure strong growth during the pandemic.
Some of these steps include:
- Reducing partner draws
- Reducing the salaries of fee earners
- Furloughing support staff
- Reducing the salaries of support staff
- Discharging support staff
- Discharging fee earners
At the same time, many law firms took major precautions to protect their clients. Many began upping their technology infrastructure, so they could work with their clients while their attorneys were at home. While others became experts in how the current state of affairs was affecting their clients.
At Tully Rinckey law, for example, their attorneys from multiple practice areas began actively assisting businesses on the rapidly changing Coronavirus workplace health issues. Tully Rinckey also began providing resources for clients during the pandemic, such as information about tips for international travel, the rights of federal employees, and child visitation laws during the time period.
In addition to these changes, COVID-19 changed how the court operates, which has ushered in a round of changes for lawyers and law firms. With many court appearances happening over Zoom and other teleconferencing platforms, attorneys are going to have to get up to speed on these technologies and also ensure that their clients are well-versed in how to operate and act on these platforms.
Although many of us are getting vaccinated and more and more of the world is opening up again, there are many regulations and changes that will remain. For attorneys, the forced experimentation of the last year is here to stay — and we now have to learn how to operate in it.