The great lesson that this pandemic will leave us is that the most important thing is people. The offices will have to worry and take care of their collaborators and build more horizontal relationships.
If we look at the results globally, it can only be concluded that these have been good years for lawyers, and the memory of the 2008 crisis has been in the past.
The crisis would be the end of the pyramid model, hourly billing, and the emergence of new business models, but the data shows something different. The traditional partnership model persists, and so does the billable hour, firms grow in turnover and revenue, and partners continue to earn money. Legal managements, while growing, continue to operate under the same traditional practices, and alternative providers of legal services have failed to compete with incumbents with the projected intensity.
But history brings us a new event that, if we look carefully, maybe the trigger for a bigger change in the legal profession: COVID-19. Although only in the next few months will we be able to know its real impact, everything indicates that the current health crisis will leave traces in the life of contemporary societies, and lawyers will not be immune to it.
Teleworking will test efficiency and productivity, speed of response, technology or lack of it, and, most importantly, the resources that today, entered the 21st century, are no longer indispensable for the success of the firm: large offices.
In a context of economic tightness, such as the one that is coming, the lawyers will have to be able to put, once and for all, their practice at the level of their verbal imagination.
Lawyers Will Face Three Challenges In The Coming Years
First, put the customer in the center. Selling legal services is no longer enough; today, better customer experience must be delivered. The legal industry is obsessed with “innovation,” but not with the result: customer satisfaction. Successful innovators will be those who can create a better fit for the legal market between the services they offer and what consumers want.
Second, incorporate technology. It is not about talking about legal tech; it is about investing in technological tools that make teleworking a habitual practice, dispense with physical spaces, be closer to customers, and make management, processes, traceability, control natural.
Last but not least, the great lesson that COVID-19 will leave us is that the most important thing is people. Firms should be concerned and concerned with their collaborators, building more horizontal relationships, driven by collaborative work, where the benefits are distributed based on work, merit, and effort.
It is essential to worry about the physical and psychological health of the collaborators, to assure them a good quality of life, and space of equality.