In many workplaces across the country, lively in-person discussions have been replaced with distant online interactions. Instead of water cooler conversations and lunchroom banter, you now see coworkers bonding via Slack channels and Zoom calls.
The shift from office work to working-from-home has triggered a colossal transformation in industries like healthcare, finance, education, and even law firm management.
From billing to staffing—you name it, nearly every facet of legal operations has had to adjust under these new working conditions. But the big question is: Will the “new normal” of working from home be a temporary or a permanent change? Will law firms switch to a hybrid model or will they go fully remote? And how will they replicate the collaboration of the pre-COVID-19 workplace under a new set of guidelines?
What Remote Work Means for the Future of Law Firms
It’s no secret that the legal sector has traditionally been more risk-averse in its attitude towards telecommuting. For an industry with so many regulations, this is understandable. Unlike other trades, law isn’t one that lends itself easily to working from home.
One of the biggest challenges lawyers faced during the start of the pandemic was making sure everyone had access to the technology and software necessary to be productive when working remotely.
According to a recent MyCase 2021 Industry Report, law firms relied heavily on remote working tools to keep their firms afloat this year, with tech adoption levels increasing significantly compared to pre-pandemic levels. For firms that didn’t already have their tech stack in place when the pandemic hit, it was a matter of playing catch up by leaning on legacy systems to remain operational until more robust remote-working systems were implemented.
Additionally, there was the concern of data sensitivity as client-lawyer confidentiality still needed to be honored at all costs. Nearly half (49%) of our survey respondents cited “security issues” as being a major obstacle when asked what prevented their firms from transitioning to new software.
While the logistics may still be up in the air, one thing is clear—remote work is here to stay. In the same MyCase Industry Report, 53% of participants revealed that their firms would allow lawyers and law firm staff to work remotely full- time upon the reopening of their offices. 70% shared that their firms would allow attorneys and staff to work remotely part-time once their offices were fully reopened.
How Legal Technology is Bridging the Gap
If there’s any lesson to be learned over the past year-and-a-half, it’s that lawyers who prioritized technology tools for remote work were able to ensure the continuity of their business and their client relationships. A large part of their success involved introducing legal software into their law practices.
With legal practice management solutions like MyCase, firms were able to save time, improve productivity, and collaborate more efficiently. Here’s what a few of our customers had to say:
“I brag about MyCase because we had it set up long before COVID, and we also use VOIP for our phones. So COVID hit, and we shut down the office in the beginning of March of 2020, but my firm never closed. We were open at home for over three months. We conducted business like we weren’t gone. COVID and MyCase are also giving me the opportunity to say that once we get all through COVID, I can take a month-long vacation and still run my firm, and still run my cases and make sure that I have my finger on the pulse of what my firm is doing. I don’t know that there’s any other software program out there that gives you that opportunity.”
“We’ve changed a lot of things during COVID that I don’t think we’ll ever end up changing completely back. We will welcome people to come to the office whenever they would like, but it’s really nice to have options that work for everybody, so they don’t have to if they don’t want to.”
The Way Ahead
Although most organizations were forced to adopt the remote work culture in the early days of the pandemic, it has now become the preferred option for many, including countless lawyers and firms. It can offer more autonomy, reduce commuting time and costs, and improve decision-making across the organization.
MyCase can help make your law firm run much more smoothly regardless of where your team is located. From lead management and eSignatures to collecting payments, MyCase covers every step of the client lifecycle. And since MyCase is cloud-based, law firms can organize, access, and work seamlessly with their documents across devices.
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