What Does the Post-Pandemic Law Office Look Like?

What Does the Post-Pandemic Law Office Look Like?

Carrie Pallardy
Carrie Pallardy
 | 
The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over yet, but with vaccines rolling out, state and local guidelines are beginning to ease. Businesses that were able to work remotely during the peak of the pandemic are looking at a potential return to the office in the near future.

The post-pandemic landscape for the legal field, and many other industries, remains uncertain. What could the return to the law office look like?

The pandemic  has forced a paradigm shift in the traditional in-office work structure. Nearly any job that could be done remotely made that shift in an effort to curb the spread of the virus. Now, with the possibility of in-office work on the horizon, more than half of people currently working from home want to continue doing so, according to a recent survey.

Law offices will need to consider what kind of model works for their staff. Do employees want to come to the office five days a week? Does it make sense to allow full-time remote workers? Some law offices have adopted a hybrid model, leveraging both in-person and virtual approaches.  

Updating In-Office Protocols
If law offices do plan to move employees back into the office, the question of safety protocols remains. Does the office need to maintain policies like social distancing and masking in the office? The answer will depend on local regulations and the level of comfort among staff.

Law offices, like other businesses considering a return to in-person work, also have the question of vaccination to consider. Will the office encourage employees to get vaccinated before returning to in-person work?

What happens if there is a resurgence of COVID cases in a law firm’s area? Is the firm prepared to handle new protocols?
Each law office can take its own approach to the “new normal” for in-person work but having a game plan for potential spikes in the pandemic will help the practice to be prepared.

Communicating with Clients 
During the pandemic, client consultations and even trials shifted to a virtual platform. With videoconferencing becoming the norm for more than a year, law offices are left considering how to handle client communication going forward.

It is possible that law offices will adopt a hybrid model in this area of their work as well, connecting with customers virtually or in-person depending on their preferences.

Protecting Client Data
Businesses were challenged during the pandemic to protect sensitive data as their workplaces shifted to a collection of home offices. Now and going forward, cybersecurity remains an important issue for law offices. 

Law practices serve as stewards of sensitive client data. Any post-pandemic plan will likely need to address how a firm plans to protect its data and the role employees will have to play in this important issue.

Managing Social Media
Social media has played a prominent role for business strategy during the pandemic. Businesses spent more money on social media, and more companies reported that social media had an impact on overall performance.

Post-pandemic, social media will likely continue to be an important part of a business’s strategy. This could mean law offices will be spending more time honing their social media strategy, considering how to best post and connect with potential clients on platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

Picturing a post-COVID world can be challenging; so much remains unknown. But, each day law offices move another step toward building the model they envision for the future.

This article is intended to convey generally useful information only and does not constitute legal advice. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author, not LawChamps.
Carrie Pallardy
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