When the pandemic first started, many law offices took precautionary steps to protect their staff and their clients. Travel was banned to hot spots, and employees were asked to work from home. When the crisis got worse, staff were let go; many support workers lost their jobs. Law offices were among those considered “non-essential” and had to close for several weeks.
Litigators and those who work on contingency cases were the most drastically affected by the pandemic. Since courts were closed, no hearings, trials, or depositions could occur. Those offices are still facing an uncertain financial future as the crisis shows no signs of ending soon.
Also affected are lawyers who specialize in business mergers and acquisitions. Their clients are too nervous about an uncertain future to make any large financial decisions. Businesses are waiting for the pandemic to be over before spending large amounts of money.
However, there are certain branches of law that are seeing a large increase in clients. Attorneys who specialize in insurance are needed to help clients understand coverage and exclusions. Employment lawyers are advising companies in regards to employee safety and layoffs. Attorneys who specialize in cyber security are in high demand now due to the number of businesses that are working remotely. These three types of attorneys are expected to be desperately needed for the foreseeable future even as the pandemic comes to an end.
Law firms are making changes to how they serve their clients while the COVID crisis goes on.
Many are serving their clients through video calls and virtual meetings. Lawyers are still writing letters and briefs to help their clients.
When the COVID crisis is over, lawyers will, most likely, be deluged by both old and new cases. Most experts agree that the skills lawyers used to weather the pandemic, such as working remotely, using videoconferencing, and keeping a smaller staff, will continue for months or years after the crisis is over.