There are lessons to be learned from COVID-19 that should provide the impetus for change to address some of the structural flaws in the way Big Law recruits and develops legal talent.
Any analysis must acknowledge that while it may be easy to make broad proclamations about the permanent changes to Big Law that will arise from COVID-19 and its aftermath, it is dangerous to do so. Traditionally, Big Law does not change quickly or permanently by way of seismic shifts. It changes cautiously and slowly, often only after a strong market leader breaks with the past to provide cover to the entire profession – and particularly when clients press for, or at least approve, of a new approach.
For small and medium sized businesses, legal disputes as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic are probably inevitable. To help professionals consider their options as well as their legal rights and obligations, we're hosting a webinar, together with FTI Consulting, The International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, and other partners.
On April 10th - in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic - Legal Innovators CEO and Co-Founder Bryan Parker spoke with two of the Three Geeks, Marlene Gebauer and Greg Lambert, to talk about the Legal Innovators model and why the retention of junior legal talent today can't be the equivalent of a coin flip.
Here's what Greg and Marlene had to say after their conversation with Bryan:
Greg: “This issue of spending seven figures on recruits to your law firm over the years and then having the retention of your investment be essentially a coin flip…it’s something we’ve been saying for a long time now that’s ripe for disruption and it seems like Bryan is one of the people on the cusp of that wave.”
Marlene: “Exactly. This is a perfect time to start examining that because you cannot do all of the traditional things that you’ve done before. So attempting to look at this in a different way is quite timely.”
If you haven't tuned into the Three Geeks podcast and blog yet, you'll want add it to your list. They share resources, predictions, and strategic insights from their geeks...and guests. You can access episode #74 featuring Bryan through:
In the meantime, here are a few excerpts you won't want to miss, including a very fun and informative segment with Bryan Parker at the very end of the episode (hint: he's a "Sneaker Head") . Click on each timestamp to listen to the podcast.
The coronavirus pandemic has pushed telecommuting and digitalization of offices into overdrive, with many companies now requiring employees to work remotely and most large cities ordering non-essential employees to stay at home. Where the option to video conference into a meeting was once the exception, it is now the rule. And where office workers could once rely on IT departments to monitor and support all of their technological needs, work from home employees must now be more proactive than ever in understanding and adapting to a new remote work culture. Working from home has added many new variables into companies’ cybersecurity platforms that IT professionals are struggling to keep up with and that cyber criminals are exploiting.
With the global economy besieged by the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are trying to figure out how to operate amidst a global crisis that has produced a major market disruption. After taking time to slow down and assess the situation, businesses must start thoughtful planning on how to survive this unprecedented time. This planning may include right-sizing cost structures for an unknown time period and investment in activities that can keep the business going as much as possible during this interim period. If a business can successfully navigate these murky waters, it gives itself the best chance possible to re-build and successfully compete in the marketplace on the other side of this market disruption.
Among the chaos that is COVID-19, the practice of law has shifted from a professional office environment to at-home counseling. The change in the legal industry undoubtedly brings tension and uncertainty as lawyers grapple with maintaining a sense of normalcy during a global pandemic. When faced with new challenges resulting from the crisis mitigation efforts, we must continuously adapt to maintain our physical and mental health in highly limited circumstances.
While we’re hunkered down at home and attempting to manage our work and care for our families, now, more than ever, is the time that we must consider the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I appreciate that my company, Legal Innovators, places high importance on mental health and has shared resources and best practices for a positive state of wellbeing.
In this post, I'll share my perspective as a junior lawyer including the things that have worked well for me in terms of managing stress during these unprecedented times as well as several of my favorite resources and best practices.
As leaders of a new company in the Alternative Legal Service Provider (“ALSP”) space, the news of a possible pandemic weighs heavily on our hearts and minds. Each day brings more news of cases of people contracting the COVID-19 virus, which is spreading at a rapid rate. The constant news flow has raised questions about business travel, meetings, interviews for new talent, and employees working from home, among other considerations.
Legal Innovators is a start-up company, so we are running hard adding new clients, raising capital and adding new talent to our business. We cannot afford a significant business interruption. However, what is of greater concern to us is the health of our team (both existing and future members), our clients, and the general public.
We thought in this moment, we would lead from the heart and head, listen to the medical professionals, and be as innovative as possible to run our business while protecting our teammates.
Toward that end, here are several legal considerations and practical tips for employers trying to develop a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.