2020 has been a year of change for many industries, but specifically for law firms. The Coronavirus Pandemic forced whole sectors of the economy to adapt to drastically altered circumstances and radically re-think what “normal” looks like. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the legal trends of adaptation and greater reliance on remote work technologies will continue into 2021. What does that look like for law firms and court systems? So far, we’ve seen attorneys adopting Zoom calls instead of face to face meetings. In addition, court appearances have either been postponed or also scheduled via video conference. This dynamic, which is trending to continue, could shape the way the legal market conducts business.
TOP 3 Trends for the Legal Industry in 2021
As the Coronavirus raged, businesses scrambled to maintain productivity as states and cities entered varying stages of lockdowns. With offices closed to halt the spread of the virus, many law firms moved to remote work solutions. Even with a vaccine and a possible end to the Pandemic in sight, don’t expect remote work to disappear overnight. While some law firms are planning to return to the office in 2021, others intend to continue offering remote work options indefinitely. Whether this is a permanent shift in culture remains to be seen, but we can at the very least expect remote work to be a continuing trend in 2021.
With employees working remotely, it’s no longer possible to pop into a partner’s office or gather in a conference room to discuss a case. That is why law firms are investing in Cloud technologies to streamline their case management. Having the ability to access and share case files easily and securely is critical for law firms to adapt and thrive in these current circumstances.
Law firms were once able to keep paper files securely in locked filing cabinets, content that their client information was safe from prying eyes. However, increased prevalence of remote-work and Cloud adoption in the legal industry comes the enhanced risk of cyber security threats. All law firms, regardless of size, must take security of their digital information seriously.
It is important to note that because cyber threats are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated, establishing sufficient cyber security protocols is an ongoing process, not a one-time investment. While cyber security can be expensive, it is a necessary cost in the Digital Age.
The trends in the legal industry for 2021 can be summed up as – adapting technologies to overcome obstacles. The best thing you can do to prepare for 2021, is proactively research these trends, implement tactics to keep your law firm or court office safe, and maintain flexibility while the nation continues to settle into the new normal.