Many industries will be forever changed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The legal industry is likely one of them. The good news is that many changes, such as the adoption of digital technology and enhanced collaboration, will be for the better.

As Forbes wrote in a recent article, “The coronavirus has harnessed the potential of underutilized tools and alternative work paradigms long resisted by the legal establishment. Entrenched ways of doing things have been altered with astonishing speed, ease, and acceptance.”

Rapid Digitization of Legal Industry

In light of stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions, law firms, courts, and in-house counsel are being forced to embrace technology, even if they had resisted it in the past. Working remotely and conducting meetings virtually is the new normal. Courts are also relying on technology to hold proceedings outside the courtroom. Billing and other financial transactions are also being conducted online, and documents are being signed and notarized electronically.

For businesses and other legal consumers, the increasing use of technology can make the provision of legal services less-costly and more efficient. Once the dust settles, COVID-19 may be just the push both clients and attorneys need to explore other digital tools, such as digital contract management and compliance automation.

Enhanced Collaboration Among Lawyers and Professionals

To solve the serious and complex issues created by COVID-19, collaboration is critical. That means law firms, corporate departments, and other service providers (i.e. insurance brokers, accountants, etc.) will need to work together seamlessly to devise solutions. These strengthened relationships will be beneficial even after the pandemic has passed.

Law firms have also developed cross-disciplinary taskforces to address COVID-19. For clients facing complex and often-overlapping legal issues, this team-based approach can generate more effective and comprehensive solutions. For firms that have not yet discovered the value of multidisciplinary teamwork and collaboration, COVID-19 will likely be enlightening.

Cost-Effective Solutions for Clients

The economic impact of COVID-19 is likely to persist after the immediate crisis is over. Businesses looking to reduce costs will understandably examine their legal budgets. At the same time, businesses need to take their legal rights and obligations into account when determining the path forward. Being both informed and strategic when making decisions will go a long way in weathering the storm.

Businesses that typically pay the high-end rates of a large law firm will also likely discover that mid-size firms can deliver the same results at a lower price point. Small and mid-size firms are often more agile and, thus, can more quickly adapt to changes in the legal market. They are also likely far more willing to work with clients to develop a legal plan that meets their budget.

Scarinci Hollenbeck is Poised for Success

Because we embraced technology prior to COVID-19, Scarinci Hollenbeck remained ready to assist our clients and did not suffer any business interruption. Our firm also quickly and seamlessly transitioned to providing “remote” legal services.

In addition, our attorneys already collaborate across the firm’s practice areas to bring together the most effective combination of knowledge and experience for our clients. Using this same mindset, we have added a COVID-19 Crisis Management Group dedicated to helping our clients navigate varied legal issues resulting from the pandemic.

With companies of all sizes feeling the economic strain of COVID-19, Scarinci Hollenbeck is also an attractive alternative to a National 250 law firm. We can help clients lower their legal costs without sacrificing quality. Most importantly, we can forge a path forward in these uncertain times that is uniquely tailored to each client.

If you have questions, please contact us

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss the matter further, please contact me, Don Pepe, or a member of Scarinci Hollenbeck's COVID-19 Crisis Management Group at 201-896-4100.