I had a chance to talk with a number of people for the In Seclusion Podcast recently who have been holding down the fort, in one way or another, to make sure the wheels of Justice and the economy keep turning. Some of us had to look out for those still caught in the justice system. Some remained in the office to make sure others didn’t need to. Some of us found new ways to provide training and professional development processes. Some of us leveraged the crisis to try new experiments. And some of us made sure that the stories of those struggling are heard.
Maya Markovich, Chief Growth Officer at Nextlaw Labs, thinks that the current environment within the legal industry is the perfect time to rethink the old ways of doing things. The time is ripe to try new processes as well as experiment in ways that we might not normally try because we have somewhat of a safety net to try and fail with less judgment. For those with an entrepreneurial mindset, this might be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to put your ideas into action.
Not all of us left the office back in March. Many of our office services staff remained to make sure that the workplaces most of us left behind, were still operational and ready for when we make our way back to a physical office. Clare Hart, CEO of Williams Lea, provided many of the people who were designated the essential employees who kept the lights on in our offices these past few months. I asked her to talk with me about how she worked with her clients to make that happen, all while keeping everyone safe.
Vivia Chen is Senior Columnist at ALM, and Chief Blogger for The Careerist. She talks with me about how the pandemic may finally be the impetus to break large law firms from their vanity. With the cultural and societal changes that will most likely come out of the pandemic, there will be no need for lavish law offices or high-end client events to impress those who no longer want to come to your offices or attend your events. There may be a balancing of the scales between competing law firms based more on the substance of the firms’ quality of service than in the quality of their coffee bar. We cover this as well as how women’s needs are handled as we begin reopening offices, and what the real metric of success will be for law firms in 2020.
Ian Nelson of Hotshot Legal believes that as we come out of the pandemic, there will be completely different expectations when it comes to how legal professionals want to train and learn. No more hour-long lectures with little to no interaction. Instead, we’ll have shorter lessons with flipped classroom styles where the information is processed beforehand, and the classroom is used to discuss and relate to the information. While Hotshot developed many of these ideas over the past few years, there hasn’t necessarily been the impetus within the legal industry to look at these types of short, just-in-time training programs. There’s nothing like a crisis to effectuate change.
Diego Alcala is an attorney and Legal Tech Founder based in Puerto Rico. The current COVID-19 and remote working conditions are just two more issues stacked upon existing challenges ranging from cuts in governmental programs, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural and man-made problems. Perhaps now is the time to challenge the legal tech community to find ways to assist with Access to Justice and Criminal Justice Reform.