The age of coronavirus has provided many lessons for lawyers, both personal and professional. The most cited in industry conversations are the proven capacity to work from anywhere, the vocational resilience of practitioners to evolve, and the unwavering need of broader society for the provision of legal services.
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Another critical learning – and one that emerged through communal bitter experience, Fiona McGregor notes – is that “things can change in a heartbeat”.
“We can and have adapted and that creates in our clients and consumers that we can and will be accessible whatever happens. Our experience is that life, and legal problems and needs still happen,” says Ms McGregor, who operates a family law practice under her own name in Ringwood, Victoria.
“We need to be ready for the expectation we’ve created that we can deal with anything because we’ve shown we can. And those who are not tech ready will be left behind.”
The mainstreaming of flexibility
Amidst the lessons of the past 12 months are realisations for lawyers, including that remote working arrangements are not simply a flash in the pan to be explored in rare instances: it is here to stay. As such, law firms and their staff – or at least those not already on board – need software solutions that are agile and cloud-powered, says LEAP head of product Hilal Kabakoz.
“At LEAP, we’re continuing to build features designed for a flexible world that empowers lawyers to work digitally. Our mobile and iPad applications in particular have allowed many lawyers to embrace flexible work arrangements more than ever before,” she proclaims.
“Not only can our users easily work between home and the office, they can also update their matters or do things like record time spent on a call directly from their mobile device if they’re not in front of their computer. Integrating with FaceTime allows lawyers and clients to meet from anywhere in the world, eliminating travel and any related accessibility restrictions.”
“For lawyers, the billable duration of the call is automatically recorded back to the LEAP Mobile app, without the need to manually create time entries,” Ms Kabakoz surmises.
Further to this, LEAP Australia CEO Donna Broadley adds, our national legal marketplace is becoming more and more consumer-driven, with those buying lawyers’ services realising they have an abundance of choice when it comes to whose services to purchase.
This means, she explains, that “law firms that offer flexibility in the delivery of their services have a real competitive advantage over firms that don’t”.