You probably already know that “going back to normal” isn’t really a thing to look forward to anymore. The pandemic has shown the legal industry that its structures must adapt to remain agile during times of duress, and in the process, it has revealed how previous methods might not have been serving law firms to begin with. During the age of home office Zoom calls, how can the work-from-home model and online tools serve not as temporary scaffolds, but as opportunities to re-imagine a better law firm?
Now that the pandemic has highlighted our humanity, our limitations, and our needs, it is time to enact radical change to your work models to reflect a more ideal now and tomorrow.
1. Limit Zoom meetings. Make them shorter.
People get distracted, tired, and restless on Zoom after short periods of time. If a whole workday is filled with multiple 1-hour long Zoom meetings, and you find yourself without time to do the deep work you need to do to be the best lawyer you can be, then you have a problem.
As a leader in your law firm, consider how working from home affects HOW your firm works. While working from home creates the limitation of less human contact, it opens a new opportunity in which workers can discover how to best organize their time and what helps them stay productive in a pared down workspace. Save time and mental space every day for deep work, some of it away from a screen if possible. Save Zoom meetings for absolutely necessary conversations.
2. Use email differently
While it is of course important to remain professional in your emails, the times we are facing that magnify our many health and social injustices require lawyers to enact more empathy and care than ever. Email can become a place in which you communicate differently with your clients. Maybe you offer more empathy and care to your service by checking in with them more often. Maybe you use a more casual tone in your email correspondence with your law firm. Maybe our connections needed that to begin with, and maybe your law firm will benefit from a change in tone even after the pandemic is over.
3. New clients will mainly find you online. Help them find you.
The pandemic has shown us that the physical spaces in our world aren’t always accessible, which means having a strong online marketing plan is even more important for business. Ensure you’re working with a digital marketing partner that knows how to adapt to the current circumstances, and launch you into a better place for the online landscape of tomorrow.
4. Go fully paperless
If done right, going paperless could mean automating client welcome packets, intake forms, relevant case information, and invoices. It could mean saving time by eliminating steps (printing, signing, scanning) before sending out important documents. When you go paperless, you can pull up files in seconds by searching dates and phrases. Save time and energy to do the deep work you need to be doing by finally going paperless.
Technology has the potential to enhance our lives. If used thoughtfully, your law firm can come out of this pandemic a stronger version of itself than before.
At CLM, we are adept problem solvers that stay ahead of the curve in the legal marketing field. We are committed to making sure our clients get found by the right audience, and we help them thrive for today and tomorrow.
Cristina Fríes is a MA in English/Creative Writing from UC Davis (2019), and is a legal marketing strategist and content developer for CLM. Her interests include creating compelling marketing content, writing books, and traveling the world.