We know how much COVID-19 has changed everything as we know it in 2020. People working in many fields have seen fundamental changes in how they do business. For lawyers, the pandemic has swept away many existing structures and replaced them with new ones. Covid-19 has proven certain things to be true for lawyers everywhere. One of the most important is the realization that lawyers can work remotely and do so quite successfully. They can not only engage in remote work on a temporary basis, it’s clear they can maintain such momentum over time. Of all lawyers who are working within this new framework, there’s one group that has particularly risen to the challenges being imposed by the global pandemic.

Skilled Associates

The legal field is a deeply collaborative one. Everyone has a role to play. One of the most of all members of the legal field are associates. Associates provide clients and senior members of the legal field with the kind of help they need to practice law successfully. Associates have stepped up to the plate. They have shown that is possible to maintain work quality standards even when people are not working in an office. In doing so, the associates have made it possible to consistently deliver the kind of legal wok that many firms need in order to meet their client’s goals. Many associates point to this fact as evidence that in-person legal work is necessarily superior to that conducted in other environments.

What the pandemic has also made clear is that many associates are more than capable of handing any kind of legal work even under challenging situations. Many associates are proud of the work they’ve done and eager to show it is possible to sustain their efforts long term. It has shown they can maintain productivity and step up no matter what obstacles they might face when carrying out their legal duties.

Looking to the Future

The rise of Covid-19 has made it clear that the legal industry, like other sectors of the economy, is not only facing the possibility of temporary changes but may see such changes continue once the virus is defeated. Many legal supervisors were initially skeptical of the possibilities of remote working. They had many worries including the ability to communicate with clients and maintain overall productivity. Given the fact that so many associates have demonstrated that it is possible to adhere to such requirements, more and more firms are finding that remote work may offer many benefits.

Studies have indicated that workers are content with remote work. More than half, in fact, would like to continue working remotely in the future. Ideally, they would like to work remotely at least part time. In fact, some go even further. They see remote work as an ideal chance to balance the competing needs many firms have between their personal demands and the need to schedule billable hours. This can serve as a useful way to ensure clients can attend to duties such as childcare while still serving the firm. Many associates are even willing to trade benefits such as paid time off for the opportunity to engage in remote work.

Others see potential drawbacks for associates in this kind of arrangement. They believe it may stand in the way of important interactions that can lead to promotions. An employee who is working out of the home may not have a lot of chances to show what they can do to senior members of the firm. They may also miss out on the chance to help senior members work with many forms of technology more efficiently. The established legal culture in any firm can be very hard to break, even in the face of a serious global pandemic.

Cause For Optimism

Many people believe this is a time that will lead to fundamental changes in the practice of law. As they look to the future, they see a legal world that is no longer the same. While formality is an essential aspect of the legal profession, it is possible that remote work may change this process. It has also made it possible for younger members of the legal profession to challenge existing ways of doing things. Law firms are coming to the realization they need to be competitive and on top of changes in technology in order to attract great legal talent. The pandemic may change this process forever.

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