By Nico Strydom
Just as with many other sectors, businesses and other industries, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a great impact on legal firms and in its aftermath will continue to do so.
The Covid-19 pandemic is expected to, among others, force the legal profession into the digital era. The legal profession is one of the professions known for its leisurely application of technology.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the accompanying lockdown regulations, legal professionals have also been compelled to work from home, hold meetings on online platforms and use online libraries and resources. These have for the time being replaced physical consultations and meetings, court appearances and library research.
The lockdown regulations have furthermore resulted in initially only certain court cases being heard, with most of them over a distance, without physical contact or even online through audio visual resources. Only people with an actual interest in a case are allowed to attend court proceedings, while many other cases are merely being postponed. Many verdicts are also delivered via email.
These developments have forced legal firms to reconsider how they do business. Just like companies in other sectors, legal firms will have to adapt their models and processes, placing a lot of confidence in technology.
The use of technology has forced legal firms to, for example, replace hefty paper files with electronic files, which means improved safety and accessibility and significantly facilitates the sharing and exchanging of documents. Harnessing technology has furthermore resulted in the location of legal firms becoming less important due to consultations that can take place online.
Legal firms therefore have to see to it that they are able to remain competitive in the light of the changing demands of their clients and use technology actively to ensure that the profession does not become irrelevant.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown regulations also resulted in legislation being put in place that has brought a new series of legal issues to light. Legal professionals therefore have to make sure that they are at all times conversant with all the finer details of the legislation and legal issues so as to ensure that they can advise their clients to the best of their ability.
With the lockdown regulations that are being lifted and the economy gradually reopening, more and more people are returning to work. However, it won’t be business as usual and legal firms can in this regard take note of new challenges in the workplace where they could possibly give assistance.
Internasionale Balievereniging: https://www.ibanet.org/Avoiding-juristic-park.aspx
Legal Support World: http://www.legalsupportworld.com/blog/post-covid-19-plans-of-law-firms-and-lawyers/