Skills Legal Service Providers Will Need in a Post-Pandemic World
COVID-19 has dramatically impacted all industries and the legal profession, a subsector of professional services, is no exception. Once the pandemic became a reality, legal services initially came to a screeching halt. Workers suffered through job cuts, furloughs, layoffs, and delayed hiring.
The standstill was only temporary. Law firms and legal services pivoted to identify strategies to remain functional in a largely shut down world, but the pandemic forever changed the industry. Going forward, people providing legal services will need to acquire, nurture, and hone different skills. Let's take a look at what job seekers can expect they'll need.
High-level comfort with technology
Technology's role in the industry is constantly evolving. During the pandemic, solutions applied included remotely conducting consultations, court hearings, mediations, arbitrations, depositions, conferences, and other legal sessions. Professionals needed to securely send and sign contracts, transmit sensitive data, and maintain the integrity of all data coming in and out of their firms. Many new processes are likely to remain. Looking down the road, it's almost a certainty tech integration will accelerate. The proverbial genie is out of the bottle. Legal professionals need to interact with tech and do it in ways where confidential data remains secure.
Along with a high comfort level with tech, people working in legal occupations will need to possess commercial awareness of current and emerging tech—both by using and thoroughly understanding it. Laws surrounding tech areas such as cybersecurity, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and data analytics are anticipated to greatly impact the legal industry. Going forward, tech and law will be married, and anyone in the industry needs to adjust on both a practical and a knowledge level as regulations and laws evolve.
Perform as a self-starter
Employees accepting jobs in the legal sector may find they aren't going to get the traditional type of on-the-job training. There's a good chance the first day of their jobs takes place from home with a company-issued laptop. As the world reopens, workers may migrate back to offices—or they may not. Either way, many challenges associated with remote work will remain.
People may find they need to take different types of initiatives. With no handshakes, lunch meetings, and fewer opportunities to hold in-person brainstorming sessions with colleagues, they'll lose traditional ways to connect with people. The ability to nurture a creative ability to take initiative will be a valuable skill to tuck away in toolboxes.
Apply personalization in a digital world
Going hand-in-hand with technology, anyone working in a modern-day law position should plan to master the art of personalization in a digital world. Many law firms and legal providers were able to successfully muster ways to remain connected but find now it's time to kick it up to the next level. Digitization isn't going away, if anything, it's accelerating. Working in the legal sector requires gaining the trust of clients, colleagues, and others. Professionals will be figuring out ways to personalize interactions that may not take place in person. As a result, soft skills become incredibly important.
Capacity to think outside the box
Knowing how to apply the law is one thing, however, future legal professionals will be thinking outside the box. Since the legal industry tends to keep to tradition, the ability to break away and apply creative solutions is a skill to hone going forward. In a post-pandemic world, lawyers, paraprofessionals, office assistants, and anyone else providing legal services will need to expect the unexpected. Certainty is no longer a given, and new challenges will emerge. Professionals who are adept at creative problem-solving, adaptability, and flexibility will land success and survive.
Looking beyond the horizon in a post-pandemic world, the legal industry seeks an agile workforce committed to embracing change, assembling the right tools, and learning to work within a new normal. The industry is evolving and the legal jobs of today may look quite different tomorrow.
Considering a new job? Check out the current listings in our database.