The Role of the Attorney Has Been Dramatically Changed by the Pandemic

We are about to enter the wild swings of winter in our country and it is a time of turmoil in America. The legal industry remains ensnared in the grasp of the coronavirus, as some lawyers and staff are returning to the office, but the vast majority continue to work remotely. Some clients are regaining normalcy, but most will take months or years to return to the way things were – if they ever do. At every level within law firms, the pandemic has reshaped the way work is done, and will surely influence the industry well into the future.

Our court system has pretty much been stuck operating the same way for over 150 years; speedy and smooth it is not. Suddenly though, the courts discovered Zoom. After all, necessity is the mother of invention. Living rooms replace court rooms and offices. Every person and firm now has their own IT person. Working from home is now the norm. I meet less and less in person because the Register of Wills are accepting copies rather than originally signed documents. Even the U.S. Supreme Court now hears oral arguments by phone. Law firms embraced technology. Hold on to your laptop because I don’t believe the practice of law will ever be the same as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic. We are not there yet but I see an evolution of our court system morphing into something radically different from where it was to a much more pleasant and faster experience.

One compliant I do hear a lot now is whether someone must get tested for the virus as a condition before they can return to work. Some employees are even being required to disclose prior medical conditions before being allowed to return to work. Can you imagine the potential HIPAA and Privacy right issues this presents? If you are experiencing this at your place of employment, or have any questions related to your rights during and after the pandemic, contact me at your convenience for a free consultation.