On the other end of the spectrum, I have two fully staffed offices in major downtown city hubs (Miami and Fort Lauderdale). I have extra space in both offices (with ocean views) and high monthly payments to go with it. Of course, there were long hours spent at the office. Not so necessary anymore, is it?
You see, the last day that I visited my physical office was also March 12, 2020.
Luckily, just prior to the quarantine, I was in the process of converting my offices to cloud-based systems, in terms of e-mail, practice management, and document management. Like Melissa, this has allowed my office to keep running without skipping a beat.
Even as courts slowly re-open to in-person hearings, and lawyers’ offices reopen with masks and hand-sanitizer in every room, the great pandemic of 2020 will forever leave its mark on the way law firms are structured. Lawyers now realize they can work from their dining room tables. Judges now realize they can hold scheduling and status hearings fast and efficiently using a video conferencing platform. Clients now realize that they have been spending hundreds of dollars for their lawyers to drive to a courthouse or mediation, and that they have been sitting in traffic to commute to their lawyer’s office for meetings that could have been held by Zoom. We live in a culture where we can order a ride by opening an app on our phone, click a button to purchase nearly anything we could ever want delivered to our doorstep, or view nearly any movie ever made on our own TV. Lawyers can no longer get away with the old way of running business. Expectations are now set. Lawyers need to rise to the challenge and harness technology. More lawyers will be working from home, at least part of the time, going forward. They will be downsizing their office space, reducing their overhead, and investing the saved money into themselves, their well-being, their health, and their sanity.
We are inviting you to join us each month in this new eNewsletter column. We plan on bringing you new insight as we learn and grow the technology in our own law firms. For now, recognize that you are in the same boat as everyone else. Everyone’s business model is shifting and growing in ways that we thought would take decades to accomplish. Do not get left behind. Until next month’s Tech Talk Corner, you can find us at www.techtalklaw.com or tune into our monthly zoom webinar series. Please reach out to us so we can have a dialogue about our changing profession.
Melissa is a family lawyer in Washington, D.C. and can be found at www.mkfamilylawfirm.com. Brian is a family lawyer in Southern Florida and can be found at www.ybkglaw.com.