Tips and Trends Industry Advice and Developments

What’s Next? 4 Legal Trends in the New Normal

This year has forced legal organizations to change how and where they work. As firms transition to a new normal, their focus has shifted to digital transformation, remote work mobility, workplace redesign and effective financial strategies to help them achieve success in an ever-changing environment.

Christina Floyd and Karen Leastman

1. Digital Transformation

In the legal industry, digital efforts that were once part of long-term plans have been accelerated to keep pace with the rate of change and mitigate security risk. Firms are investing in technology initiatives that will continue to help their employees work efficiently from home or the office, and they are looking for digitally based solutions for some of the day-to-day processes.

These initiatives are leading firms to invest in laptops, virtual private networks (VPNs), data centers, cybersecurity and cloud-based management systems. Law firms have begun to embrace digital transformation and realize it is essential to their continued success.

2. Remote Work Mobility

Unlike other industries, law firms were reluctant to adapt policies surrounding remote work in years past. As the pandemic drove most firms to work 100% remote, there is a new focus to implement “work-from-anywhere” policies.

Moving forward, many lawyers and legal staff will look for continued flexibility to work both in the office and at home. This hybrid model provides the job satisfaction that comes with face-to-face meetings but also allows a work-from-home option, creating an opportunity to maximize the in-office time.

Law firm leaders will need to be open to accommodating this additional flexibility and introduce a work-from-home policy that meet the needs of their current employees while staying competitive within the market.

3. Workplace Redesign

In the current environment, firms are redesigning spaces to meet new health requirements and give employees the confidence that their return to work will be safe. Firms are adopting technology-based solutions to reduce employee contact and lessen exposure to germs. These solutions include touchless entries, air filtration, plexiglass walls and mobile app programs.

With the newfound freedom and autonomy to work anywhere, firms are “future-proofing” their office space. Post-pandemic considerations regarding workplace redesign include space flexibility with day/compact offices, greater focus on workplace engagement, and continuing to have space for social distancing. Some firms may be looking to redesign their space to reduce the number of offices and implement unassigned seating. Other firms may look to promote workplace culture when planning for their office space and want to emphasize work-focused amenities.

When employees do re-enter the office, the space needs to be safe and centered around culture, collaboration and communication.

4. Financial Strategies

Amid the economic uncertainty, firms are evaluating different strategies to achieve financial stability. Priorities include improving liquidity, ensuring adequate access to capital for important projects and fixing future costs. In order to achieve these objectives, firms are taking a strategic approach and considering alternative funding sources, rate locks, cuistom payment structures and cash reimbursements.


The legal industry acted quickly during unprecedented times, shifting their business to efficiently navigate a virtual environment and economic uncertainty. Their focus will continue to be on enhanced technology, work mobility, space redesign and financial security in order to position their firms for the future and thrive in our new business environment.