Attorneys — and Their Clients! — Want to Work Remotely
The pandemic, and the resulting move into the home for many people, has resulted in a sea of change in the way lawyers and their clients think about remote work. According to a recent Clio survey, fewer than 30% of attorneys worked exclusively in an office in 2022, with about half of those surveyed preferring to work from home.
What’s more, a related survey shows that 25% more clients prefer meeting remotely with a lawyer over meeting with one in person.
It’s clear that things have changed, and there’s no going back. Now is the time for law firms to embrace remote work.
Benefits of Working Remotely
Some of the benefits of working remotely apply to nearly any white-collar job, and some are specific to attorneys.
- Less time spent commuting.
- The ability to structure the workspace to the specific needs of each person.
- Increased flexibility.
- Greater productivity.
- More job satisfaction.
Benefits for Attorneys
- Removing some of the barriers that exist due to location. Although many clients prefer a local lawyer, this could extend what clients consider ‘local’ to within the same state, or at least a larger geographical area.
- Increased organization that leads to greater productivity for the firm as a whole. As more documents are created in a digital-first environment, less time will need to be spent locating and re-creating those documents. Multiple members of a legal team will have access to a single source of truth, potentially leading to saved time and a reduction in misunderstandings.
- Improved ability to meet with clients outside the standard workday.
How to Make Remote Work Easier
Even with all this said, there are still some challenges for attorneys who want to work from home. For example, some clients still prefer to meet in person. Some ways that remote work can be facilitated include:
- Providing a stipend for staff to create a home office or rent a coworking space. This can have the added bonus of creating some degree of standardization (such as a color scheme or a displayed logo) that can help clients associate the attorney with the firm.
- Moving quickly to adopt new tools to simplify remote work. Have you been saying for years that you need to move to an e-discovery solution, a matters management system, or other software? Now is the time to embrace that. Investments in technology will result in greater satisfaction for both attorneys and clients.
Advantages of Remote Work for Law Firms
There are multiple reasons why remote work is advantageous for law firms (in addition to the increased satisfaction mentioned above).
- Decreased costs, particularly real estate costs.
- An increased applicant pool for support staff. Do you struggle to find competent staff who understand the needs of working for a law firm? Remote work allows you to find staff specifically trained and interested in working for law firms.
How Virtual Legal Assistants and Receptionists Can Help Your Firm
In many cases, law firms hire staff not because of their extensive experience in the legal field, but because of geographical convenience. And while this approach sometimes works, it often doesn’t.
If your office is remote, however, you can search out applicants who are qualified for your legal staff positions. You can hire a virtual legal assistant with experience in your field of law or a virtual receptionist who knows legal client intake protocols. It allows you to hire high-caliber staff with legal experience.
It’s also quite cost-effective to hire a remote legal assistant or receptionist. You can pay only for the time you need, without worrying about payroll taxes or benefits.
Want to learn more about how Virtual Legal Assistants or Receptionists can benefit your law firm? Schedule a call with our Growth Solutions Strategist! We’ll help you strategize the best course of action for your law firm.