Updated: Sep 9
Paige Glaoui- Law City Student Ambassador
The effects of COVID-19 will change the way in which law firms operate; we have seen that lawyers who historically had mountains of paper on their desks have effectively gone paperless whilst working at home; face-to-face meetings are now virtual and even Court cases have been conducted through a screen. Many areas of law will see a significant rise in demand and some areas will be less busy but overall this will enable law firms to adopt new practices and develop new innovative ways of working. Here are just a few points of observation:
Demand has increased in certain areas of law
Since the COVID-19 pandemic the world has changed and with that comes changes in law, with certain areas of law being highlighted. For instance, the workplace environment has changed and so Employment Law will grow to include more cases such as workplace disputes over working from home, safe working environments and employer’s duty of care when it comes to future waves and pandemics’. Other areas of law that may see growth are Private Client as many clients during the first lockdown decided to reassess their priorities in their personal lives. The pandemic has seen many clients amending their wills to reflect their current positions and think about retirement earlier. This comes with some clients deciding that they want to sell their shares in their business or sell the business in its entirety to also avoid the 4% increase in corporation tax in April 2023. Other areas include disputes with companies over cancellations and delays in pre-booked holidays and inevitably insolvency. The stamp duty holiday also created a huge boom in residential conveyancing. As the demand for certain services grows so will new legal vacancies.
Many law firms have started to adopt a hybrid model which aims to balance working in the office and from home. The benefit of this from a recruiter’s point of view is that they are no longer pigeonholed to only considering candidates who live or are willing to move closer to the firm. As a result, this sees firms recruiting a more diverse pool of candidates. The benefit of this for candidates is that they can, for instance, apply to firms in London if they live outside of London as the position is a virtual one.
Studying to be a lawyer
The career options available in the legal field post-COVID-19 are still the same career options that were available pre-pandemic. For instance, the traditional routes of becoming a lawyer, barrister, paralegal, legal assistant, legal researcher and so on. However, now there are much more flexible options such as studying virtually and it is likely that learning will be tailored to meet individual needs.
Whilst the pandemic has had a detrimental impact on lives and affected several jobs, there are some positives as highlighted above.
Please feel free to share your experience of working in law during and after the pandemic with Law City.