I recently read a Christian Science article: How coronavirus will change the US, from where we live to the way we connect. Here is the main points of change:
- Life moves online
- Another urban flight?
- Not all heroes wear camo
- Valuing real connection
Recently I also read a Dallas Morning News article, Collin County Zooms into Court, that also made national news, Texas court holds first US jury trial via videoconferencing
Are you prepared to practice law in this new world?
Then, I got my cup of coffee and went to my computer and opened my news page to find a Forbes article, Here’s How Firms Can Prepare For The New Normal After Coronavirus.
The article quoted from a McKinsey report suggesting eight actions CEOs should take:
- Create a detailed relaunch map
- Reassure customers about the safety of their products and services.
- Safeguard the health and safety of employees
- Revive demand
- Reboot operations and the supply chain
- Shift IT and technology to restart mode
- Steer the restart with care
- Sustain value creation born from crisis and reinvesting in recovery
Admittedly not all eight of the suggestions apply to law firms, But, some of the eight do. What is your firm doing now for the new normal? What practice areas will be hot? What practice areas will be cold?
Some lawyers and law firms have probably already positioned themselves for change. If you haven’t, then you better start now.
In his book “A Whole New Mind,” Daniel Pink includes a chapter on symphony, which he calls:
…the ability to put together the pieces. It is the capacity to synthesize rather than analyze; to see relationships, between seemingly unrelated fields; to detect broad patterns rather than deliver specific answers; and to invent something new by combining elements nobody else thought to pair.
Good lawyers are able to analyze situations. Great lawyers are also able to analyze. What sets them apart is their ability to synthesize what is going on in the world and how it will create legal issues their clients will face. At no time in my career has it been more important to synthesize.
So, let’s make a list of what is going on that will likely create legal issues:
- We are in the worst recession since the great depression.
- Workers have been laid off in record numbers. Some will need to be retrained to be productive.
- Airlines, retailers, and the hospitality industry will likely face the worst year in their history.
- At least for the moment, the government is pumping record amounts of money capital into businesses and unemployment.
- Many state and local governments need more money to operate.
- Our infrastructure still needs repair and replacement and Congress may finally try and stimulate the economy by pumping money into infrastructure projects.
- The world remains dangerous.
- Federal Government spending is increasing and so is the deficit. At some point someone will have to pay for this.
- The public is fed up with the division in Washington.
- Young Americans finishing college will find it increasingly more difficult to get a job.
- Professional, college and high school sports may be played in empty stadiums.
- Baby boomers, who are most likely to be struck by Covid-19 are retiring from the workforce in record numbers and, after watching their life savings go up in smoke, they need to return to work in a market with high unemployment.
- More health care will be needed. We may well have a shortage of physicians and nurses in the near future.
- The talent pool is shrinking and those in it are more diverse.
- State governors are exercising power they may not legally have.
- United States ranking in education, particularly math and science continues to fall.
You will likely be able to see other news that will create legal issues for your clients. How well you synthesize these issues and what you do to be “first to market” with your synthesis will have a great impact on your future.