In 2021 working from home has become the new normal. For some, this may still feel like a big transition, but it’s essential to stay up-to-date with changing expectations in the professional world. This goes for all business owners, and is especially true for law offices hoping to stay relevant in a competitive legal climate.
So how can you “future-proof” your legal practice? Think of “future-proofing” as anticipating trends and adapting your law practice to embrace the newest technology. With tech updates, flexible law offices, and cloud-based solutions, your legal practice will be ready to take-on the future.
What is a Flexible Law Office?
A flexible law office offers attorneys the opportunity to customize their schedule. This means that attorneys select their work hours and may conduct work from any location. Although a flexible office format might seem too unstructured at first, many attorneys are eager to work in an environment that values their personal preferences and offers an adaptable schedule.
According to an article in Reuters, “a recent survey from legal recruiter Major, Lindsey & Africa found the vast majority of the incoming generation of lawyers prefer to work remotely at least some of the time.” Fostering an environment that values a healthy work / life balance and encourages flexibility is key to maintaining a thriving law practice.
What Tools Do You Need to Get Started?
While flexible law offices are the way of the future, it’s unrealistic to expect to transform your law practice overnight. Before you offer lawyers the flexible schedule they crave, you need to implement tools and resources to make the transition possible.
Update Your Video Conference Capabilities – Working remotely means relying on technology to get the job done. For lawyers working today, it’s essential to have video conferencing tools that are easy to use and provide reliable connectivity. Since client interviews and meetings need to be done remotely, it’s imperative that you use secure video conferencing platforms to keep meeting content confidential. An article in Bloomberg Law discusses the emergence of “telepresence rooms” to create a more authentic experience during video calls: “advanced audio-visual systems and large, mirror-like screens are used to make it appear that a client or colleague is in the same physical conference room, even if the person is at the other end of the globe.”
Use Cloud-Based Platforms
Since remote workers don’t have a centralized hub for information, Bloomberg Law asserts that “law firms are also shoring up their IT infrastructures now that a lawyer can’t simply count on their colleague down the hall to answer a question, or the filing cabinet with a particular document being nearby.”
In order to create accessible IT infrastructures, more law firms are embracing cloud-based document sharing tools. Cloud-based platforms allow documents to be securely uploaded, organized, and stored on an accessible online database. This way, lawyers have access to important files and information no matter where they are.
Flexible law firms are also implementing virtual mailbox services. Virtual mailbox services provide clients with instantaneous access to mail via a secure online platform. Mail is sent to a secure physical address and then promptly uploaded onto the database by a licensed handler. These services are an excellent option for law practices who don’t have a permanent location.
Cloud-based software also allows your legal team to optimize daily tasks. With easy-to-use communication platforms and simple scheduling and bookkeeping software, switching your systems to online services will save you time and money.
What are the Benefits of a Flexible Attorney Office?
Flexible attorney offices provide benefits for lawyers and clients alike.
Connect with a Wider Audience – Since lawyers who work in a flexible law office can conduct their work from anywhere, flexible law offices are able to serve a wider population and extend the reach of their business. This helps diversify caseloads, and increases client numbers.
Save Money – Attorneys who work in a flexible environment don’t need to be locked into a 12 months lease to practice the law. With money saved on rent, power, office supplies, and managerial staff, most law practices who switch to a remote model end up saving money in the long term.
Improve Retention – Remote work isn’t just a request anymore, it’s an expectation. Switching to a flexible schedule demonstrates your dedication to fostering a work environment that aligns with current demands.
Find Your Office Space at Amata Law Office Suites
Amata Law Office Suites provides lawyers and legal practitioners both in-person and virtual law office accommodations. With flexible pricing and unbeatable legal support services, Amata Law Office Suites has served the Chicago area by providing dedicated conference spaces, offices, and much more.
Now is the time to embrace the future of your legal practice. At Amata Law Office Suites, we’re here to help.