I hope everybody is staying safe and well. Reviews from business service professionals (bsp’s) and lawyers within the law firm sector is that most are up and running and operational at home. Feedback so far has been slightly mixed but generally positive with regards to working from home. Some lawyers have had to take their computers and double screens home! Teething problems have naturally occurred this week with connectivity issues, lack of laptops but this is to be expected. A big shout out to the IT departments that have worked hard as many HR managers and lawyers have mentioned this in their conversations with me.
Communication is key in this time period. Some business service populations have commented that they have found themselves slightly at a loose end, but perhaps as operations are now becoming stable, communication regarding workload and tasks will start to flow now at a quicker pace to parties. The use of instant messaging and daily team calls has been a huge plus to some teams as some are missing the ‘door stop’ opportunity as a method of getting quick answers. Interestingly, fee earners have commented on an increase in productivity with less distractions, and some teams are checking in twice daily in the morning and evening; 5 minutes on what’s on their desk and 20 minutes on having chats and catch ups which is really important.
So far, I am not hearing from lawyers that work is dropping, more so that their legal advice has changed based on the current issues occurring with Covid 19. The business development departments are still business as usual. Obviously, the events teams within marketing are not as busy with cancelled plans but many are busy working on digital marketing initiatives, blogs, content and marketing materials for many of the Covid 19 law updates for their clients. I would be interested to hear what else is happening on the BD and marketing side whilst firms are in a lock down?
HR departments are also being very proactive with lawyers and bsp’s that are due to start with their respective employers over the coming weeks. This is a very daunting time for these individuals. Keep in close contact with your agent and/or your HR contact or partner in your firm in the lead up to your start date to avoid anxiety and worry. Some firms are pushing out start dates and many are now offering a virtual on boarding experience.
Although many roles have been paused, firms are still very much interested to explore and have conversations with lawyers and bsp’s about business critical opportunities. For some, this is an opportunity for recruitment teams to put their house in order and have a plan for when attraction and selection gets busy again. At this time, it is crucial that people are talking, information is being shared and I have had some really nice conversations this week with HR managers, lawyers, partners and bsp’s across all departments so thank you for your time.
If you have time for a call, I would be keen to hear from you. Tax, Real Estate, Data Privacy, EU Competition and Funds are all areas where firms will explore new hires. On the business support side; facilities management, legal PA support, Marketing, BD are areas that will be recruiting in the near future. If you are an Irish lawyer currently experiencing a lock down in the UK and you have time for a quick call, I would be keen to hear from you also with your feedback to date.
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Thanks for your time and stay safe!