Pressing the Reset Button

3 Mins

Did Covid-19 bring about a positive culture change for law firms in the UK?

Or are old habits returning?

Obelisk Support has published their paper Legal Reset: Why law firm culture must change now and argues that Covid only managed to bring about temporary changes and old ways are already resurfacing.

“The reality is that there has not been the internal change and new ways of working (beyond working at home vs in the office) to address the real issues facing the industry, such as inclusion, accessibility, ability to attract and retain the next generation of lawyers and ensuring the legal profession stands first and foremost for the rule of law and not just profit.”

They identified four pillars law firms should urgently adopt to tackle this problem. They are:

  • Practice with purpose
  • The future of work
  • Reset the partnership model
  • Driving innovation with technology

Issues they identify include the billable hour model that forces lawyers to work excessive hours and doesn’t allow for flexible working. A focus on output over clocking in is something in-house lawyers understand well, but law firms seem unwilling to adopt this.

They also identify a lack of lawtech awareness, with companies choosing a one-time purchase rather than investing in training and looking at how technology can work alongside the law and help future-proof the business.

The report suggests there’s a desire for a better way of working in law, and future generations deserve to see a change to a model that allows a better work / life balance.

Written by Jason Connolly