One of the major disruptions in the legal industry was undoubtedly the pandemic, which forced legal departments to innovate how, where, and when they worked. With the rise of the work from home model, legal tech assisted legal departments in optimizing their workflows and helping them make do with limited resources. As the pandemic came to a peak and then leveled off, an innovative work model – the hybrid work model – mostly replaced or enhanced the work from home model.
Currently, lawyers with hybrid profiles are looking for freedom from time and workplace restrictions. Hybrid profile lawyers can offer a wealth of capabilities and benefits to their legal departments and organizations.
How Hybrid Work Works in Legal
In a legal hybrid work model, lawyers can work remote, at their office, or a combination of both. This type of work profile has become increasingly popular due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing, but it can also offer benefits such as increased work-life balance and productivity. In addition, hybrid work models for the legal industry can only run with the help of collaborative tools and software, including legal technology. Contract lifecycle management (CLM) and document review software makes hybrid work possible for legal departments.
In a hybrid work profile, lawyers may work from home some of the time and for the remainder of the days, come into the office for meetings or collaborative work. Lawyers may work on a rotating schedule with the rest of their legal department to help reduce bottlenecks and ensure legal work is being delivered on time.
Benefits of Hiring Hybrid Work Lawyers
Bob Ambrogi of LawSites says that the majority of lawyers prefer hybrid work, but that their legal departments and companies aren’t equipped with the legal tech to allow it. A survey by ContractWorks found out that 64% of in-house lawyers prefer to work from home, given the right resources and tech.
Legal departments that can accommodate the needs of their hybrid work lawyers will find improvements in efficiency, faster workflow outputs, and happier lawyers! In the survey mentioned above, more than half of the respondents agreed that legal tech made their day-to-day jobs more enjoyable. Lawyers report being more productive when they were working in a hybrid work model according to their preferences and supported with the resources they required, including legal tech.
Challenges for Hybrid Work Lawyers
The hybrid work model presents several benefits, as well as challenges to legal departments. A Forbes article notes that a hurdle that hybrid profile lawyers face is receiving assessments and feedback on time, and the sense of community and relationship building that comes with in-person work. In addition, the levels of collaboration that hybrid profiles deal with is significantly lower than if they worked at their offices.
Legal departments can mitigate these pitfalls by engaging with hybrid profiles and offering them a chance to connect online and offline in community engagement programs. These activities may be held within the department, or across departments and the organization.
The Future of Hybrid Work in Legal
Without a doubt, work from home and hybrid work models are here to stay. Whether legal departments go back to full-time and in person work, many lawyers will still choose the flexibility and freedom that hybrid offers. With legal tech evolving by the day, hybrid work lawyers will be even more productive than ever before, while saving their time and money!