By Erin Johnson
“History has shown that catastrophe also creates opportunity.” This time, will the legal industry reap the benefits? In the Above the Law article “COVID-19 Could Catalyze The Legal Industry Renaissance,” Nancy B. Rapoport (a law professor at UNLV) and Joe Tiano (founder of Legal Decoder) predict an unprecedented demand for legal services post-Covid19 closures. They claim that “until the dust settles, most would agree that the near-term demand for legal services will be only in “essential” areas, such as healthcare, employment, bankruptcy, and criminal law. The dust will eventually settle, though.” Then what?
Their theory is that there will be years of lawsuits stemming from contracts and insurance policies, requiring law firms to become flexible, strategic, and innovative. They argue this will be an opportunity for the legal industry to start over. One of the strategies mentioned in the article is using flexible staffing, a service that Montage Legal Group has been providing for over 10 years. Montage originated the concept of “freelance attorney” and are experts at helping law firms during seasons of high demand or with specialty services – especially when times are uncertain and clients need temporary help without the headache and risk of hiring new associates.
“Today’s newly minted lawyers understand and embrace the gig economy. Perhaps, it’s time to take a page out of Uber’s playbook and consider “surge” staffing—to use and allocate “flex” legal professionals.” If other industries can do it with success, why not the legal industry?