Life after lockdowns: what does the future look like for your career in legal?

Life after lockdowns: what does the future look like for your career in legal?


When lockdown hit back in March, we weren’t surprised that firms and legal teams around the world were able to continue to deliver for their clients whilst working from home. The technology and talent have long been in place to make remote legal working a no-brainer, the C-19 pandemic has forcibly removed the mindset barrier that kept lawyers in their offices.

So what does this mean for lawyers looking at their career plans longer-term? You need to think now about how these three big ideas will impact on your working life.

#1 The office is dead. Long live the office.

Metropolitan office space is a significant expense. As lockdown eases, measures to re-open offices make these costs even higher as safety measures drive down occupancy in the short-term. For some people, time away from the office has highlighted the value of working collectively, along with the social upside and the mental health benefits of a clear separation between home and work. Others are filled with dread at the prospect of going back to the commute and the politics. 

For many, time away from the office has led us to re-evaluate our work/life balance. The good news is that there are more opportunities than ever to put legal skills to work outside a traditional firm environment. Whether that’s working on a consultant basis through a platform like Obelisk, working in-house or making the case for remote working on a permanent basis, the world of work is changing.  

Whilst we’ve seen remote working growing even before the pandemic hit, offices will still be with us. As spaces for collaboration, innovation and growth, they are valuable, plus most organisations have too much invested in them to make significant changes in the short-term.  This means that savvy lawyers will be thinking now about how to operate effectively across both spaces. For those who manage teams, this means learning new skills - leading remotely requires more effort and extra EQ.  Training new colleagues and junior members of staff requires greater thought and organisation as proximity is reduced. Those just st

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About the author:

Dana Denis-Smith is the CEO and founder of Obelisk Support, a legal services provider offering flexible legal solutions to FTSE100 and law firms with highly-skilled lawyers. Obelisk Support was listed as one of the fastest-growing businesses in Europe in 2018 by the Financial Times.

 A TedX speaker, Dana regularly speaks at industry events and in the media on gender equality, entrepreneurship and legal technology. In 2019, she was recognised by the Legal 500 for Outstanding Achievement in Legal Services and in 2018, she was voted Legal Personality of the Year at the LexisNexis Awards