As law firms navigate our post-pandemic world, it’s important that we have more conversations about the need for hybrid working models and legal practice management software. In many cases, law firms were forced to adopt a new working environment overnight at the beginning of the pandemic. During this fight or flight period, some law firms were able to manage this transition with little downtime or disruption to their business. However, there are still several law firms struggling with hybrid working models and creating operational efficiencies that allow staff to be successful while growing profits. 

In this webinar, PracticePanther’s VP of Marketing, Mayowa Oyebadejo, and Senior Account Executive, Brian Gomez, discuss how to leverage hybrid working models, legal practice management platforms, and innovative processes to provide top-tier client experiences that both retain and attract new business while simplifying your operations.

What are the different types of hybrid work models? (3:34)

Unlike traditional working models, hybrid working models are designed to be flexible and can adapt to any business. From solo and small firms to big law, there are 5 different hybrid working models that you can begin to implement at your firm. 

Types of hybrid working models: 

  • Office-First: this is the most traditional and resistant to where the industry is currently headed. Staff would be required to be in the office majority of the time with remote work being the exception or a perk.
  • Split-Week: by far the most common type of hybrid working model, it allows a specific timeframe that all staff is in the office or working remotely. An example of this would be a Tuesday-Thursday in-office schedule with staff working remotely Monday and Friday.
  • Week-by-Week: this model allows staff to alternate weeks they’re in-office or remote throughout the month. Law firms that utilize this model typically use business needs or busy seasons as a guide to gauge where staff is allocated. 
  • Designated Hybrid Teams: depending on the makeup of staff (administrative assistants, finance department, IT, etc.) certain teams would have the ability to work remotely while others, depending on the sensitivity of tasks, would work in-office. 
  • At-Will and Remote-First: this is another common hybrid working model that some law firms are likely moving towards. It would allow for co-working spaces, but staff would prioritize working remotely.  

How do I pick the best hybrid work model for my firm? (7:42)

Now that we’ve identified the different types of hybrid working models, the real work is deciding which works best for your firm. It will take some planning, but it’s important to start by evaluating the state of your office. This can be achieved by asking yourself a few simple questions about your staff and how the model would benefit their success while creating processes that improve business efficiency. These are a few questions you’ll want to nail down in your evaluation: 

  • What is your staff comfortable with?
  • What aspects of your firm may be impacted or improved?
  • What are the financial implications for your firm?

Once you have an idea of your business and staff needs, you can then begin to experiment with the model. As we mentioned earlier, hybrid working models are designed to be adapted. It’s important to do a trial run of the model and then evaluate performance. Incorporating this experimental period from the beginning will allow your firm to create a more sustainable hybrid working environment in the long run. 

In a recent study conducted by the American Bar Association, 76% of lawyers responded that they favor remote or hybrid working models. That’s more than a 30% jump from responses pre-pandemic. This signals that while lawyers were forced to adopt remote and hybrid work due to the pandemic, they realized substantial benefits and longevity in these types of working models. The major benefits lawyers noted include increased productivity, work-life balance, workforce demand, and client satisfaction. 

It’s important to note that these benefits could not be achieved without the use of technology, like legal practice management software or LPMs. Cloud-based LPMs, like PracticePanther, increase productivity by better allocating staff time and allow collaboration to flourish across teams. Lawyers can freely work from anywhere, creating better work-life balance which is often a concern in the fast-paced legal industry. 

This benefit also doubles as a tactic when it comes to hiring and competing for talent. With 49% of millennials and Gen Z responding that they would quit their jobs if remote work isn’t allowed, it’s imperative that law firms start to consider hybrid working models as a tool to retain and attract staff or risk losing valuable talent. The same is true for retaining and generating new business. Client demand for legal services and digital processes has increased due to the available resources online. Law firms resistant to expanding into the digital space could experience a decline in business.

Why are some law firms struggling with hybrid work models? (21:06)

The risk associated with not adopting a hybrid working model that we often see is business disruption, job market competition, and a decrease in new business. Despite these risks, law firms still have these common concerns: 

  • Security risks and maintaining compliant 
  • Onboarding staff to new processes/systems 
  • Effectively managing staff
  • Collaboration across departments
  • Workplace culture

Many of these concerns stem from unfamiliarity with the technology and the power of legal practice management software. Having an all-in-one platform, like PracticePanther, keeps all of your firm’s operations and sensitive information in a secure, central location. With the use of data encryption, your firm can easily perform functions such as sending documents for eSignature, managing billing and processing online payments without leaving the platform or risking compliance. The accessibility that LPMs offer allows for seamless collaboration and staff visibility with the use of workflows, calendars, and internal chats. 

To gain more resources on hybrid working models in law firms, adopting legal practice management software, staff training, and creating sustainable processes for growth, you can view the recording of the webinar below. 

If you’re ready to make the switch to hybrid work, you can schedule a custom demo of PracticePantther to see how the platform can improve all aspects of your business to scale your business and staff success.  

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