When borders finally open up, will travel starved lawyers reconsider their career choices? With international travel a possibility in 2022, how will law firms retain and attract lawyers that want to explore other regions and cultures overseas?
Digital nomads have typically been of the 20 to 40's age groups, doing all sorts of remote work while traversing the world. Increasingly, will travel starved professionals of all ages be more likely to explore a semi or full digital nomad lifestyle once borders fully open up again? Will lawyers want permanent, fixed work or more flexible and remote workplace arrangements?
Law firm consultants vs permanent employees
According to an article in UK City AM – “The legal consultant business model will become dominant among high street and mid-market law firms, with around a third of UK lawyers predicted to be working under such arrangements in five years’ time.” Will this give rise to legal nomads, and how will the law firm model adapt to lawyers wanting greater flexibility for where and when they work?
The Keystone Law model
Keystone Law – a London headquartered firm that is listed on the London Stock Exchange has thrived through the pandemic, experiencing growth in revenue with talent transitioning from larger firms. The Keystone Law business model is where their lawyers are self-employed consultants that are paid up to 75% of their billings. Keystone offers the brand, shared services, and technology for the consultants to operate from anywhere in the world.
In meeting the Director of Technology and Innovation, Maurice Tunney back in 2019, what was clear was that technology and processes were designed to make the business of law easy for lawyers; letting lawyers focus on client needs. With tight integrations into their Document Management System (NetDocuments) and other systems built for remote working, Keystone was well prepared for the shock of the pandemic.
What can Law firms do?
Could the operating model that Keystone Law use be a way of attracting the best talent? The market for lawyers is only getting tighter around the world. In another article recently, it was reported that there is a great demand for lawyers with good commercial skills - see the article here. With advances in remote working driven by the pandemic, this sets up the perfect framework for law firms to recruit from a global, flexible talent pool.