A survey of more than 500 members of the Victorian legal profession conducted by the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) has revealed that the legal profession faced a range of challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The top three challenges in 2022 remained the same as in 2020, with all but dealing with mental strain improving significantly.
Looking ahead, members anticipated the primary issues that they would need to adapt to.
Skill development was rated one of the biggest issues members needed to respond to professionally. Seventy-seven per cent of those surveyed agreed they needed to develop more skills and knowledge due to the pandemic. It was rated as the third most important issue (15 per cent), behind the change in workload (18 per cent) and change in the working environment (17 per cent).
LIV CEO Adam Awty said the findings reflected a level of proactiveness from members of the legal profession to adapt to drastically changing workplaces in the wake of the pandemic.
“The pandemic was undeniably a big disruptor in the way we live and in the way we work. We’ve seen Victorian lawyers adapting rapidly to this new environment in the last few years, particularly the use of technology and hybrid working. This survey indicates that these pandemic-related changes continue to be top of mind for the profession,” Mr Awty said.
“There is clearly a recognition among our members that to deliver the best outcomes for clients and the community, new skills are needed in a post-COVID world.”
Among the changes anticipated in members’ professional lives is the increased use of technology. Seventy-two per cent of respondents expect this to be a permanent feature.
Sixty-two per cent of respondents anticipated the option of working from home to be permanent Overall, the majority of those surveyed welcomed the opportunity for a hybrid working model, while just 16 per cent were uncomfortable with this.
Similarly, members generally preferred the flexibility of either online or in-person for their professional development and networking activities.
“While that face-to-face connection with colleagues and members of the profession is still important, it’s clear our members want flexibility both in the way they work, and the way they learn,” Mr Awty said.
Follow the link to gain access to the Law Institute Victoria survey findings.
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