Anyone who’s worked in a hybrid law firm environment for the past two-plus years has experienced their fair share of ups and downs. Now, nearly 90% of law firms offer some sort of hybrid model, according to Smokeball’s Law + The Great Resignation survey. But what’s the best way for firms to find success in this environment?
Smokeball President Ruchie Chadha and David Williams, owner of Williams & Williams Attorneys at Law in South Carolina, teamed up to walk legal pros through the ins and outs of hybrid life. While firms discovered the many benefits of hybrid, like improved work-life balance and access to more high-quality job candidates, teams can quickly grow disconnected and burned out without proper planning.
That’s why it’s important to thoughtfully structure your hybrid law firm, even if you’ve already been operating from multiple locations since 2020. David, whose firm ran two offices even prior to 2020, walks through the best ways to optimize your firm’s technology, build a hybrid implementation timeline and structure your workday. Even when employees work in myriad locations, they need to maintain functionally equivalent workspaces, client relationships and inter-office communication.
As every firm also learned in the past two years, technology is a critical piece of hybrid law firms’ success. Nearly 90% of firms in Smokeball’s survey added at least one new piece of software in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing them to take on more clients, increase their billable hours and work fewer hours overall, among other benefits.
While video communication software was the No. 1 new technology added, Ruchie and David recommend a host of other tools for hybrid law firms. Just as important, the two offer tips for vetting your technology providers, including reviewing their onboarding and support options.
You may also have noticed a shift in your culture while operating as a hybrid law firm. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of firms in Smokeball’s survey report the pandemic negatively affected culture, while 15% cited a positive effect.
Surprisingly, a noteworthy share of our smallest firms (32% of firms with two to five members) actually reported a positive effect — the environment bolstered a sense of all-hands-on-deck camaraderie. Ruchie and David offered a healthy hybrid culture toolbox, designed to help firms with one to 30 members support communication, belonging and productivity.
Build a better hybrid law firm for the long term: Watch the free on-demand webinar today.