The legal industry is the second-most confident profession in the United States, after more than a month into nation-wide acknowledgement and treatment of the coronavirus.
The results come from LinkedIn’s inaugural Workforce Confidence Index, which surveyed over 5,000 workers across 21 professions by asking about confidence in their jobs, finances, and career. Tallied together, each profession received an overall score. The legal profession had a final confidence score of 41, just two points behind the most confident profession, public administration, at 43.
It would be easy to assume that those in the legal profession are feeling as pessimistic as employees in other industries. Especially as courts are closed, law firms are listed as non-essential businesses, and other industries like real estate are experiencing massive disruption, it stands to reason that the legal profession would likewise panic.
But that’s not the case according to George Anders’ Workforce Confidence Index, in part because disruptions to legal matters are temporary and not disappearing. Instead, courts and law firms alike will face a massive backlog when markets and states open back up in the coming months.
That being said, the initial survey found that executives were on the whole less confident in the short-term than were individual employees within their companies. Needless to say, partners and solo lawyers are an approximate analog to this, especially as some firms have resorted to furloughing or cutting the hours of some staff.
However, the overall sentiment across all industries is largely positive, and the view for two years from now is exceptionally confident. Combined with the increased testing and containment of the pandemic (in addition to several states hitting the apex of their reported cases in recent days) there is palpable confidence that the worst is behind the legal industry.
Because of the inevitability of things returning to normal—with courts and law firms opening back up to process their dormant cases—now is the best time for law firms to plan their reemergence. We can help law firms be more productive and organized as they ramp back up. Let’s get started.