The legal industry is at the forefront of embracing remote working, with law firms and corporate legal departments increasingly adapting their policies to allow for such arrangements. This shift has been driven by a combination of factors, such as cost savings, greater flexibility for employees, and the ability to draw on a larger pool of talent from around the country. Additionally, the pandemic further accelerated the trend of remote working, with many legal teams now operating entirely from home.
As a result of this move towards remote working in the legal sector, experts predict that demand for talented lawyers who are able to work remotely will be higher than ever in 2023. For those legal professionals seeking a career in law, it is becoming increasingly important to develop skills and expertise that are compatible with virtual work environments. This includes understanding new technologies, mastering communication skills for remote teams, and embracing a flexible attitude towards work.
Advantages of Remote Legal Jobs
There are several advantages to working in a remote job. One of the most significant benefits is the flexibility it offers in terms of work location and schedule. Remote legal professionals have the freedom to work from wherever they choose, whether it be from home, a coworking space, or even while traveling. This allows them to create a work environment that is most conducive to their productivity and well-being.
Another advantage of remote legal jobs is the potential cost savings for both employees and employers. Remote workers often have lower overhead costs, such as commuting expenses and the cost of maintaining a professional wardrobe. Remote workers can also appreciate many cost of living savings when they perhaps work for a firm based in New York but they live and work remotely from a place with a lower cost of living such as Ohio. Employers also save on overhead costs, such as office space and utilities.
Remote legal jobs also allow companies to tap into a wider talent pool since location is no longer a limiting factor. This can lead to increased diversity and a stronger team dynamic. In addition, research has shown that remote workers are often more productive and have higher job satisfaction than their in-office counterparts, which can lead to increased retention rates and lower turnover. Having work arrangements that allow employees to balance their professional and personal lives can be a key factor in attracting and keeping top talent. Positions such as contract managers, legal support, and eDiscovery experts are likely to continue working remotely on a permanent basis.
An increasing number of businesses and law firms are utilizing the services of contract employees with a legal background, as they can easily be incorporated or removed from teams based on shifting requirements. This approach not only provides financial flexibility and diversity in legal services but also can improve the morale and motivation of permanent staff by taking on new projects without the stress of increased workloads (or the dread of layoffs). This might explain why 44% of hiring managers intend to increase their use of contract professionals in the coming year.
One more advantage to consider when it comes to remote legal jobs is the potential for higher compensation. According to the 2022 Above The Law Solo and Small Firm Compensation Report, attorneys at firms in a city or metro area with a population of one million or more reported earning higher compensation on the whole than their counterparts in smaller regions. Among both sets of attorneys, the largest groups of respondents reported compensation between $100,000 and $249,000. However, metro-area attorneys were more likely to earn $250,000 or more, while a higher proportion of attorneys in smaller markets reported salaries of less than $100,000. This suggests that working in a remote legal job in a larger market may lead to higher earning potential.
Remote Legal Jobs Outlook in 2023
The outlook for remote legal jobs in 2023 is promising, with the continued growth of remote work in the legal industry. According to a survey by the National Association for Law Placement, the number of firms offering hybrid work policies (with a remote and in-person component) has steadily increased over the past few years, and this job market trend is expected to continue.
This includes both full-time and part-time positions on legal teams, such as paralegals, legal assistants, and other support staff. It’s easy to find job postings for remote jobs across the legal industry including in-house providers, entry-level positions right out of law school, regulatory and of course the private practice of law.
The Pandemic Affected How We Work
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the way law firms and legal departments work. The sudden shift to remote work has accelerated the growth of remote legal jobs as law firms and companies have adapted to the new normal of working from home.
One of the main reasons for the growth in remote legal jobs is that the pandemic has forced many organizations to reassess their traditional ways of working. Law firms and companies have realized that many legal roles can be done effectively from home. This has led to a significant increase in the number of remote legal jobs available, as well as an increase in the number of legal professionals seeking remote work.
Remote work has also helped to reduce the cost of legal services, as law firms can now tap into a broader pool of legal talent, regardless of their location. This is allowing law firms and companies to find the most qualified legal professionals for the jobs, without the added expense of relocating them.
In terms of practice areas, there is a wide range of job openings available in remote legal jobs. This includes positions in corporate law, intellectual property, litigation, real estate and more. Many firms and organizations are open to hiring remotely for a variety of roles as long as the candidate has the necessary experience, technology, and communication skills.
In addition to traditional law firms, there is also an increasing demand for remote legal professionals in other industries, such as technology, healthcare, and finance. This presents a variety of opportunities for legal professionals looking to work remotely in a range of different fields.
Increased Adoption of Technology Facilitates Effective Collaboration
One of the most significant changes over the last few years has been the widespread use of video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet. These tools have allowed legal professionals to communicate and collaborate effectively while working remotely, by providing a platform for virtual meetings, court appearances, depositions, and document reviews. They have also enabled legal professionals to interact with clients, colleagues, and court officials remotely, allowing them to maintain the same level of productivity and effectiveness as if they were working in person.
Additionally, cloud-based document collaboration and management platforms have also become more popular, as legal professionals can easily share and review documents remotely, with clients and colleagues. This allows for real-time collaboration on legal documents and case files, regardless of location.
Moreover, legal practice management software has also seen an increase in adoption, as it allows legal professionals to easily manage their work remotely, such as case management, billing, and document creation. This has helped to streamline work processes and increase efficiency, making it easier for legal professionals to work from anywhere.
The use of these types of remote work tools has become mainstream in the legal industry. This has drastically changed the work experience for attorneys and other legal professionals. It has also helped open many more doors to pave the way for attorneys to leave the “traditional” practice of law and embark on a new job path as a freelance attorney.
Overall, the outlook for remote legal jobs in 2023 is positive, with a growing demand for legal services delivered remotely and an increasing number of job openings available. This trend is expected to continue as more firms and organizations embrace the benefits of remote work.
LAWCLERK Can Help You Find or Hire Remote Legal Work
LAWCLERK is an online marketplace that connects hiring attorneys with freelance attorneys, also known as “lawclerks.” In short, LAWCLERK helps busy lawyers get work done.
Hiring attorneys can leverage LAWCLERK’s network of thousands of talented remote associates to find and hire help for specific legal tasks or projects on an as needed basis. These tasks can include legal research, document review, drafting legal briefs, and more. For those attorneys and firms needing ongoing help, they can use LAWCLERK’s Hourly Associate or Subscription programs to fill those needs.
On the other hand, job seekers looking for remote legal jobs can use LAWCLERK to find and apply for freelance legal work that they are qualified to perform. They can also create a profile, showcase their experience and skillset, and connect with hiring attorneys with a customized cover letter to profile their expertise. There are opportunities spanning the whole spectrum of practice areas from probate to employment law and everything in between including transactional work similar to outside general counsel and even mergers and acquisitions.
LAWCLERK makes it easy for job seekers to find work that fits their schedule and their desired level of commitment, and for hiring attorneys to find the right person for a particular project without the need for a long-term commitment or traditional hiring process. Visit LAWCLERK for more information.