COURTS FEEL THE STRAIN - An ongoing global pandemic is making the problem of judicial and court staff vacancies even more acute, Alaina Lancaster reports in this week’s Barometer newsletter. To be sure, courts were struggling to manage their backlogs and eagerly awaiting new judges well before COVID-19 was on anyone’s radar. But as virus-related shutdowns have made case backlogs grow to new heights, there’s more urgency to fill positions in courthouses around the nation. And it’s not just a matter of getting more judges on the bench. Court staffing shortages have also gotten worse due to a pandemic-spurred wave of retirements and a dwindling candidate pool. Solving these challenges won’t be easy, but some are pushing courts to get more creative in making court proceedings and services more efficient.

BUSINESS STAFF EXODUS? - In today’s pandemic economy, law firms don’t just have to worry about attorneys leaving for a competitor. Their business professionals, such as human resources, IT or marketing and sales staff, are also at risk of jumping ship—or leaving the legal market altogether, Patrick Smith reports. While in the past, law firms have offered these professionals better compensation than other organizations, that’s becoming less common in a market rife with labor shortages. What’s more, many business professionals are also concerned with firms’ lack of flexibility when it comes to remote working. Still, there are ways firms can convince their non-legal staff to stay, such as modernizing their work policies and ensuring they apply equally to both their attorneys and business professionals.

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