The Legal Assistants of Tomorrow Might Not Look Like Assistants at All
As lawyers get more comfortable with administrative tasks—a process accelerated by remote work—law firms are reassessing the role of legal assistants. And the changes might be drastic.
As COVID-19 disrupted law offices across the world over the past year, attorneys learned to work in a new way: on Zoom calls, in Slack and Microsoft Teams chats and, crucially, with spouses, children and pets as co-workers instead of legal secretaries and law librarians. And, because Fido isn’t particularly adept at data entry, many lawyers also found their plates full with administrative tasks that used to be handled by others.
Lawyers might reasonably take to grumbling at having to do nonbillable tasks. But the truth, some law firms say, is that hasn’t turned out to be the case. Stroock & Stroock & Lavan chief information officer Neeraj Rajpal says his firm’s lawyers are embracing technology as part of the client support experience, entering their time into billing software and contacting paralegals, IT support and research support only when needed for assistance.
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