Legal Industry Trends from Clio: Pandemic Likely to Spur New Innovations in the Practice of Law

Clio, a State Bar of Nevada member benefit provider, has been researching the impact that COVID-19 has had on the legal industry. It recently published the information it discovered in “Clio’s COVID-19 Impact Research Briefing: June 17.

The report shows that law firms may face longstanding challenges as clients continue to be affected by circumstances related to the pandemic. For legal professionals, this situation should also  motivate firms to develop new innovations to meet their clients’ current and future needs.

Law firms may be hindered by the fact that potential clients don’t know lawyers have been offering their services throughout the pandemic. As many as 33 percent of consumers continue to believe that lawyers stopped offering their services in April and May. Of the legal professionals surveyed, only 2 percent identified that their firm had stopped offering services. Firms may need to manage the perception of availability and the range of services offered during any social restrictions within their respective markets, according to Clio.

As unemployment rates continue to climb, firms struggling to bring in business may need to look at options to accommodate those who can’t afford legal fees. Such options could include temporarily reduced rates, discounted services or payment plans to ease clients’ financial burdens. Among consumers, 72 percent say they would prefer to pay their legal fees on some sort of payment plan, while only 53 percent of law firms say they are equipped to offer payment plans. Sixty-three percent of consumers also believe businesses should be more forgiving of people who can’t afford to pay for essential goods and services, according to the report.

Clio’s report also states that consumers perceive technical challenges in having to deal with their legal issues during the pandemic. Fifty-six percent of consumers believe they should be able to deal with most types of legal matters remotely without having to interact with someone in person, while 46 percent see a remote trial having a negative impact on their case outcome.

For more information, see Clio’s Legal Trends Report for COVID-19’s Impact on the Legal Industry.