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Management Assistance Program

It Is Time to Start Re-Planning Your Future (April 29, 2020)

No one knows what the next weeks and months will look like for our country and our world.

I don’t want to seem overly pessimistic but getting back to normal “soon” does not seem to be the most likely scenario. Some people don’t like the phrase “The New Normal,” but to me, it is about as benign and accurate a label as possible.

Here’s today’s tip for lawyers. Open a document, a physical file folder, a computer file folder, a Google Drive folder, your favorite bookmarking tool or whatever you use to save information for later reference. You can call this The New Normal, My Future or something more basic like 2020 Law Firm strategies. This is where you can save your thoughts, notes and links to (or copies) of the articles you read that influence you.

Smart lawyers will recognize there is no way to avoid some of the coming changes. Predicting the future is always a questionable enterprise. But here we have a truly unpredictable combination of public health, rapid changes in consumer attitudes, widespread angst and economic uncertainty, combined with a likely acceleration of people losing their jobs due to technology advances and changes in consumer demand.

We all lack sufficient facts to form a rational plan. But you would still be foolish not to try because you need to chart your own future, not just “react with the pack” or blindly do what someone else says you must do. That begins with marshalling facts.

So, here is my first suggestion for those who want to start re-planning their future. Read 7 Ways The Pandemic Will Forever Change Law Practice by Robert Ambrogi at Above the Law. You may disagree with some of his predictions. But Bob is as qualified as anyone on the planet to make predictions about the future of law. Agreeing with everything you read is not the point. Making some notes to chart your own future is.

For extra credit

Listen to Clio CEO Jack Newton and Robert Ambrogi on Episode #26 of Clio’s Daily Matters podcast as they discuss our present and our future. “Lawyers have an opportunity to experiment,” Bob says.