A top legal recruiter predits the future of law firms post-pandemic - Business Insider

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The post-pandemic law firm will consist of smaller summer classes, more remote workers, and a less decked-out office, a top legal recruiter predicts (by Kate_MLA_SF)

Kate Reder Sheikh is a managing director in Major, Lindsey and Africa's Associate Practice Group, covering San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Her focus is on providing a concierge level of service to associates and clients alike.

"Law firm leases are huge resource vacuums, and if the demand for offices is down, it's likely that firms may seek smaller, if not more modest, office spaces. A hot-desk system will probably replace the vaunted private office," she adds.As we wait for a vaccine or a proven therapeutic to coronavirus, the law firm community sits in a holding pattern.

It's hard to believe that we won't see more layoffs in the near term. Some firms that are well positioned will be able to take advantage of talent coming on the market. It's likely that some of the talent that will be cut will come from the senior end of the associate spectrum — these are the most expensive employees, and partnership classes are likely to be significantly smaller in the years to come.

Before this pandemic, it was taken as a given that an in-person meeting was a required condition precedent to an offer. We will see this shift as a cost-saving and health-protecting measure, and as it's now been demonstrated, it simply isn't required.Firms will likely want to protect their statistics about the percentage of summer associates that are offered full-time positions, but to do so, they will probably bring in a smaller cohort to keep hiring at a sustainable pace.

Will this go away altogether? Certainly not. But in a world in which client meetings are also more likely to be remote, these show-pony offices lose some of their appeal. Law firm leases are huge resource vacuums, and if the demand for offices is down, it's likely that firms may seek smaller, if not more modest, office spaces. A hot-desk system will probably replace the vaunted private office.

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Kate_MLA_SF And we know how good lawyers and recruiters are at predictions. Almost as good as epidemiologists.

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