"Lawyering From Your Living Room" is an ongoing project curating the best coverage from across our newsroom on how remote work has become a mainstay of the legal industry, profoundly and permanently changing how law firms, courts, corporate legal departments, law schools, bar examiners and legal tech companies do business.
It's fair to say that change comes slowly in the traditionally staid universe of legal education, where progress tends to be measured in increments. Not this year. And while online law school classes and bar exams may not have quite the staying power of remote work for attorneys and legal professionals, there are aspects of academia and its relationship to the rest of the legal industry that have likely been permanently altered.
In-house counsel had a rough year, as working from home made it nearly impossible to unplug from a ballooning workload. Still, corporate legal departments did benefit from some aspects of remote work and will play a key role in helping their companies permanently transform their operations to accommodate greater flexibility to continue working outside the traditional office.
"One, people will not pay attention," said Robert Mitchell, a partner with Mitchell & Sheahan on why remote jury trials won't work. "Two, the court will not have real control over the jury. And three, there is a certain majesty involved with being in the courthouse, and you can't repeat that by being in the kitchen."