Lane Powell Featured in Oregon State Bar Bulletin Article on the Post-COVID Future of Workplaces in Law
Lane Powell was featured in the May issue of the Oregon State Bar Bulletin in an article titled “Plotting a Return: Firms Rethink How They’ll Practice Law Post-COVID” which examined some the unexpected advantages law firms have found in remote work, and how they envision their work setups in the future.
A Clio Legal Trends report found that 28 percent of U.S. law firms were operating without commercial office space at the end of 2020, with 12 percent also indicating uncertainty about maintaining their brick-and-mortar office locations in the future. Still, it is widely accepted that law firms of a certain size will continue to need at least some amount of office space for certain operations, and many continue to exercise caution in determining how remote and in-person work will be hybridized moving forward.
When asked about Lane Powell’s transition to remote work, Vice President Tom Sondag noted that the situation has “worked out better than I ever would have imagined. We found to our delight we were as or more productive in a remote environment.” And in looking ahead to a return to the office, he explained that the firm is in no hurry to rush back, but is instead doing so with flexibility in a step-by-step manner in alignment with the state to ensure that the return is, above all, safe for Lane Powell employees.
The other firms featured in the article expressed similar notes of caution in the process of returning to the office, as well as general plans for hybridization of remote and in-person work in the future. On the hybridization process to come, Sondag expressed the “recognition that we will be practicing differently. We enjoy the freedom and flexibility remote work provides. That will change the way we utilize our space.” He also noted that the firm is committed to implementing the lessons learned from COVID and hopes to devote more resources “into our technology, and less into real estate,” while still touching upon the social and collaborative benefits that come from being together in person.
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