Dorothy, the Scarecrow and Tin Man famously chanted, "Lions and tigers and bears, oh my" in the Wizard of Oz when they were collectively contemplating what they might meet on the road ahead (yeah, you know, that yellow brick one). For the legal industry, what's on the immediate horizon? According to a COVID-19 weekly survey of GCs by @TechGC, 49% have, or are planning, a hiring freeze; 19% have implemented, or are planning to implement, furloughs; and 40% are requesting modifications to contracts.
At @ElevateNext and @ElevateServices, while we are helping our customers through the immediate crisis in a number of ways, we are also spending a lot of time looking at the "Next Normal". In other words, what will happen after the figurative dust settles. What these survey statistics tell us is that law departments will be forced to do much, much more with much, much less. Less staff, less budget, but the same, or even more work. We have said before, but we are even more certain now, that customers will have to turn to flexible staffing options (i.e., contracted help without the overhead) and to law companies that can support them with global resources at much lower costs to handle the work they have with the constraints they will face.
That's okay. Look at the Next Normal like Oz–the promising destination you want to get to. Will there be scary things (and times) along the way? Yes. But surrounded by solid business partners and foresight about what's on the path ahead, you and your companies will be okay. And maybe in the end, this will reveal that "same old same old" is the fake wizard behind the curtain and the Next Normal will reign for now. Oh my!
Given the rapidly evolving situation, TechGC has implemented a weekly survey of its members including General Counsel from a broad cross section of tech companies of all stages, sizes and industries across the US and abroad. The survey is designed to monitor trends across the ecosystem and provide valuable insights to inform company decision-making.