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Navigating the COVID Chaos: Emerging Trends, Options and Opportunities

Navigating the COVID Chaos

Many of us are planning for 2021, and not knowing what the future holds during these uncertain times makes it difficult to assess how to proceed.

Partners have real concerns about their future. Many law firms are weathering the challenges associated with the pandemic offering cuts in compensation, furloughs and layoffs.

During this pandemic, the legal industry has embraced technology working straight through this crisis. Several new trends in the legal industry have emerged.

Succession plans, and retirement have all been accelerated as COVID as impacted every aspect of our lives. The demand for legal services will continue to grow.

Time is indeed precious. Making a move now, may be the best option. For others, it may be prudent to let the market even out and look to the next chapter in your career in 2021.

Question is, do you have the luxury of waiting this crisis out?

The following provides insights into emerging trends that will guide you to assess what options and opportunities lie in the coming months.


Law firms are focused on deepening trust with clients and staffing up specialized areas of the law. As a consequence of COVID, businesses have an increased need for counsel for labor and employment, bankruptcy, matrimonial, tax, and litigation. Another area that has seen an uptick in movement is health care.

Attorneys who specialize in these areas are well-positioned to negotiate better terms or secure a post with a new firm.

The number of moves by the market has declined during the pandemic. There are markets with the most movement per capita is notable. Texas, Florida, and California have experienced more activity compared to the other states. Overall, the movements are consistent over the past few years.

Industry experts project many attorneys are looking to make a move in 2021. The need for due diligence has never been more important. Experts predict that only half of the lawyers onboarded will be able to bring along their book of business.
Work with a legal recruiter who can advise you of the top candidates who can make it rain in this new normal.

Notably, Philadelphia has seen a jump in lawyers relocating from other markets. Given the need for many firms to work remotely, relocations may continue to rise in many markets.

Insiders report that several AM law firms are considering having their attorneys share office space. The lawyer will alternate each week working in the office while the other works remotely. This will be a permanent arrangement to offset the fixed operating expense of running an office while giving lawyers more flexibility in their work, life balance.


The coming months are certainly going to be volatile and uncertain. Be prepared. Talk with a legal advisor to map out your plans for 2021 and beyond. Those who will thrive in a chaotic environment must be able to act quickly. Be careful not to burn bridges. Transparency is necessary.

What has worked in the past may no longer make sense. Be open and consider being proactive, not reactive to the challenges ahead.

Several significant changes are occurring right now. Capitalize on these opportunities. Consider that staying put may be the best course of action. And for some, while making a move now may be your best option.

Make 2021 your best year yet.

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About On Balance Search

On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence. Shari Davidson, president of On Balance Search Consultants, advises experienced attorneys at every stage of their career to take them to the next level. From making the lateral partner move to succession planning.

Shari takes a proactive approach to advising law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm. On Balance Search identifies opportunities that exist today, not down the road.

Contact us today. Call 516-731-3400 or visit our website at

Please note that the content of this blog does not constitute legal advice and is only intended for the educational purpose of the reader. Please consult your legal counsel for specifics regarding your specific circumstances and the laws in your states pertaining to social media and any legal restrictions regarding the law.


Ms. Davidson, a highly skilled human resources executive with over 20 years’ experience that specializes in finding top talent in the legal community. Shari has placed lateral partner attorneys, as well as group acquisitions & law firm mergers and has assisted several prominent clients in recruiting lateral associates, paralegals and internal professional administrative positions.