The Transformation of the Workweek and the Modern Injury Law Firm

Lawyer in a Suit
Michael Ehline, Law Office Study Program Graduate

Rapid changes in technology and professional attitudes have upended the regular personal injury law office culture. The standard nine to five job, if it ever existed for a self starter, has been partially replaced by those in mobile offices, contract workers, remote services, and other significant shifts. For those in the personal injury legal field or about to enter it, it is important to recognize how these changes have affected the practice and will continue to shape it.

Newly minted lawyers may not realize the profound changes the last thirty years have brought. You can no longer get $20,000 in a quick settlement for a soft tissue, rear end auto accident. Those lawyers cashed out when the getting was good. In fact, you may not even get enough of an offer from the bodily injury adjustor to cover the client’s ambulance ride to the hospital. This, coupled with the lowest labor participation rate in U.S. history since Jimmy Carter, means there are simply less people being injured by someone covered with assets or big insurance polices to make a big injury PI case worth signing up.

Rapid Modernization To Keep Up With the New Normal?

More people than ever are now on food stamps, and also being told by their own government that they cannot make it unless they have some kind of government assistance. Even college professors, many of whom were 60’s hippies, and even communist terrorists, are indoctrinating kids with a constant, steady stream of socialist propaganda. With a pervasive entitlement mentality, it is no wonder law firms are not hiring or growing.

To cope with this, the transformation of the brick and mortar office into a leaner, more efficient version has been breathtaking. Attorneys can now carry all of their documents, contacts, and information in a phone or tablet and be able to call their clients and partners from the road. Rapid modernization will continue throughout the near future.

Combining Resources With Attorney Competitors?

For many attorneys, changes mean forming alliances with former adversaries. This means that the traditional law office will be changing away from the same format as before. Some attorneys:

  • Have given up a permanent office, sometimes sharing space with other lawyers or even other professions. Furthermore, such changes have affected how office staff operate.
  • Have outsourced their secretaries to a shared phone line.
  • Now keep all of their files on electronic sources or in shared (but secure) office space.

For some, these changes may seem alien if not properly initiated. The average workweek may be very different, as well.

The PI Lawyer Home Office – Is it Legit?

Many personal injury attorneys can take their work home with them, calling back clients from their car on the way home or to a meeting, or emailing back from the comfort of their home couch. As with any stressful career choice, this can have its drawbacks, as well.  Many of the advantages of having a clear line between work and personal time can recede. It is important that consumer attorneys, especially those just entering into the tort law profession, are able to create boundaries in order to have their needs appropriately met.

40 Hour Workweeks are Only a Reality for Union/Government Employees

Forty hours a week was never a reality for anyone who really wanted to get ahead. For high achievers, this concept never even had a chance to become an archaic measurement of a workweek. The bottom line is that there are three types of people:

  1. Those who make it happen;

  2. Those who assist those who make it happen, and;

  3. Those who live off the work of numbers 1 and 2 above, via welfare, Section 8 Housing, affirmative action and other non meritorious handouts designed to elect a permanent political class of overseer, wealth re distributors.

For person number 1 above who happens to be a personal injury attorney, freed by the ease and simplification of email, computers, and digitization, these self starters may no longer need the same period of time to assist their clients, but they can count on bureaucrats coming after what little you saved by downsizing at some time or another. Some will find these changes liberating, and allow them to work far longer hours to serve many more clients. Some will keep a traditional schedule, but this is becoming rarer as the field changes each year.

You will need to cut all the loose weight and probably will not be able to hire anyone, since you are now responsible to be their nanny, while you try and be a rainmaker and support your family. By yourself, or with your partners, you will need to decide who to keep, and who to ditch. Being able to identify how each affects the role your business plays can be a key experience.