June 17 2020

Prescription for legal professionals: Work during and after COVID-19 (Part three)

Laura Fauqueur and Tomás García Navarro

In light of the COVID-19 situation, we have started a new format of publications named “Prescription for legal professionals”. We ask the contributors to the Legal Influencer Hub to express an opinion upon certain questions or hot topics in a brief and comprehensive way. In this second Prescription, we ask again: "coronavirus will most probably change everyone’s life forever. What is your prescription for legal professionals to adapt to the new reality?" Here are the prescriptions of Legal Influencers Tomás García Navarro (Argentina) and Laura Fauqueur (Spain).

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Tomás García Navarro’s prescription
Every time there is a crisis, you have several opportunities to learn new things and progress! In fact, crisis brings changes, and these offer great chances to any person who has his or her mind prepared for adapting and take advantage from it.

You can choose to complain and stay where you are, or you can embrace change and discover a new opportunity.
These are some tips in order to “welcome the crisis”:
- You should be always ready for new realities and learn to see them as opportunities. I always think that when “chaos” arrives, great new opportunities are going to be born. You only have to be prepared, ready for it. In fact, at any moment, lots of things that you can´t control can happen in your environment.
- Provision of digitalized legal service consultancy is easier and faster. You don´t have boundaries; i.e., with the new legal market trends you can make your services reachable to everyone worldwide. Nowadays Internet and its tools make communication easier, and you may also win time in many cases. And “Time” is “money”…
- Accept that conditions may change at any time, embrace uncertainty. You cannot control your environment. Therefore, it is easier to work with the variables than to fight against them. You need to accept that you cannot control the future, what is going to come, and face uncertainty willingly. So, you work in the present, thinking in the future with all the tools and circumstances that you know, waiting for them to change.
- Work in the different variables that you can control. You always have to work on the things that you can manage. Don´t waste time trying to control all the circumstances and actions that are beyond your scope. Maintain focus in all the things that are under your control.

Laura Fauqueur’s prescription
This is a new era opening up in front of us. Just as the personal lives of many of us are completely upside down because of the lockdowns, our professional lives are changing drastically and almost completely!
Even the most optimistic or naive among us can’t deny anymore that there is no coming back. So, my first advice would be to be brave and embrace change and uncertainty as a new way of life. There is no point in regretting the past situation.

Lawyers have a huge role to play in this world that is yet to be rebuilt once we get rid of the urgency of the pandemic. Justice is the pillar of a free and fair society and attorneys in particular - and the legal industry at large - must be the strong warrant of it.
So many years listening to experts encouraging lawyers to abandon their comfort zone in order to innovate and improve… well, I’d say most of the legal professionals are (unwillingly) completely out of their comfort zone right now. So why not seize the opportunity to make a fresh, legal start?
To do so, two basic skills must be fostered more than ever: empathy and creativity.
The first one, empathy, is the “art” of wearing your clients’ shoes in order to discover the stone in their shoe. Identify perfectly your client, his/her problems that – just as yours– have probably changed and increased due to the pandemic, and create your legal services as a solution to their specific problems. There are many ways to carry out this very necessary task of empathizing with them.
The second one, creativity, is the “art” of pushing your brain a bit further, getting rid of self-censorship that usually makes us go for the first solution, or the most reasonable and sensible one, instead of allowing us to think bigger and wilder to come out with much more disruptive solutions. There are also a lot of exercises to help legal (and non-legal) professionals think out of the box and be less judgmental to achieve untraditional and much more brilliant results.
These two skills, as well as others such as collaboration and efficiency, are in my view what will make the difference and help build at last a much more human-centred legal industry. Disciplines like legal design are currently being used to empower legal professional with the use of these skills.

Article author:
Laura Fauqueur
Article author:
Tomás García Navarro

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