April 22, 2024


Unlimited Technology

Can Lawyers Afford a Digital Detox?: The Morning Minute

CAN’T QUIT YOU – Imagine if your doctor advised you to go on a diet, but your job required you to eat constantly. And if you stopped eating, even for a little bit, all the food in your fridge would fire you and hire someone else… OK, we’ve lost this metaphor. But the point is: after the past 18-plus months, lawyers badly need a mental health break from their cellphones, laptops and other electronic alerts. However, as Law.com’s Victoria Hudgins reports, that’s not an easy proposition for attorneys whose clients expect them to be reachable and responsive at all times. Still, Patrick Krill, founder of lawyer well-being consultancy Krill Strategies, believes legal professionals laying off their electronics for a bit is a worthy and necessary goal, albeit a tricky one to achieve. “In terms of being able to digital detox, you’re confronted with this choice: Will I create a healthy boundary with my devices or am I going to be made constantly available to be seen as responsive? There’s a clear tension there in the context of a profession where we are expecting or rewarding people based on their availability,” Krill noted. So what can be done? Krill advises taking an incremental approach. “Try to reduce your usage, your scrolling, device checking by a small percentage and [go] from there,” he suggests.

CAN’T BE SAVED – Well, it was fun while it lasted. In 2020, law firms banked significant profits after saving on travel, office costs, marketing, events and other expenses during the pandemic. But, as Law.com’s Dan Roe reports, most of those line items—including attorney compensation costs, marketing expenses from conferences and events and cybersecurity spend—have surged back this year. Still, not every firm is willing now to return to a pre-pandemic business development budget. “Some of the things normally we as lawyers do with clients—dinners, lunches, presentations—a lot of that was put on hold in 2020. And I think we realized that, and our clients realized that, it’s really about the relationships we have already in place,” said Tripp Scott COO Paul Lopez. “We don’t have to do as much wining and dining as we used to do, so we can focus on making sure our clients are taken care of.”

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