April 7: The gig market for legal technologists may experience a significant uptick this year as downsizing law firms look to continue leveraging their expertise.
Despite the COVID-19-induced curveball thrown into legal market, staffers working on client matters that require specialised litigation support will keep their jobs—for now. Legal technologists who are let go can still likely will find part-time work, noted David Netzer, founder and president of US-based recruitment consultancy Legal Tech Talent Network.
“In terms of increased hiring, I would predict there will be part-time gig type of work for people that if the economy stays like this are eventually laid off,” Netzer told law.com. “If law firms were to take on a matter that requires an expert, I think these people will be hired for contract work.”
Though COVID-19 is stoking job insecurity, Netzer noted the shift toward more legal professionals working remotely may have bolstered some law firms’ confidence in remote employees even without a pandemic.
“With this forced shift of law firms, corporations and consulting firms having to allow their employees to work remotely, we will probably see a bit of a comfort level with these law firms to take on more gig and contract workers,” he noted.
And such contract work be easy to come by. COVID-19 legislation, downsizing and potential litigation related to the novel virus likely means a boon for some practice groups, Netzer argued. Those practices include bankruptcy, probate, medical malpractice, employment law and bad faith lawsuits, which could lead to firms needing at least short-term support staff.