Before we start discussing how the legal industry operates during the pandemic, we must examine how COVID-19 affects legal issues as a whole.
The pandemic isn’t only seen in its physical manifestation. It’s cannot only be measured through its lethality and infection rate. Other factors help measure this tremendous and overwhelming force that has swooped across our planet, and we can’t ignore those factors. One overwhelming malady that existed long before the pandemic began is the inequality and injustice in every country.
The Shadow Pandemic
The UN has recently claimed that there has been a shadow pandemic happening for quite some time now, and its effects have been exacerbated by the physical pandemic we have today. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans were forced to work in informal sectors, one that doesn’t care about the health and dignity of its workers. In Saudi Arabia, employees have to work as slaves in fear of losing their jobs. However, the shadow pandemic doesn’t stop in the workforce. It has affected entire households as well.
We all have the right to shelter and own our property, but various people have to suffer the indignity of not having adequate shelter for their families because of the pandemic. Some banks have claimed specific properties from people part of the low-socioeconomic bracket. Other significant companies sought unfair claims upon homes that couldn’t pay because of the pandemic. Landlords force out paying tenants to shelter their own.
All of these and many more injustices exist in the shadow pandemic. This shadow pandemic is even more exacerbated as many in the legal industry were forced to stop working for a few months due to lockdown restrictions. Many were left to suffer these indignities because of it.
Online Court Hearings
Justice will always prevail, and the legal sector has adapted to the changing circumstances of our world. We can now help solve the injustices that have increased during the pandemic through online court hearings.
The legal sector has always been a traditional one. As a result, it was one of the slowest to adapt to digital changes among the hundreds of industries worldwide. Its foundation has always relied upon its physical interactions, after all. However, this hasn’t stopped the digital transformation of the industry when the pandemic hit.
Take the state of Texas, for example. It was a state that did no digital hearings before the pandemic. However, once the pandemic reached its borders, about one million online court hearings were immediately done in a single year. This shows that the legal sector can adapt when required and has the necessary infrastructure to do it.
The preservation of every court hearing is essential for swift justice. However, the pandemic has made it hard for reporters to do their job due to lockdown restrictions. But through the use of digital technology, some court reporters have started using video formats to cover depositions. These digital court reporters have learned the intricacies of the digital environment. They’ve learned to create a working infrastructure in mere days to ensure that the recording of every court hearing is as efficient as possible.
There’s also an increasing number of professionals who have agreed to give a helping hand to those in need. They’ve created social media accounts primarily for this purpose.
Because of the injustices and inequalities that exist during the COVID-19 pandemic, many legal professionals have taken their expertise to help those in need through online platforms. They are offering legal advice for free for those in legal trouble. However, these are usually reserved for employees who were dealt with an unjust hand by their employees and those at risk of losing their source of livelihood and home.
These helping hands also reach many investors willing to donate money to those who need legal service. This has become a source of hope for millions of people worldwide who are left in the shadows because of certain restrictions made by the pandemic.
The Future of the Legal Industry
The future of the legal industry is quite clear. It’s a future that’s determined by its ability to adapt digitally because that’s how it’s going to handle the shadow pandemic that’s slowly enveloping the globe. The faster it can adapt digitally, the faster it can deal with various legal issues today. However, the industry’s future does not only rely on going digital.
It’s also relying on various good Samaritans that exist in the sector today. These legal professionals can start a united front to fight the injustices and inequalities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This can help the legal industry recover its lost legacy and eventually lead the world out of this darkness.