Legal Industry Trends from Clio: Overall Need for Lawyers Has Not Subsided

By State Bar of Nevada Staff

Clio, a State Bar of Nevada member benefit provider, has been researching the impact that COVID-19 has had on the legal industry. It regularly publishes the information it discovers in its Legal Trends reports.

While one recent report, “Clio’s COVID-19 Impact Research Briefing: June 17,” shows that law firms may see delayed recoveries, the good news is that Clio’s survey also shows that the overall need for lawyers has not subsided. Through April and May, consumers consistently reported anticipating having to deal with a legal issue, many of them related specifically to coronavirus, according to the report.

Clio’s report also shows that many in the legal industry have forecasted a flood of imminent demand, specifically around coronavirus-related employment issues, as clients begin to pursue legal matters they have put off since the start of the pandemic. However, similar to April, nearly half of consumers surveyed still say they would put off their legal issues until circumstances surrounding the pandemic return to normal. Recent analysis of other industries has shown that social distancing behaviors may continue to negatively affect businesses beyond the easing of restrictions.

New York state was one of the harder-hit areas in March and April, seeing more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases daily. During this time, new matter creation among law firms in New York fell dramatically lower than the national average. As coronavirus cases started dropping in the following weeks, new casework for law firms continued to fall a low as -40 percent compared to baseline in New York, according to the report.

When it comes to specific practice areas, business-related law has been less affected than others. Traffic, criminal and personal injury are among the practice areas most affected by the pandemic. This finding is likely due to many court systems operating at reduced capacity during social distancing restrictions, and the fact that people are driving less, the report says.

However, intellectual property, insurance, and commercial sale of good, among others have been less affected or have recovered significantly since the start of the pandemic. This result may be due to the fact that many businesses are in a better financial position to pursue legal matters and may be dealing with new challenges as a result of the pandemic – and many businesses may not have the option of putting off their legal proceedings, according to Clio.

For more information, see Clio’s Legal Trends Report for COVID-19’s Impact on the Legal Industry.