Reliance on video conferencing post COVID.

April 01, 2023

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Lawsonline conducted a survey through the years of 2021 and 2022 to find out how the COVID-19 outbreak of 2020 affected law firms in the United States. After Surveying 1000 firms, it was noted that there have been significant effects after the COVID-19 outbreak. The largest seems to be a move to video conferencing.

Generally, there are always turning points in business throughout history. A lot of these turning points can be traced back to a result of a major environmental or geo political event. Some of the most drastic changes to the way a business is conducted have been as the result of a plague or major outbreak.

 Not since the Plague of the 1340s in Europe has an event changed the way the work roles between employers and employees have been conducted.

In the 1340s, almost 1/3 of the entire European population was lost. This created a drastic change in the relationships between peasants and landlords.  At the start of the 1300s, 9 out of 10 people worked in the agricultural business with a majority of these individuals tied into a debt relationship with their landlord as part of the feudal system. However, after the Plague of the 1340s with 1/3 of the population gone, there was a worker shortage in the agricultural business. The peasants, as a result of the population shortage, were able to ask for benefits such as wages and greater flexibility in land holdings. This resulted in the end of the feudal system in western Europe.




In 2020, an epidemic once again broke out affecting a large part of the world’s population, but this outbreak of COVID-19 led to a massive isolation phase. As a result, the new business practice was to find ways to be productive while conducting social distancing. This environment created more reliance on technology and the new developments in electronic communications, such as video conferencing, to provide a solution. These solutions may have permanently altered doing business in-person for the entire business community. However, the way legal businesses have been affected has only recently started to take shape.

After Lawsonline conducted its survey, we found that 81% of the law firms had been affected by COVID-19. In addition, the Lawsonline survey found that 86% of law firms were doing more video conferencing on a day-to-day basis. The biggest example of using video conferencing came from the removal of in-person meetings for depositions, court hearings, and interoffice meetings. In addition to video conferencing adjustments, just under half of 46% of all law offices started to shift into remote office work. This hybrid of work usually consisted of part of the week spent working at home away from others and the other part of the week working in the office. This affected the ability of all business sectors to hire new employees due to many potential employees seeking a flexible work environment. While it seems to have affected a law firm’s ability to hire, the results of the employees in the law office environment related to remote work is still too early to tell. What the Lawsonline survey does show is that the modern law firm will be more dependent on electronic communications and virtual work environments than ever before.

Lawsonline Statistics for 2021 and 2022:

1. COVID-19 Effect: Has your firm changed since the out break of  COVID-19 in 2020?

81 % answered Yes, which was 801 out of 985 Attorneys.

2. Video Conferencing: Is your law firm now using video conferencing?

86% answered Yes, which was 855 out of 985 Attorneys. 

3. Remote Working: Is your firm working remotely because of the COVID-19 outbreak?

46 % answered Yes, which was 413 out of 880 Attorneys.

Some side effects that have changed the legal industry have also affected two other areas. Free Initial Consultation and Pro Bono work have started to show signs of vulnerability. The questions we asked follow:

4. Does your firm offer Free Initial Consultation?

64% answered Yes, which was 631 out of 985 Attorneys.

5. Does your firm offer Pro Bono work (free legal services)?

42% answered Yes, which was 415 out of 985 Attorneys.

Only time will tell which direction these numbers are going. It was the impression of the Lawsonline survey team that many law firms are trying to find new ways to survive and make money. Many of the law firms were already too busy to take on new work. Therefore, Pro Bono would not be a top priority, which usually requires in-person meetings with clients. Even if clients seeking Pro Bono services were contacted initially by a phone call or other electronic communication, at some point in time, Pro Bono clients would need an in-person meeting, which, as a result of COVID-19, may be an inconvenience many law firms choose to discontinue. 

The 2021 – 2022 Lawsonline survey found that, because of the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak, law firms will now use video conferencing as a replacement for in-person meetings as often as needed. Therefore, most depositions, interoffice meetings, and some appointments with clients will be by video conference only.

Supporting numbers:

Lawsonline conducted 1,094 successful surveys.

985 responded to the majority of questions.


COVID-19 effect on the law practice = 81%

801 out of 985

Firms that do some remote work  = 46%

413 out of 880

Firms that use video conferencing  = 86%

855 out of 985

Free Initial Consultation = 64%

631 out of 985

Pro Bono work = 42%

415 out of 985

Average call % of surveyors in a 2 mos. period:

Total Calls Made              1219

Surveys Conducted             16

Result Percentage           1.31%

Week days most successful to conduct a survey:

1st Tuesday, 2nd Wednesday, 3rd Monday, 4th Thursday, 5th Friday

Best times to call:

12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

For more, see:


Photo by Antoni Shkraba from Pexels.