Insight from Arizona's legal recruiting expert, Heidi Bayer, on the impact of the...
pandemic on the Valley’s legal community.
As we know, this pandemic has wreaked havoc across our nation and around the world, but what has the impact been on the Valley’s legal industry? Being immersed in the community, I have witnessed several evolutions over the past six months.
Initially, most, including myself, were feeling some level of shock and fear – firms, companies, and individuals alike, were focused on protecting themselves and those they love. As the legal community began to navigate through what was unfolding, compensation changes were rolled out, resulting in furloughs, salary cuts, bonus delays, etc. Many individuals started to work from home, and suddenly, the way people approached their work, their clients, and networking shifted.
After several weeks, people began to accept this new way of life was not going away any time soon, and I noticed a distinct shift in the industry. People were hunkered down, becoming more insular, and priorities were changing. It was interesting to observe; increasingly, attorneys were reporting struggles with networking, the line between the personal and professional aspects of life were more blurred, and even finding the energy to do a Zoom call versus a regular call was becoming a challenge.
Fortunately, over the past couple of months, circumstances have evolved and despite everything that is happening, some normalcy has returned – at least, for many. Countless firms have eased, and in some cases, reversed the compensation changes adopted by their firms when the pandemic first hit, but the most consistent message I hear is people are busy. Hence, billable hours are up, and hiring and lateral movement are strong. People are, also, increasingly connecting, whether in-person, via technology, or by phone.
There is a definite upswing in networking and while there may still be a long road ahead, there is renewed hope and reason for optimism. What I value most is the importance of the human connection and closeness of our legal community are proving unbreakable.
I am proud to serve you and hope you and yours continue to stay well and navigate successfully through this challenging time.
Heidi Bayer is the Principal and Legal Recruiter for HGB Professional Recruiting Solutions. Heidi moved to Arizona from Toronto, Canada, in 2001. She has an Honors B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Toronto and her law degree from the University of Windsor, Windsor Law School. Heidi is humbled to be a trusted resource to Arizona's legal community.