5 Ways This Election Could Affect Law Firms

The dust has yet to settle on the election, but it’s not too early to identify specific impacts the results could have on law firms and the legal services industry. Below are five ways this election could affect law firms.


  1. A win for Biden-Harris is also a big win for large law firms and their clients. With BigLaw and its individual attorneys fundraising heavily on Biden’s behalf and Harris’ husband Doug Emhoff a partner, until recently, in DLA Piper’s L.A. office, the ticket has strong ties to the industry. The transition team for the DOJ is populated with numerous lawyers from Am Law 200 firms.


  1. Regulatory changes will mean more work in certain practice areas. In specific areas, such as environmental protections and foreign trade, the Biden administration is likely to make newsworthy changes and Trump-policy reversals. These shifts will benefit lawyers who advise clients in these areas. Ultimately, the broader economic trends will have much farther-reaching ramifications than these particular laws or regulations.


  1. For most lawyers, the impact of this election will be tied mainly to the economy. How the new administration uses executive orders or issues regulations in relation to COVID-19 will affect solo practice and small firm clients. Meanwhile, firms that serve larger corporations may continue to dodge the pandemic’s devastation.


  1. If the federal government is divided along party lines, more action will take place at the state level.Especially in California, law firms will benefit in the short term with respect to compliance issues. But regulatory changes may have adverse effects as well, negatively impacting the economy and causing businesses and individuals to leave the state. Down the line, this is likely to hurt the legal services industry in the region.


  1. Smaller practices will continue to struggle. With divided outcomes, increasing market share and consolidating into bigger firms will still be effective strategies. Practicing solo, in contrast, will get even harder.


What election-related changes to the world of law do you foresee?

Marketing: Professionals Must Define Needs

If you’re waiting for potential clients to voice a need right now, you may be waiting a while. And they’ll be losing out in the meantime.

Even under the best of circumstances, clients are often shortsighted or mistaken about what is in their self-interest. As a professional, you are likely more attuned to the consequences of inaction than your clients are. You recognize that, in this moment when many are especially reluctant to spend money, addressing issues sooner rather than later will be well worth the upfront costs. All the unknowns will make a lot of business owners want to hit the pause button when it’s more important than ever to deal with certain problems.

During a crisis, it’s crucial for business development that professionals define the needs they serve. Landlords without rent coming in probably aren’t looking to hire a law firm even though a workout could save them from foreclosure. Likewise, retailers seeing a huge drop in sales probably aren’t looking to pay their employment lawyer. It’s up to the lawyer to explain the benefits of an updated employment handbook and new training processes, as well as the costs associated with non-compliance when it comes to the new rules around paid sick leave.

You, as the provider of such preventative measures and other valuable solutions, should take it upon yourself to anticipate these needs and articulate them in your messaging. The people you’re speaking to will likely be feeling the instinct to crawl into their shells, and it’s your job to clearly explain why that isn’t in their best interest.

Describe the problem these clients can expect down the line if they don’t take certain steps now. Then, have something specific and deliverable to offer that will solve this for your audience before it has the chance to become a bigger issue.

While you’re very much aware of the ways you can provide critical support to your clients right now, they may not be. Make these points clear to give them the best chance to weather this crisis and yourself the best chance to help.