Impact of COVID 19 on Ugandan legal professionals

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Covid 19 impacted all businesses in Uganda with the service sector hit the hardest. Some businesses stayed standing especially in the manufacturing, health trading and agriculture sectors. Every business was impacted, not all in the same way. Here we focus on a few issues, specific to legal professionals.

There is no known survey done here in Uganda, but one recently done in the UK, by The Law Society’s Law Management Section, suggests that firms are forecasting a 10-20% drop in revenue for the 2020/2021 financial year.  In our case, here at ASB Advocates, we have witnessed a 50% drop in Revenues and as much as 70% in number of client consultations. What does this say about the whole sector? We cannot possibly fathom. Not without a paid research.

According to UNDP (in May 2020),COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on criminal justice systems around the world, hindering access to justice and putting a spotlight on vulnerable groups who already endured a higher risk of human rights violations before the pandemic: suspects, accused, detainees, prisoners, as well as victims of crime. And together with legal service providers, information technology experts, development partners, Academia, private sector and civil society in Uganda, UNDP has called for expanded use of e-justice as a means to deepen access to justice.

In developed countries, Legal professionals have adapted impressively quickly to working from home and holding and attending hearings remotely. And so have countless of other professionals in different sectors.

At ASB Advocates, we have listened to our clients, both individuals and businesses.Their challenges are real and ongoing.Doing nothing is not an option.

While access to Legal services and legal representation has dropped, there has been a significant increase in internet usage, a surge in Social Media usage and an increase in smartphone usage.

And therefore, as a full service law firm, we are exploring and adopting 3 aspects of online access; a blog that will share educative content, hosted on an e-commerce Web App and well integrated with Social Media.

We believe by doing this, we will be educating the average Ugandan, giving them much needed access to valuable information, access to consultation at a press of a button and where applicable, contactless service.

The Covid 19 Pandemic has changed the world; nothing is ever going to be the same. Change is inevitable in the ‘New Normal’ and it is about time we change with it. Someone has to satisfy the customer’s ever changing needs, and here we are!

Watch the Space!

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