A previous post cited a Catalyst study in 2002 or 2003 (See my post of Sept. 25, 2005 about a PAR report and chargeable hours.). The law department study found in general that formal telecommuting arrangements (as opposed to occasional hours or days working at home) are uncommon. Two challenges to telecommuting stood out.
In a “culture of meetings” the lawyers feel they have to attend, in person. Second, “out of sight out of mind” when it comes to clients consulting them and ensuring that clients confer with them before making business decisions, lawyers have to be readily and physically available in the office.
These obstacles may have been muted over the past few years, as net conferences become more common, lawyers and clients are often located far apart (See my earlier post today about communications and dispersed departments.), and instantaneous access by Blackberry and beeper rules the day.