Business Law and Lawyering in the Wake of COVID-19
22 Transactions: The Tennessee Journal of Business Law 365 (2021)
University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 416
28 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2021 Last revised: 8 Oct 2021
Date Written: June 2, 2021
The public arrival of COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus 2019) in the United States in early 2020 brought with it many social, political, and economic dislocations and pressures. These changes and stresses included and fostered adjustments in business law and the work of business lawyers. This article draws attention to these COVID-19 transformations as a socio-legal reflection on business lawyering, the provision of legal services in business settings, and professional responsibility in business law practice. While business law practitioners, like other lawyers, may have been ill-prepared for pandemic lawyering, we have seen them rise to the occasion to provide valuable services, gain and refresh knowledge and skills, and evolve their business operations. These changes have brought with them various professional responsibility and ethical challenges, all of which are ongoing at the time this is being written.
No doubt both the changes to business lawyering and the lessons learned from the many substantive, practical, and ethical challenges that have arisen in the wake of COVID-19 will survive the pandemic in some form. This offers some comfort. While the thought of another systemic global crisis is unappealing at best, what we have experienced and learned will no doubt be useful in maneuvering and surviving through whatever the future may bring.
Keywords: pandemic, COVID-19, business law, lawyering, law practice, professional responsibility
JEL Classification: K2, K22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation