Analyzing the Year of the New Normal in Washington State Bar News


2021 has been a year of adaptation. Though we went into the year with cautious optimism of a return to normal, it seems that we are now coming to grips with a world in which we are collectively creating our new normal.

According to the Harvard Business Review, “[E]mployees will increasingly be working in what we call the hybrid office—moving between a home work space and a traditional office building.” This, of course, is hardly a revelation after almost two years living under a pandemic. However, the law adds its own series of wrinkles when transitioning toward a long-term hybrid work environment.

As Mark Fucile explains in the latest Ethics & the Law column in Washington State Bar News, “there are a number of risk-management considerations for the work of a traditional law firm both inside and outside of a physical office.”

And the new issue of Bar News further explores challenges of the new normal as they apply to the legal profession. Attorneys Shawna G. Fruin and Flynn P. Burke tackle the question: Does your telecommuting policy increase your risk of workers’ compensation liability?

The WSBA itself has been adapting, too. For instance, this year’s APEX (Acknowledging Professional Excellence) Awards will again be livestreamed rather than presented in-person. While the award ceremony itself is different, the achievements on display are as noteworthy and inspiring as ever. Check the full spread in Bar News to learn about this year’s winners (and be sure to tune in to the APEX livestream event at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 13).

Also featured in the latest issue of Bar News: find out how defense attorneys can help pretrial incarcerated clients advocate for their medical and mental health needs, learn about the website and how you can use it to find pro bono opportunities, look back at the WSBA’s 2021 fiscal year, look ahead at the WSBA’s plans for 2022, and much more.

And, as of this month, you can dive even deeper into the Bar News archives; past issues dating as far back as 2006 are now available online.