COVID-19 is catalyzing changes in how companies do business: more online, remote, more ad hoc, more fluid and task-oriented. I think one consequence will be that law professors will have to grapple with revamped theory of business associations.
For much of my career, the legal academy has had in mind theories of the “firm” when considering the risks, rewards, and tradeoffs of any particular organizational form. Now, however, the geographic dispersion ignited by COVID-19 is accelerating changes already underway in the gig economy, as startups and established firms turn away from vertically integrated structures to more decentralized, ad hoc “teams.” The implications won’t always be salutary—especially for wages and benefits in the absence of critical social support systems—but the dispersion could open up new points of entry for people (and underrepresented groups) insofar as barriers to entry are lowered and opportunity brought closer to home. Time will tell.