The Coronavirus pandemic feels surreal. Yet, we are all painfully aware that this is our current reality. The virus itself is a life-or-death threat to many, but it poses unique challenges to lawyers who are trying to keep their practices afloat.
I can’t unpack all of these issues in this short blog post. Instead, in a time when we all feel a little overwhelmed, I’m going to give you four simple, proactive tips to keep your practice moving and put your legal expertise to work:
Cash flow is tight for a lot of businesses right now, and that includes law firms. However, one silver lining of the economic impact of the Coronavirus is cheaper advertising and a truly captive audience. If you have been on the fence about advertising and can afford to do so, you may get a lot of bang for your buck if you advertise now.
If the Coronavirus has slowed down your practice, it might be a good time to do a legal checkup on yourself. For example, if you know how to draft a will but have been procrastinating, now could be the perfect time for you to draft an olographic testament. It can be macabre to contemplate your own mortality, but if the Coronavirus has taught us anything, it’s that it is best to be prepared. Additionally, you may want to review your personal or law firm contracts and finances. Does a force majeure clause affect one of your personal contracts? Do you have insurance that will cover losses from the Coronavirus? For most people and businesses, these are complicated and costly issues that require hiring a lawyer. But good news! You are a lawyer! And if you have downtime because of the Stay-at-Home Order then now might be the perfect time to pull up Westlaw and do some digging on your personal situation.
When the Stay-at-Home Order gets lifted and the courts reopen, you’re going to be busy. Really, really busy. All those depositions that keep getting bumped? Yeah, they aren’t going away. So why not use this time to knock out all the things that will take time away from your practice when things start up again? There are a ton of digital CLEs available now. Knock them out so they aren’t eating up your time a few months from now.
Now is a great time to catch up with colleagues or make new connections. Reach out and discuss your respective practices. For example, I have a personal injury and disaster law background—but I don’t know anything about employment law. However, a lot of my clients have questions related to the Coronavirus. That means it is worth my while to talk to friends who I can either co-counsel these cases with or refer these cases too. On the other hand, I have a lot of experience with disaster law and property damage/business interruption claims, so it is possible that other attorneys may reach out to me with these types of cases.
Remember, although we are living in challenging times, the forced respite of the Stay-at-Home Order may give you the time you need to catch up on important things that many litigators shove to the back-burner when they are dealing with trials and depositions. Take this time to develop your advertising presence, handle your personal legal needs, knock out CLEs, and build your networks. Then you will be ready to hit the ground running when normal litigation schedules resume.