COVID-19 has reorganized the world order and impacted every business, industry and household nearly everywhere on earth. This includes lawyers and the practice of law.
Litigators find themselves in a perpetual holding pattern with depositions postponed, hearings rescheduled and trials on hold. Even those courts that have managed a minimum workload via telephone and video conferencing are experiencing limitations.
Meanwhile, law firms are cutting staff, reducing salaries and deferring bonuses.
So, what’s a lawyer to do?
Of course, the first order of business is to focus on health and safety. Following local health department and CDC guidelines have been the watchwords of this new world order for weeks.
For lawyers unaccustomed to waiting on the sidelines, there is work to be done and information to gather to best inform how to proceed.
CLE & Other Resources
The American Bar Association has created a COVID-19 Collection web resource that includes free-to-member CLE webinars along with on-demand CLE, many of which are also free to members through May 15, 2020.
MyCase also came out early in this crisis with a one-stop resource to assist law practices as remote work situations began in earnest. While some early-stage information is included, there remain valuable insights for practice managers to glean from the MyCase COVID-19 resource guide.
Finally, the National Association of Attorneys General created a resource that, while focused on attorneys general and their related concerns, offers a substantial one-stop shop of federal resources as well as those of many states, current COVID-related headlines and other insights.
Insights & Observations
Countless attorneys have taken to the Internet to lend their voices and home office décor to discussions involving COVID-19 and its impact on the business of law.
The Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel created a state-by-state resource, as well as spotlighting one of its own and a member of its board, Sean Griffin, in a video interview about security and confidentiality issues related to the ubiquitous use of video conferencing. Griffin, a partner with national law firm Dykema with its own COVID-19 legal resource center, advises attorneys in the video about known security concerns and makes recommendations to better ensure confidentiality when using video conferencing platforms.
The Association of Corporate Counsel has also created a page on its site offering career tools, association webcasts on COVID-19, an online discussion forum covering COVID-19 topics and other resources.
A non-profit program of the University of California, Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB), created a webinar as part of its Business of Law series that focuses on the employment and ethical impact of COVID-19 on legal practices. It’s worth taking time to review.
Where the business of law is concerned, a silver lining to be found in this COVID-19 environment is the wealth of insight and knowledge being shared in an effort to respond to the pandemic. Lawyers, associations and other law-focused entities are striving to ensure the information, resources and knowledge needed to manage this crisis are shared across the legal community.
We hope the above noted resources are of assistance as we all attempt to navigate this new normal in the legal profession.
Meanwhile, our team at First Indemnity stands ready to help you address your professional liability and other insurance questions. Contact us today with your questions or concerns. In the meantime, stay safe for yourself, your families and your clients.