Can you still practice law during the COVID-19 pandemic?
COVID-19 is here, causing havoc and destroying people’s lives. What started as a simple infection in China has ended up being labeled a pandemic and spreading to nearly every country around the world. Businesses have shut down, lives have been disrupted, and public order has changed.
Law firms in affected countries are forced to close their doors and serve their clients using different means. The question arises; can you still practice law during the COVID-19 pandemic? Let’s try and analyze the condition first.
What is COVID-19?
It’s a virus from the Corona family that affects the respiratory system. It’s relatively new, and there is no vaccine available. Scientists have warned that it might take 12 to 18 months to manufacture the vaccine. It’s spread through cough or sneeze droplets. The virus can live for more than 5 days on metal, plastic, and glass surfaces. Once your hands are contaminated, it’s easy to get infected if you touch your face with those hands.
To prevent it’s spread, people have been encouraged to stay indoors, wash their hands with soap and water for more than 20 seconds, maintain a social distance of 1 meter, and stay away from sick people.
What does COVID-19 Outbreak Mean to your Law Business?
Businesses are shutting down across the affected countries, including law firms. Practicing law under these circumstances is still possible but with certain restrictions. Business is as usual in areas that haven’t been affected by this deadly virus, but that shouldn’t stop you from taking precautions.
How can you handle this situation?
For starters, you have to think ahead and find a solution to how you will run your business if and when the viral outbreak reaches your town. It’s time you start thinking about working online. If you haven’t promoted your website for a while, it’s time you start hiring SEO experts to improve your online visibility. Invest in a decent chat application that will help you interact with your clients. Alert your clients that you will be taking operations online and how they can reach you in case they require your services.
Set up a Conference Call System
One consequence of a lockdown is that people will be forced to work from home. This includes the people you rely on to gather facts on your cases. They could be your paralegals or secretaries who help to book appointments. The conference system will help you cooperate with these people and keep your business afloat. It makes the process of working at home feel like you are still in the office. Clients can also use this system to go over their case with you, where you can discuss key details that involve them. Provide detailed instructions to them on how they can use the system.
Do Pro bono
With societies struggling with COVID-19 and people and businesses shutting down, now might be the best time to contribute positively to the society. Taking pro bono cases might help ease someone’s life. Reach out to your clients to see which one needs more help and offer your services. It not only reflects well to your business but helps to spread positivity during this trying time.
COVID-19 might be a pandemic causing a lot of pain globally, but that shouldn’t stop you from offering your services as a lawyer. Planning ahead will put you in a strategic position and will enable you to continue performing your civic duties. It’s best if you involved your clients in your plan so that they can make the necessary arrangements before things get out of hand.