All areas of the law are impacted by closings and social distancing recommendations from the government as the effects of the spread of coronavirus remain uncertain. Businesses of all kinds are closing temporarily or suggesting that teams work from home.
What should lawyers be doing during this uncertain time? And how are the courts responding?
Tips for lawyers:
Work from home
Keep yourself and your clients safe by staying out of the office and practicing social distancing. Take advantage of video conferencing tools, texting, and phone calls to meet with your teams and your clients.
Set up a Modern Attorney profile
When you have a profile on Modern Attorney, you can promote your page online so that clients know they can still get the legal help they need during this trying time. Your profile will also alert clients that you accept video calls and other forms of communication that will allow for more flexibility.
Send requests for continuances on your cases
It’s a good idea to request a continuance on cases so that they can be postponed to a later date, re: social distancing. You can request to postpone hearings, trials, or any other proceedings that take place in court.
Keep your clients up to date
Remember to keep communication open with clients, even if things are postponed and you can’t meet in person. Let them know what’s happening with their cases and in the courts and what can be done over video conferencing to help move the process along. Make sure they know how to contact you if they have any questions or concerns.
Keep your legal teams in the know
Update your legal staff and paralegals on their options for working from home as well. There should be a plan in place for team communication and work expectations. Set up video meetings or calls so that everyone stays current on what’s going on.
Make the most of your time at home
Try to stay calm and enjoy spending time at home with your family or pets. Staying positive and using your time wisely will alleviate the frustration that can come with being stuck at home. Do things you enjoy, like catching up on reading, listening to music, watching movies, or playing a game.
What are the courts doing?
Many courts across the country are closing and delaying or rescheduling all activities. At NextChapter, we’ve added a resource to our Help Center that will keep you updated on the status of all of the bankruptcy courts, so you can check your area and see what’s happening. View the status of your court here.
We’re living through uncertainty, but it doesn’t mean that your practice has to be at a standstill. Because NextChapter is completely cloud-based, you can still use the platform while you’re at home over the next few weeks. Visit our Help Center or reach out to our team should you have any questions during this difficult time.