Many people hoped that Covid-19 would be a thing of the past by now. Unfortunately, it looks like it will be staying with us for a while yet. If you are like many attorneys, you are trying to accommodate your clients virtually. Here are some tips to make virtual lawyering work smoothly so you can keep your business running and still offer excellent legal representation.
Make sure you have the right equipment
Depending on where you live, you may have a request from state or local health authorities to work from home if you can. In other places, attorneys are still going into their offices, but only meeting their clients virtually. Whichever ends up being the right option for you, be sure you have the space and equipment you need, including:
- Office space – With today’s technology, you can reproduce your office almost anywhere with internet access. That being said, you probably need access to a quiet space where you can concentrate and make private phone calls to clients.
- Video conferencing devices – Most laptops work just fine for this. If you don’t have one, you may need to invest in a tablet or some other device. There are many tools to choose from, such as Zoom, Slack and Teams.
- E-signature capabilities – E-signatures will allow you to finalize documents in real-time and save you money on couriers or delivery services.
- E-filing abilities – Many courts have required e-filing for a while Make sure you can follow all court requirements from your home office.
Keep to a schedule if you can
This one has been hard for many people. When everything feels like it is up in the air or you have children at home, sticking to normal routines may seem impossible. Not only is it important for your business, however. It is also important for your mental health. Follow your normal morning routine of getting ready for work so you can get into a work mindset. Try to set aside blocks of time where you can focus on your work.
Stay in touch with your clients
You have a professional and ethical obligation to follow up with your clients on a regular basis. You may want to increase your contact while working virtually to make up for the lack of in-person interaction. Reassure them you are still working on their case, even from home.
Re-think your billing system
Consider going digital with your billing and increasing options for clients. E-mailed bills might be easier to track for both you and the client. With the economy still in rough shape, many clients could be struggling financially. Consider using payment plan options and different payment methods to make it easier for them.