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Never let a good crisis go to waste. —Winston Churchill
Human trials may begin September 2020 and a vaccine may be delivered early 2021. Most likely won't be able to get it until late Spring 2021. Normalcy, to any degree, for law firms is unlikely to return until at least then. Life at the law firm, however, will never look like it did before the coronavirus. The attorney who emerges stronger after coronavirus is the one who, like Churchill, does not let it go to waste.
There is opportunity now for the legal industry use this pandemic to look in the mirror. Upon reflection, countless changes will appear that can better how law firms operate and the individual lawyer's practices. And from this pandemic a clearer picture of what the legal industry, at large, should value is likely to emerge.
Citing the same advice from Churchill as that quoted above, counsel Gary Goodwin gives examples of how this time may be used efficiently:
This time in their remote offices has given lawyers ample experience in using the full capability of the digital platforms that their IT departments have (ideally) been working on for the past few years. These capabilities would have included video conferencing not only with staff but with clients as well. Lawyers have also had the opportunity to learn all about the security protocols that IT has been talking about in order to access secure documents from any location.
The digital law practice has certainly evolved during this period. But the individual lawyer can also use this pandemic to explore personal ways to improve his or her practice. Matthew Barach, writing for Lawyer Monthly offers this:
While being equipped for the present is important, being prepared for the long haul is just as crucial. Have a set plan in place for the upcoming months and take this extra time to plan for every possible scenario as a result of this crisis. What can you take away from this experience and how can you utilize that to better prepare yourself and your business? Encourage your employees to think outside the box as well and ask questions such as: Should you consider adding a new practice area? Should you be making more time for yourself? How can I continue to balance life and work?
Again, the attorney who thrives during this period is the one who is mindful to identify aspects of his or her legal practice that needs improvement and to address them. Simply put, do not waste the opportunities this period provide.