The COVID-19 outbreak has reshaped our world, the way we live, and how we work. This health emergency has also led to industrial disruption, market fluctuation, and economic crises worldwide.
Legal is counted among the affected sectors, although lawyers and law firms are experiencing good demand. Still, the big wall of obstacles (arising out of the coronavirus) is making it difficult to meet. A substantial number of lawyers and law firms (including newcomers) have been focusing on personal injury law in the last decade, practicing mass marketing at a big scale. However, due to the current overall crises, there is less activity in courts, resulting in less business for personal injury legal services.
While the so far expectations from this particular legal landscape are to see things differently once the world’s situation becomes normal, many lawyers and law firms are busy tackling work-related challenges caused by several effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Impact of COVID-19 on Personal Injury Law Firms and Lawyers
The emergency lockdown, implemented due to the COVID-19 outbreak, has almost eliminated travel for both work and recreational purposes, restricting many other outdoor activities. As a result, the number of new cases of injuries (that mandate the involvement of a personal injury lawyer) is declining.
The real impact of COVID-19 on the practice of law can be seen in the courtroom; as almost all court activities are closed, the pending/ongoing personal injury cases/proceedings have been slowed.
With postponed hearings, extended deadlines, and rescheduled or canceled depositions, the urgency required in the legal profession is somehow not there. Consequently, the public is in less need of attorneys. All these factors and delays are a threat to income.
During the lockdown, many personal injury lawyers are trying to get cases on fast-track using video conference tools for discovery and mediation examinations. Still, litigation delays (due to limited court proceedings) will have a negative impact on injured people/accident victims.
COVID-19 has impacted all areas of the legal profession; lawyers and law firms, while seeking opportunities, are working in full swing to adapt to the industry’s current situation.
Tips for Personal Injury Lawyers to Minimize the Impact of COVID-19 in Future:
Clear & Consistent Client Communication
Client communication is essential to build and keep the trust intact, especially when clients are also confused about their legal matters and the current situation worldwide. As they might be unaware of many facts affecting their case, provide them with accurate information frequently, or whenever required; keep them updated.
Many of your clients might not come to your office due to safety reasons; thus, clear and consistent communication with your clients can reduce their stress concerning their case being delayed, merely because they must be waiting for a hearing date, court trial, or resolution. This is the crucial time when they need your support; therefore, consistently communicate with clients and give them appropriate advice when requested.
Trust Expert Guidance
As your clients trust you for expert legal advice, you also sometimes need expert guidance from experts to retain your law firm’s best interests and productivity. With the right guidance and support, you can improve decision making for your firm, further helping your firm grow now as well as in the future.
For instance, some firms have professional, experienced resources to provide you with expert guidance and litigation support specialists to help you with your cases. You may get their support to implement smart and practical strategies, suggested by experts.
Relying on trusted partners for assistance in the crucial time like the current, you can mitigate the negative impact of crises on your legal practice; in fact, this will help you get your law firm in a position to tackle most challenges emerging in the industry.
Protection of Workforce
Employee safety is paramount. Employees at your law firm are your assets, and it is your responsibility to keep them safe and sound. Implement policies for social distancing and other staggering work timings in order to keep the workforce stress-free and secure.
Consequently, your law firm will be able to continue operations with less disruption amid the outbreak. You may also temporarily bring in additional policies such as flexible work timings, provide help to employees needed to work from home and guidance to those working at the office.
Measures You Can Consider to Protect Your Workforce Include
When possible, it would be good to allow employees to work remotely, especially those that live in a high-risk area. Providing them with necessary equipment such as laptops, internet, and other items they will need for work will help reduce their stress as well as boost their performance while working from home.
Employee communication is as important as client communication; this will ensure productivity monitoring, and your employees don’t feel isolated.
Working at Office
While ensuring that your law firm is safe for employees to work at, encourage social distancing, provide hand sanitizers, keep frequently touched objects such as door handles, work desks, handrails, etc., clean and disinfected. You may also consider not using time punching machines for some time to ensure containing the spread of COVID-19.
Apart from that, either postpone or hold team meetings virtually.
Ensure you keep everyone associated with your work safe by not meeting anyone face-to-face; instead, you can communicate through video calling applications such as Zoom, Skype, etc.
It’s wiser not to participate in conferences and other events concerning the legal landscape, however, such events are most likely to be canceled. You should also avoid unnecessary travel for case-related purposes, and ask your team to follow the same.
While efficiently handling work-related issues and policy implementation, keep your employees and clients updated with everything they need to know. For both workforce and clientele, understanding and empathy are a must. Besides, ensure your law firm management team is focused on finding how the outbreak is hampering operations and determining what appropriate steps are needed to prevent your firm from lagging. It is best to have a contingency plan to tackle staff shortage issues at any point in time.
At Legal Support World, we provide competent paralegal support services that can help your law firm get through these uncertain times. Feel free to talk to us regarding your concerns or requirements. We will be happy to help you tackle the challenges we all are facing. Call us today to get a free trial. Call us at +1 646 688 2821 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.