Whenever a crisis hits, many individuals and organizations consult lawyers on matters such as filing insurance claims and inquiring about their legal options. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent stay-at-home orders issued across the United States have made it difficult for lawyers to serve their clients.
To help your law firm survive and even thrive in this “new normal” working environment, follow these tips:
1. Leverage technology to successfully work from home
With the advancements in internet connection speeds, mobile devices, and cloud technology, it’s now easy to work remotely.
Gone are the days when you had to send emails with attachments to share files. Today, cloud storage services such as Dropbox or Google Drive make it easy for employees to have access to up-to-date company records using shared folders. Cloud-based productivity suites like Microsoft 365 and G Suite even allow multiple people to work on the same document simultaneously. This means you don’t have to email a file back and forth (and mistakenly work on an outdated version) just to collaborate.
Chat and voice and video calling apps also allow you to stay connected with your team, partners, and clients. You can even conduct virtual group meetings with video conferencing apps like Google Meet and Zoom. In fact, some US judges have conducted essential court hearings online.
2. Create formal rules for working remotely
While the stopgap solutions that your law firm had to use may have worked when stay-at-home orders were enforced, a formal remote work policy will help you cope with the pandemic and future crises better.
Your remote work policy should provide clear guidelines and procedures on the following matters:
- Company-vetted devices and other tools
- Project management and workflow
- Internal and external communications
- Documentation and reports
- Cybersecurity policies
3. Protect yourself against cyberattacks
With your staff suddenly forced to work from home, many of them had to resort to using their personal devices and Wi-Fi connections, which likely don’t have the same level of cybersecurity protection as those used in the office. This may make your law firm vulnerable to cyberattacks and leave your clients’ sensitive data exposed.
To prevent scenarios that could damage your firm’s reputation and make you lose your clients’ trust, review and improve your security processes and procedures related to remote access of corporate resources. Require all lawyers and staff to use the company-vetted virtual private network when connecting to the internet. Ask them to encrypt their documents in zip files whenever sending out sensitive information and to implement multifactor authentication on their user accounts.
4. Streamline your workflow by outsourcing
Prior to the pandemic, your law firm may have done everything in-house. But with all the travel restrictions and safety measures in place, you may be better off outsourcing some tasks, especially those that require a lot of legwork. A good example of this is the time-consuming task of obtaining documents.
By working with a reliable record retrieval provider such as Record Retrieval Solutions (RRS), you can simply submit your document requests and check their statuses via an online portal 24/7. With RRS, you can even expect your records in 12 days on average. This allows you to focus on more important tasks and settle cases faster.
Don’t risk the safety of your employees to obtain documents. Let RRS’s team of record specialists take care of that for you. With us as your partner, you can easily and quickly get all the paperwork you need. Contact us today!