Law firms will feel and respond to the impact of COVID-19 as they transition to remote work. While newer firms should make the transition smoothly, more established firms and smaller organizations may find it more challenging.
A lot of firms will lose staff and high-touch clients. Some restructuring will most certainly be needed. The good news is, firms that are strategic and proactive during these challenging times will emerge stronger and better prepared for the post-COVID landscape.
4 remote work equipment essentials for law firms
COVID-19 requires law firms to reimagine their work environments. Moving to a remote work set up can seem daunting. But a methodical approach can ease the transition and future-proof your firm.
- Firms should establish electronic-signing capabilities. Setting up e-signature will help your firm finalize documents swiftly and securely.
- Intakes should also be moved online so that potential clients can quickly and easily find you.
- Invoicing should be managed via email rather than through USPS. This will help the accounting department manage payments and billing efficiently.
- Take advantage of online video conferencing tools. Google Suite (Hangouts), GoToMeeting, Slack, and Zoom facilitate online collaboration with staff and clients. Touch base with far-flung staff in morning meetings to review accomplishments and set goals.
5 tips to communicate with your law firm’s clients when working remotely
It’s important to focus on client communication. Your clients should understand how you’re adapting to remote work, and what they can expect as COVID-19 continues. This is also a prime chance to take these new remote work policies and adapt them into your firm’s longterm plan. As technology connects clients to law firms, they will expect a more modern approach to case management. Giving your clients a convenient experience shows them that their time matters.
- Begin by sending weekly emails to clients informing them about what’s happening at the firm. You can use these emails to provide them with relevant information – like employee rights, applicable laws, or federal legislation that might affect their business – and reassure them that even though there aren’t bodies in the office, everyone at your firm is still working diligently.
- Be proactive with your communication and encourage current and potential clients to reach out if they have any questions, concerns, or other needs as you work remotely.
- If possible, offer reduced rates or monthly payment plans to help clients who might be struggling to stay afloat.
- Establish that your firm is an unwavering resource. Even though the office may be closed, clients will not see any difference in terms of responsiveness or commitment.
- Call clients directly to offer help and reassurance as you work remotely. Reach out to former clients as well to let them know your firm is up-and-running. Consistent communication will also keep you top of mind and help with referrals and new client acquisitions when the economy eventually rebounds.
Show your clients that your firm is adapting to remote work
With a proactive work from home strategy, your firm can provide clients with the attention and diligence they expect. Demonstrate to clients and prospects that your firm can be relied upon during moments of crisis.