Law in the Time of Covid
“Let me just say that I am aware that this may be a weak play on the famed novel Love in the Time of Cholera but if we try, we can glean many similarities. Lovers separated by distance trying to communicate through telegraph while being pulled in separate directions by external forces.
Law in the Time of Covid
By: Jacqueline Goralczyk, Esq.
Let me just say that I am aware that this may be a weak play on the famed novel Love in the Time of Cholera but if we try, we can glean many similarities. Lovers separated by distance trying to communicate through telegraph while being pulled in separate directions by external forces. As attorneys during this unprecedented time, we face similar hardships. Finding new ways to communicate with clients while staying faithful to our processes and ethical considerations.
I believe if we polled a sampling of 100 attorneys one of their biggest daily pain points would be “finding the time.” Finding the time to meet with current clients, finding the time to prospect for new clients, to organize our law firms, to review staff, to go to the gym, to see our families, and the list goes on! Now let’s be honest, I did NOT poll 100 attorneys because who can “find the time” for that. But I did ask a few trusted colleagues and they certainly agreed.
More than ever we have been called to embrace technology as the gateway to keeping our law practices afloat during this trying time and in the process, we may end up with an unexpected result. I do not want to belittle the catastrophic circumstances that we have found ourselves in, the loss of life has been horrific. What I do want to highlight is the idea that we have been met with a challenge and may come out on the other end with a positive result. This test of our will and perseverance may lead us to a more efficient lifestyle.
Three weeks ago, we started with the fire drill of moving most of our employees from on site to at home workers. And do you know what happened? There were some minor hiccups but within a day or two those were fixed, and we have found that our employees are just as efficient working from home and thanks to technology, no one can tell the difference. What did we save? Certainly, commute time and on a lighter note dry cleaning bills, although their “work pajama” rotation may be struggling.
We have focused our time on rolling out a new software that will provide our clients with a more streamlined and user-friendly real estate closing process, a hybrid e-sign closing process, and mountains of virtual marketing. Let’s look at the average time it takes to meet in person with a perspective client. My normal process is to schedule a lunch, potentially change that lunch depending on my schedule and my lunch date’s schedule, drive to said lunch, spend a minimum of an hour at that lunch, drive back from the lunch while swinging through the Starbucks drive through and then finally making it back to my desk. Said meeting just took up a minimum of two hours of my day. On the other hand, we can schedule a virtual face to face meeting where we call in from our desks, spend 15-30 minutes with one person or a group and still have time to make a cup of coffee and take a quick walk in under an hour. We just gained an hour of time that we did not have! We can now use that time to more constructively work on client matters.
I’m not saying that this time in our lives has been the death of the business lunch, but I do think that it has shown us that there are alternatives for many of our normal activities. So, while Fermina and Florentino may have found the gift of love….in the time of cholera, we may have found the gift of time….in the time of Covid.
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