Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic began in Central China on 17th November. The very first COVID-19 case emerged in the Chinese City of Wuhan which had then affected almost all the countries around the world. Now, it has already been a year since we are dealing with this deadly virus with no signs of ending anytime soon. As the weather has turned cold, many countries are now experiencing second and third waves of COVID-19 which brought a fresh wave of lockdowns in many countries e.g. France, UK. The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted business of most sectors around the world. Law firms are of no exceptions as well. While most of the firms have been impacted the most, some of the firms are trying to reinvent themselves finding innovative ways to keep their operations going by leveraging technology. We will see how these top most firms have reinvented themselves.
Responding to the ongoing pandemic
When this outbreak started, nobody had imagined how long this would be. So as precautionary and preventive measures, all the countries had declared ‘Lockdown’. All kinds of public gathering were strictly prohibited and public were asked to maintain ‘Social distance’. All activities including court proceedings were kept on hold, legal associates, and paralegals of the firms used to work from home. Later on, when the lockdown was slightly lifted, urgent matters used to be heard via virtual hearing to avoid gatherings at the court premise. In such circumstances, what most of the law firms used to do is that the associates and paralegals of the firm used to attend the chamber in every alternate day. After months when Courts and Tribunals were declared open in full-fledged, firms started to maintain safety precautions at the work premise and instructed its team to do the same. This is how the top law firms around the world are coping up with the difficult situation tactfully.
Maintaining Communication with Clients
The spread of Covid-19 has changed the world we live in and affected all sectors of business in which law firm is no different. Much of the regular client communication was on pause due to social distancing. Therefore, communicating the client is the foremost thing to resume the regular operational activities. For any law firms, meeting with the clients to figure out the next course of action & strategizing the same is very much fundamental which has been on pause due to social distancing after a brief period. In order to keep the works going, setting up online meetings, conferences via zoom, meetings or email has benefitted the law firms to establish their client communications.
Observing Pandemic Response
At this time there are so many unknowns’ issues now that the firm has to deal with. Mandatory precautions are not all to fight against this deadly virus to ensure safety. Apart from wearing face mask and hand gloves, using sanitizer or washing hand frequently, in law firms it used to be monitored by the authority whether these measures are sincerely complied with or not. Not only that, these law firms continuously observed the response of others towards this pandemic and make their own strategies to cope with COVID-19.
Establish Emergency Plans
One simply cannot predict the duration of this ongoing crisis/pandemic. Therefore, top law firms plan out the whole contingency plans in case of any turn of events when situation demands. This is no secret that legal industry runs in more like a conventional way which became a big challenge on the face of this service and changed it entirely. For instances, shifting the regular court proceeding to virtual hearing and teams working from home has certainly changed the regular course of business for a big time. Considering the ongoing circumstances, firms take preparation for second wave of outbreak and prepared themselves for the changes.
Adapting Changes & facing Challenges
Changes come with challenges. Use of technology is a matter of cost and maintenance. On the other side, clients also seek for a concession considering the crisis that has already caused loss thereby finding the law firms in a difficult situation. However, considering all the challenges and obstacles that may be coming in the firm’s way to success, most of the firms are doing an incredible job in responding to the COVID-19 crisis in their own way.
In spite of it all, challenges will remain as the pandemic continues onward. Coach Deshpande of JJ has rightly said that the biggest challenge is to keep the runners motivated for fitness. As for the law firms, they prepare themselves with a motivated team to respond, adapt and drive variations as well as to overturn challenges of all sorts.