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Loss Prevention Tip #37

Practical Steps for Your Law Practice During this Coronavirus Pandemic

The following practical steps for daily operations may be helpful for your law practice and business continuity plan.

Incorporate Health Care Tips and Listen to Health Experts

  • Work Area Hygiene. To protect clients and employees, add hand sanitizer inside the office at the reception desk, in the breakroom, and near restrooms and major doorways. Clean door handles and desk phones daily.
  • Limit in-person meetings by converting office meetings into conference calls or video meetings.
  • Conventional business etiquette practices such as handshakes may need to be suspended in the short term.
  • Follow basic precautions that are known to be effective such as washing hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face/mouth, avoid close contact with people if illness is suspected, cough into a tissue or into your elbow, and if sick, seek medical assistance and stay home until you recover.

Daily Operations

  • Review Sick Leave Benefits. Based on this particular pandemic, additional employee sick time may be needed in light of the two-week quarantine associated with coronavirus.
  • Remote work access. Given the potential severity of the situation, the ability for lawyers and staff to work remotely may be crucial. Make sure you have proper software licenses in advance. Make sure your lawyers and staff can securely access your system.
  • Data security and confidentiality. It is essential that your client data remain secure and confidential in this situation. Personal computers may not have proper virus or security measures in place, so you may need to consider purchasing laptops or relocating office desktops for a certain time. For added security, establishing a VPN is recommended. Setting up multi-factor authentication is also advisable. Be especially careful of email instructions regarding transfer of funds given that you will be not be able to have face to face communications during this time. If you are unable to access your physical location for an extended period of time, make sure any hard copies of files are secured and stored in a location that no one unauthorized can access.
  • Change in working hours. Keep your office voicemail message, website and social media platforms updated with any change to hours of operation. Additionally, your firm’s voicemail message should include any alternative communication methods if you are unavailable at the primary office number.
  • Client notification. Keep your clients informed of any potential disruption of service such as changes to office hours, scheduled meetings, and court appearances. Demonstrate superior client service by providing extra updates on open matters to thwart unnecessary concerns. During disaster events, this action may require phone, email, and/or snail mail communication depending on the situation.
  • Courts and Government Offices. Monitor the Courts and other government websites where you conduct business for adjusted hours of operations or closings.