In the age of COVID, there are very few industries that have not been disrupted in some way. There will always be essential workers who will have to perform in-person duties, but advances in technology have made it possible for most corporate work to be done remotely. In the field of law, there are pros and cons to this.
In addition to going to school for years and spending additional time as an associate in a firm, there is a human side to working in the legal industry. Many clients will be emotional, bereft, or in need of comfort. This is the kind of thing that cannot be satisfied through a screen. Since most people are already in a fragile state of mind because of all the challenges of 2020, there has been a change in the direction of priorities. More people need comfort and validation, in addition to feeling a human connection. It falls upon the lawyer to become even more finely attuned to their clients’ needs and work harder to assure them they are in good hands.
One way to do this is by having the best possible equipment. The last thing a person needs to do is go through a traumatic story and then have to repeat it because of technical difficulties. Make sure you have a proper webcam and microphone setup. The other important thing is to have compatible software so both sides and communicate clearly. This can be easy achieved by downloading numerous free apps that are available such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Skype, to name a few.
There are other ways to make use of a virtual office. Having to rely mostly on technology to handle paperwork makes remote business almost easier. There are now so many ways to send documents that it isn’t even necessary to come to the firm in-person. Exceptions exist of course, such as notaries confirming identification and getting virtual signatures to carry the same weight as written ones.
Any lawyer can tell you that they are only as good as their paralegal team. When they are also not under your direct supervision, it is vitally important to have regular check-ins and hold everyone accountable for what they are tasked with.