As the global economy continues to suffer, many businesses around the world––including law firms––will experience a transformation at the hands of a common foe: the 2019 coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). When the storm passes, the legal landscape will look much different, even long after COVID-19 is relegated to the status of a distant historical crisis.
How COVID-19 Affects the Practice of Law
The influence of COVID-19 can be felt largely in the courtroom due to incessant––though necessary––orders of social distancing from state and federal authorities. There are fewer cases overall, postponed hearings, canceled or postponed dispositions, and extended deadlines.
The overall slowdown within the practice of law poses a massive threat to income. Now, most people are swiftly moving toward access to other sources of funds, including endowments, investments, structured payment plans, and more. In these instances, attorneys who work with their clients to handle financial activities should be prepared to act fast.
Nonessential Court Cases Put On Hold
As stated prior, many court cases have been canceled or postponed, and some courthouses have been shut down to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Most attorneys are working remotely these days to flatten the curve and prevent spreading the virus to their clients.
Only court cases deemed essential (criminal bond hearings and family court cases involving child custody and visitation) are permitted. Nonessential cases such as workers compensation, evictions, and personal injury have been put on hold.
For unemployment attorneys, clients who have been laid off due to COVID-19 will require immediate assistance in unemployment, severance pay, and non-compete clauses.
The Good News: COVID-19 Will Bring More Clients
A whole host of business owners will emerge out of COVID-19, triggering a dire need for lawyers to step in and lend assistance. Business owners will seek attorneys to help them incorporate or legally protect their businesses. Attorneys will be tasked out to help business owners make important decisions regarding tax status, limited liability corporation, or partnership. Lawyers will also be tasked with helping clients operate membership agreements for who’s responsible for capital, voting shares, and stocks.
Use COVID-19 As an Opportunity to Adapt and Strategize
The coronavirus pandemic has swept all of us off of our feet, no question. This turn of events leaves us with two options: stay where we are, or adapt and move forward. During this time, and the days ahead, law firms need to reassess their situation and adapt to what is the “new normal.” These adjustments and transitions will leave us in a better position after this is all over, where we can become flexible, adaptable, and immovable.
For more legal advice, or to speak to an attorney––call Wettermark Keith today.