As Massachusetts courts respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and State of Emergency declared by the Governor, we have resources to help you take care of your work as a lawyer.
Governor Baker issued an order minimizing non-essential activities outside of home in effect on Tuesday, March 24 at noon. Section 4a of the Order confirms that it does not apply to the Judiciary. As detailed in a Supreme Judicial Court Order and Trial Court Standing Orders issued on March 17, 2020, courts continue to operate on an emergency-only basis. Courts are closed to the public but are staffed to enable the handling of emergency matters. Whenever possible, these emergency matters, such as restraining orders and juvenile protection cases, are being conducted by telephone or videoconference.
Further restrictions have been issued and updated notices will be posted on https://www.mass.gov/guides/court-system-response-to-covid-19.
Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers | Massachusetts LOMAP will be conducting business remotely at least until May 4th. Find more here, where we will communicate further updates as more information becomes available.
PANDEMIC RESPONSE PLANS.
To start taking the right steps for your law practice, watch Prioritizing in a Pandemic for Law Firms — a webinar organized by the North Carolina Bar Association’s Center for Practice Management. Find comprehensive resources for conducting law practice operations during the COVID-19 pandemic in this post from Catherine Sanders Reach at the NCBA CPM.
Your main disaster response efforts during a pandemic will focus on working remotely to comply with social distancing or worse, quarantine. (And still worse — we’re all at risk of falling ill.) Find key considerations to cover a pandemic in your law firm disaster plans here. Find more resources on disaster plans for law firms here.
For essentials on operating a law practice remotely, watch our webinar on How to Build a Virtual Practice presented by Brooke Moore. Brooke Moore’s 5-week course Building a Virtual Law Firm begins on April 6th. It’s being offered at a reduced rate in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Find more here.
The Oregon Law Practice Management Blog offers 5 Keys for Lawyers to Work Remotely:
- Setting up a VPN & Remote Desktop
- Grabbing What You Need from the Office
- Taking Online Signatures
- Using Cloud Storage
- Scheduling Video Conferences and Investing in VoIP
You can find a listing of resources for working remotely in response to COVID-19 here from the South Carolina Bar. Find tech issues for lawyers working remotely from Sensei Enterprises here. And also from Sensei, find more on getting started with Zoom for meetings and how to use it securely.
A listing of products and resources being offered for free to support the work of legal professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic is available here from Robert Ambrogi on his LawSites Blog. To help law firms work remote during COVID-19 quarantines, cloud-based Rocket Matter is offering 3 free months of their “Essentials” practice management and time and billing product by signing up here. Rocket Matter also offers a webinar on How to Work Remotely and Still Run a Successful Law Firm. Finally, you can also find Rocket Matter’s infographic with 6 Tips for Lawyers Working Remotely from Home here.
LAW FIRM POLICIES, CLIENT SERVICE, DATA SECURITY.
For comprehensive resources on law firm making policy updates in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, refer to this post from the NCBA CPM. Here’s What You Should Know About the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act and the Coronavirus from the EEOC.
Find essentials on how to communicate with and continue serving clients during the COVID-19 pandemic in this post also from the NCBA CPM.
Data security is critical during a pandemic. Particularly as you’re likely to be working remotely from home, watch our recent webinar on A Legal Professional’s Guide to Securing Your Home Network. Find more on a recent phishing scheme appearing to come from the CDC here. Find more resources on law firm data security here.
Find more on Paid Sick Time and Leave Amid COVID-19 here.
Find more resources on COVID-19 impacts on the legal profession on Mintz Insights Blog.
Find ABA Webinars on COVID-19 implications here — including topics on taking your practice remote, considerations for employers, for solos, for GCs, for government agencies, for healthcare facilities, and more.
Key webinars have been organized by the Boston Bar Association as well — on What Massachusetts Employers Need to Know, Post-Pandemic Contract Litigation, and more. Find resources from the BBA here.
Lawyers in Massachusetts can schedule a Free & Confidential (currently remote only) consultation with a Mass LOMAP advisor to discuss individual concerns. Begin scheduling here.
Headlines indicate the Massachusetts outbreak is on track to look like Italy’s. Find more about coping with stress, anxiety, and more during pandemic on LCL MA’s Well-Being Blog.