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Lawyers in a Pandemic- How Legal Fraternity is Adapting to a COVID-19 Crisis Tells Supreme Court Lawyer Sarthak Chaturvedi

Sarthak Chaturvedi a practicing Advocate at the Supreme Court of India, New Delhi expressed his views on the current situation of legal fraternity and how they are adapting the new system.

Sarthak Chaturvedi

The Novel corona virus crisis not only has had an unprecedented impact on everyday life but also, jolted the legal fraternity globally. Courts have a huge backlog of cases, proceedings are delayed and many lawyers are struggling to get clients. This type of change is difficult. Even individual lawyers are struggling to serve their clients while working at a distance.

So, amid these new challenges and fickle circumstances, there is one fundamental question in every lawyer’s mind, How lawyer’s should adapt to a Covid 19 crisis ?

Word of advice for lawyers:

As people, businesses and big corporates around the world demonstrate their resilience and come together as one to beat this virus, lawyers and legal fraternity need to demonstrate a similar kind of resilience and agility to see through this period.

So, if you are a lawyer and stressed out of the Covid 19 situations then brace yourself up. Below is the list of some practical ways to adapt to a new normal and come out stronger.

Getting ahead with virtual communications

The way people access the legal system- courts, lawyers, and even the law itself is changing dramatically, rapid transition of legal fraternity to virtual communications.

From cloud-based access to documents to video conferencing platforms, technology can dramatically change the way lawyers work.

For instance “Technology”, such as video conferencing, can allow lawyers to discuss confidential matters with their clients easily and cloud-based platforms like dropbox create an ability for lawyers to work from anywhere.

Given that technology will be the lifeblood of lawyers’ ability to operate, lawyers who have been slow to adapt to the use of technology must learn to embrace it.

Boosting your online presence

Gone are the days when the statement ”establishing a strong online presence” meant just having a smooth website. You need to understand that having a well-optimised website is important but is not the end of the story. Nowadays, you need to have a strong online presence on multiple platforms.

Especially in times like these, it’s critical to send signals to the public that you’re ready to help. Online legal directories significantly expand the reach of a lawyer looking for business and effective social media engagement on professional networking sites like Linkedin gives you a better chance of reaching a lot of potential clients.

5 social media channels that are crucial for lawyers:

Linkedin

Twitter

You-tube

Facebook

Lawyers in a pandemic- Anticipate your client’s needs:

As a lawyer, one of your crucial jobs is to anticipate the legal challenges and roadblocks of your potential clients. In these uncertain times, businesses are understandably confused and concerned. As they are prompt to respond to these new challenges they run the risk of suffering the negative consequences of misunderstanding, overlooking, or failing to recognise key legal issues that may impact them. This is when your anticipation can help solve their legal challenges.

Simply, put yourself in your potential client’s shoes and try to anticipate their challenges or mistakes, and then make sure to make your clients realise that you are well prepared to help them navigate the road ahead.

Diversifying your practice:

Not all practice areas are suffered at the hands of the COVID 19 crisis. In fact, some areas are doing very well in downtimes. Owing to the fact that every lawyer having studied for the bar exam has the foundation to practice in any area of law, they can translate their current skills to a new law-practice endeavor.

Here are some tips to find the focus areas.

Start by thinking about the practice areas that may be needed in times of crisis. Once you are done making a list of practice areas, cross-check that list with the extent to which they can apply to your current skills and knowledge of those areas. The above exercise will provide you with a rough idea of areas where you can refocus your current practice.

Here are some resilient areas of practice:

1: Due to concerns brought about by virus-related mortality rates- Estate planning and succession.

2: Insurance litigation- businesses and individuals making claims to compensate for virus-related losses.

3:Causes of action alleging that employers and businesses failed to protect the health and safety of employees and patrons.

4: Bankruptcy law

5:Unemployment practice

6:Family and divorce law

Despite the unprecedented and uncertain times lawyers need to be innovative and patient in order to survive this upheaval. The key is adjusting your approach and changing your traditional working system to fit the current circumstances. Focus on activities that will demonstrate value to your clients. Religiously following all the tips in this article will position you for stability and growth as we emerge from this global crisis.

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Written by Max Reynolds

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