There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a variety of unfamiliar situations on countless individuals, and this certainly includes attorneys. However, the new work at home atmosphere has created entirely new career landmines that could endanger your career. Here are five such examples, as noted by the American Bar Association.
Lack of Responsiveness
Legal ethics, standards of politeness, and common dictate that attorneys respond to their clients as quickly as possible. Failure to do so is not only against legal standards, but it could cost you a client. An era of instant communications means that you do have to respond to clients as quickly as humanly possible during normal working hours – and, sometimes, even after those. Make sure to always be able to do so.
Adjustment & Preparation to your New Environment
Working from home is exceptionally convenient, of course, but that won’t let you off the hook for a failure to prepare on your part. You must always ensure that you are prepared to work from home and have everything you need, including access to fax machines, the ability to send certified mail, and all necessary equipment.. Furthermore, you always have to be prepared for the unfortunate contingency that your internet connection dies. What’s your backup plan if this occurs?
Adjusting to Local Legal Rules & Regulations
If you are working from home, you may be expected to navigate a series of complicated, confusing and conflicting legal rules and regulations. It is on you to prepare for these regulations and ensure that you are meeting all local standards.
Being hacked is a nightmare scenario for anyone, but or an attorney, it can be particularly deadly. Remember, if you fail to take reasonable preparations to protect client security, privacy, and data, you are responsible. Working from home is no excuse for such an event occurring.
If you are an attorney, odds are good that you know the meaning of hard work and its importance. Don’t let the idea of working from home seduce you into getting too comfortable. This is still a difficult economic moment, and that means it is incumbent upon you to work as hard as possible and do everything you can to increase your billable hours.