Depending on your location, your area may be in the process of allowing businesses to reopen. If your law firm will be able to reopen its brick and mortar business in the near future, you’re no doubt in the process of preparing the office for a safe reopening for both employees and clients.
However, since a virus like COVID-19 is unprecedented in modern times, we’ve never had to go about reopening businesses in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. As a result you may be unsure what steps you’ll need to take in order to prepare your law office and your employees so that you can safely conduct business.
Reopening your law firm: Where to start?
Of course, it won’t be business as usual and you’ll have to change your firm’s physical design and even its layout, while also revamping work processes and employee schedules. Additionally, you’ll still need to conduct many meetings virtually and ensure that your employees can continue to work remotely as needed. This means your firm will have to put in place technology, such as law practice management software, that will facilitate remote working and allow employees to access law firm information and collaborate with clients and other employees no matter where they happen to be.
In other words, there’s a lot of work to be done. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the thought of safely reopening your law firm and aren’t sure where to turn for information that will assist you in covering all the bases, never fear. Bar associations across the country have risen to the occasion and have issued an assortment of reopening guides for law firms.
Reopening your law firm: The Guides
The bad news is that not every state bar association had provided a reopening guide. The good news is that the guides provided thus far by various bar associations have quite a bit of overlap, which just goes to show that even if your state hasn’t issued one, you’ll nevertheless find lots of great information in other state guides that you can use to ensure that you’re checking all the boxes when you open your firm for business. So rest assured, one way or another, these guides will have you covered!
A few weeks ago, I shared news of the first two reopening guides published, and since that time, many other bar associations have followed suit, which is great news for you.What follows is a list of many of the state bar association guides that are currently available.
Before we dive into the guides, note that this list isn’t intended to be all inclusive. Evan so, the guides listed below offer lots of useful advice on reopening your law firm and are a great place to start as you move forward with that process.
So without further ado, here’s a list of the reopening guides available from different state bar associations and/or organizations affiliated with the state bar:
- State Bar of Arizona: Guide to Reopening During the Pandemic
- California Lawyers Association, Reopening Your Law Firm Office
- The Florida Bar: Considerations for Reopening Your Law Office
- Indiana State Bar Association: Reopening Your Law Practice
- Kentucky Bar Association: Restarting Kentucky’s Workforce: What Law Offices Need to Know to Reopen
- Maryland State Bar Association: Reopening Business Considerations for the Legal Community
- Mass LOMAP: “Reopening Guidance for Law Practices in Massachusetts“
- State Bar of Michigan: Reopening Toolkit for Michigan Law Offices
- New Jersey State Bar Association: Guidance and Best Practices to Reopening Law Firms in the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis
- New York State Bar Association: Guidance on Reopening Law Firms
- Pennsylvania Bar Association: Reopening Your Practice
- Rhode Island Bar Association: Guidelines for Reopening Your Practice
- State Bar of Texas: COVID-19: Reopening Issues Checklist
- Vermont Bar Association: Reopening Your Practice
Even more resources on reopening your law firm
For even more information on reopening your law firm, make sure to check out this 5-part blog post series on the ins and outs of safely reopening your firm during COVID-19. Another great resource is the video recording of our recent webinar, Reopening: What Law Firms Need to Know.