For the past month I’ve been focusing on sharing business continuity and disaster planning advice for lawyers. The end goal has been to provide lawyers with the information that they need to begin foundational planning that will ensure that their law firms survive and thrive in the face of uncertainty, no matter what the future brings. To that end, we’ve discussed the importance of having a business continuity plan in place, why it’s responsible to do so, how to lay the foundation to prepare your firm to reopen for both the short term and the long term in 2020 and beyond, and the technology you’ll need to do this.
Of course, that was just a start. Planning for future success is no easy feat, especially when you have no idea what to expect. Even so, it can be done. Today I’ll share additional resources to help you do just that, and in the coming weeks, we’ll do a deep dive into how to go about laying the groundwork for business resiliency under any and all circumstances.
Disaster planning resources for law firms
Disaster planning has always been important for law firms, but prior to the COVID-19 lawyers didn’t always prioritize it. The current pandemic, however, has served to highlight the necessity of planning for the unexpected since so many lawyers were caught flat-footed a few months ago when quarantines were put in place.
By planning and putting procedures in place to ensure resiliency, you can be sure that your firm will endure and succeed in the face of uncertainty. The good news is that there are lots of resources available to help you do just that. Here’s a list of some of the most helpful.
Bar association guides
Any time you need information to help you run your law firm, bar associations should be one of your first places you look to for assistance. After all, that’s one of the main functions of national, state, and local bar associations: to provide law practice management support and guidance.
For that reason, it’s no surprise that you can find a ton of helpful disaster planning guides issued by bar associations. If you’re ready to create a disaster plan for your firm, these guides are a great place to start:
- Surviving a Disaster: A Lawyer’s Guide to Disaster Planning (ABA 2011) – This may be an older publication, but even so there’s lots of useful information to be found in it
- Guide to Developing and Conducting Business Continuity Exercises (ABA 2011) – Again another older guide, but it’s still full of great advice
- Disaster Planning Tips for the Law Practice Division (ABA 2017) – This more recent article includes informative technology advice, and covers the importance of using cloud computing software as part of your firm’s plan
- Creating a Disaster Readiness Plan (State Bar of Texas 2011) – This guide includes lengthy lists of questions you’ll need to answer in order to create your firm’s plan
Disaster planning checklists
When you’re establishing a disaster plan for your law firm, checklists should be a key building block of that effort. When disaster unexpectedly strikes, it can be unsettling and disruptive, to say the least. But if you have a checklist or two prepared and readily available, it can make all the difference. This is because checklists can provide clarity and assurance that everyone is on the same page and knows what the next steps are.
To give you some ideas as to what your firm’s checklists should cover, here are two sample disaster planning checklists for law firms:
- After Disaster Strikes: A Checklist (ABA 2013) – This checklist is a bit outdated when it comes to technology issues but nevertheless provides a good framework from which to work
- Disaster Planning: It’s Not Just for Hurricanes – Are You Ready? (LSBA) – This thorough guide includes a great disaster-planning checklist at the end
Ebooks, webinars, and more
Finally, there are the MyCase resources. Since the pandemic began, we’ve been busy creating detailed and informative guides and more for lawyers seeking stability in the here and now and in the years to come. Here’s a list of some of our best business continuity resources:
- Blog post: Disaster Preparedness and Business Continuity Planning for Law Firms
- Blog post: Business Continuity and Disaster Planning for Law Firms – Part 4: Choosing the Right Technology
- Blog post: Business Continuity and Disaster Planning for Law Firms – Part 3: Reopening for the Long Term
- Blog post: Business Continuity and Disaster Planning for Law Firms – Part 2: The Ethics
- Blog post: Business Continuity and Disaster Planning for Law Firms – Part 1
- Blog post: Business Continuity and Remote Working Resources For Law Firms
- Blog post: Preparing for the Unknown – Disaster Preparedness and Business Continuity Planning for Law Firms
- Ebook: 5 Ways to Manage Firm Operations and Safeguard Your Business
And, last but not least, don’t forget to sign up for our upcoming webinar, “How to Safeguard Your Law Firm Against Future Disruption.” In it, I’ll share even more useful business continuity tips and advice.