In the short time before the announcement of a worldwide health emergency, Kandace L. Scherr, ESQ., managing partner at Frank, Frank & Scherr, LLC, had already decided that it was time to modernize operations. As lockdowns and shutdowns spread throughout the country, she saw the need to accelerate her timeline and adapt to a “new normal.”
The firm would transition from traditional “brick and mortar) to a legal practice where all staff would work remotely. For successful implementation, Ms. Scherr took the following steps:
- Providing computers, printers, supplies, and everything necessary to work from home
- Implementing cutting-edge technologies and processes
- Incorporating services to communicate (Zoom and Skype) and perform administrative tasks (Docusign, eFax, Dropbox, and Stamps.com)
Thirty years of practicing law build up a significant amount of hard copy files. With an existing Cloud-based Practice Management Program already in place, Ms. Scherr established the groundwork for the firm to become a paperless operation.
Minimizing Staff Isolation. Maximizing Client Contact.
Combined with the tangible operational changes, Ms. Scherr felt the need to address the separation of employees and the isolation that would result. Zoom technology is now used for staff meetings and coffee breaks. Live streams equally valuable, non-work-related activities that range from mediation classes to live music.
Care for clients remains a priority, both in legal matters and their well-being. Attorneys are using videoconferencing to minimize risks in their meetings with elderly clients. Recently passed, pandemic-era laws allow for remote witnessing and notarizations.
Makeshift Changes Could Become Permanent
Ironically, the law office’s lease was already up for renewal, with various options being explored. While multiple options are on the table, staff have become quite accustomed to a more flexible “distributed office.”
Ms. Scheer has advice for her peers. Let go of preconceived notions. The confluence of coronavirus and cutting-edge technology has changed the way that legal practices do business. She believes that it is time to embrace it.