Life in the USA | How to communicate with your lawyer during the COVID-19 pandemic

Life in the USA | How to communicate with your lawyer during the COVID-19 pandemic

With the spread of COVID-19, most industries have to adjust their usual business practices. Lawyers are no exception.

To prevent the further spread of COVID-19, many lawyers seek to minimize personal contacts with existing and potential clients. What should you keep in mind if you need legal advice in the context of a pandemic?

The use of technology in communication between a lawyer and a client

  • Telephone communication. Some law offices are still open, so lawyers and employees are ready to receive calls as usual. However, many firms that have decided to close their offices for a while, redirect calls to lawyers and employees who work remotely.
  • Email and file sharing applications. Thanks to the availability of email and file sharing applications (such as Dropbox and Google Drive), you can usually avoid physically transferring documents to a lawyer. Scanned or photographed documents can be downloaded and sent by e-mail to both the lawyer and the client.
  • Video conferences. Telephone communication has certain restrictions. Therefore, many lawyers and firms now use secure video conferencing to communicate with clients and colleagues. Most video conferencing applications can be used from any device (including a smartphone or laptop) equipped with a camera. Video conferencing is especially useful when more than two people are involved in the communication or in situations when someone needs to share their screen with other participants in the meeting.

What to do when personal contact is needed?

In situations where personal communication between the client and the lawyer is necessary, taking certain precautions can reduce the risk of infection.

  • Maintaining the distance. If you are meeting with a lawyer in person, it is probably recommended to avoid shaking hands and keep a safe distance from each other, according to the CDC recommendations.
  • Cleaning of surfaces. The CDC and medical experts recommend various ways to minimize the spread of the coronavirus through disinfection of surfaces such as tables, door handles, switches, countertops, handles, tables, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and the like. If you have concerns about visiting a lawyer’s office, ask in advance what precautions the office takes.
  • Meeting in the open air. The CDC suggests — when personal presence is necessary-to choose a place outdoors or in an open, well-ventilated room. In most cases, it’s probably best to have face-to-face meetings outdoors, if possible.

Based on the materials of nolo.