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How to Manage a Remote Law Firm and Legal Team Effectively During COVID-19

From Dave Poston, writing in the North Carolina Lawyers Weekly:

While attorneys have made great strides in recent years expanding remote worker policies and capabilities, as well as having a newfound commitment toward wellness, COVID-19 forced immediate implementation upon the legal industry.

Timelines vary, but we could be in this situation for a few months or longer. An oft-heard refrain in conversations today is, “We told them for years that we could work successfully from home. I’m curious to see if we have to go back to the office when it’s all over.” In other words, for their safety or because they prefer it, attorneys and staff may demand to work remotely in the future.

Thus, now that you’ve survived the initial adjustment period, your job as a leader is to quickly determine: how do you manage a remote law firm or legal team effectively for the near and long-term?

Here are five tips to help you not only adjust, but also thrive.

  1. Stay true to your mission and values, and communicate

Shani Magosky, founder of The LeaderShift Project, global executive coach, and leadership consultant with experience managing highly-distributed workforces, notes, “Leaders need ‘north stars’ to guide them. This is a time to stay aligned with firm and company values.”

Hopefully your firm has established and written mission and values, and you already use those regularly for decision-making. Pull them out and redistribute them to your team. Just as when you bring experience, precedent and common sense to your legal counsel, bring a printed copy to all critical discussions. And if your firm or legal team doesn’t have them, make your own personal list immediately.

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