5 Ways Law Firms Can Get Ahead of COVID-19

5 Ways Law Firms Can Get Ahead of COVID-19

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We talk a lot about risk management here at ALPS, but what we’re really talking about is prevention — systems and practices that your firm can put into place to help catch human error before the mistake causes harm to a client’s case. We all know that preventative medicine is the most effective medicine and that’s the angle we’re coming from as it relates to COVID-19.

We have all been inundated with information about the virus, from cautions to concessions to cancellations. Thankfully at ALPS, we have not received any reports from lawyers of claims arising from COVID-19 issues as of now. However, there are some basic systems that we would recommend law firms put in place to mitigate risk in this unknown time:

  1. Ensure that lawyers and staff are set up to work remotely and can still e-file, etc. from their home office to address deadlines.
  2. As always, ensure communication and documentation systems are in place to keep clients up-to-date and informed as to how their case may be affected.
  3. Lawyers should be extra diligent in confirming with staff and other attorneys that may have been assigned tasks to confirm that those tasks were completed in case of an unexpected absence.
  4. Be aware of the most up-to-date notices from the courts regarding appearances and deadlines and stay in communication with opposing parties (and document that communication!).
  5. Be smart. Use common sense. Prioritize your health. Stress can lead to a weakened immune system. Take care of yourself so you’ll be equipped to take care of your clients.


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Stacey K. Smith received her B.A. from Montana State University and her J.D. from Willamette University College of Law. She is a member of the Washington State Bar Association. Prior to joining ALPS in October 1999, Stacey spent over five years litigating major damage cases in both state and federal court. She served on the Washington State Bar Professionalism Committee, the Washington State Bar Court Rules and Procedures Committee and the Washington State Bar Ad Hoc Committee on Civility.