Remote work has become increasingly popular across various industries. Even within legal professions, the options for remote work have so far been welcomed by many.
For family lawyers who deal with cases related to divorce and separation, having face-to-face consultations is very important. It is during these consultations that family lawyer Chicago and their clients discuss the details of the case and chalk out a solid legal plan.
Without these face-to-face appointments, the process of understanding details and circumstances of each case might be difficult for family lawyers. This might be because some clients feel uncomfortable with online meetings and therefore hold back and fail to give out crucial information regarding their matter.
However, there are some strategies which can be implemented to make the transition from offline to online work more smooth for both lawyers and clients.
This article aims to highlight three important strategies which can ensure effective and hassle-free remote work for family lawyers. Incorporating the following strategies will be necessary to make remote work as efficient as possible.
#1 Use internet and technology to your advantage
For family law firms, case files and documents are crucial. They contain comprehensive information about the case, including details about the divorcing or separating couple, their financial circumstances, and information about children. Traditionally, these case files were stored in physical folders and cabinets at the office, a method incompatible with remote work. Therefore, adopting software and technology that allow for cloud-based storage systems is vital, enabling lawyers to access files and documents from any location. Similarly, when it comes to filing documents with family courts, e-filing services should be considered wherever possible. Additionally, legal e-billing solutions can streamline the invoicing and financial tracking processes, making remote work feasible, efficient, and transparent for the firm and the clients.
#2 Responsiveness and communication
Needless to say, communication is an important factor to consider both in online and offline settings. Because the cases in family law are deeply personal, communication and responsiveness become all the more important for family lawyers.
Communication is also extremely important for firms which have recently transitioned from an offline environment to a work-from-home setting.
The lack of communication can cause a lot of hurdles, especially for busy firms where lawyers work on cases collectively. It’s good practice to decide communication channels beforehand. Having regular online meetings within the team is also beneficial.
Importantly, you also need to let your clients know about the communication channels you will be using. Many clients are used to traditional face-to-face meetups and so they might find it hard to adjust to the new changes.
Communicate with them and let them know how online arrangements will work between the two of you. Moreover, as a family law solicitor, you need to make sure that your client is comfortable with all modes of communication that are being used.
Communication also means setting up proper alternatives when people call the office numbers. Ensure that call forwarding options are put in place so as to not inconvenience your clients who call on the office number.
#3 Importance of logging off
Often when you don’t have clear hours set for your workday, you might end up overworking. This will eventually lead to burnout.
Naturally, lawyers are required to invest a lot of time in each case that they deal with. Especially for family lawyers who are always on the ball, it is important to set time limits even when working from home.
Your mental and physical health are very important. Allowing time for exercising, and knowing when to take a break from work is essential.
As family law firms shift to work from home models, it is vital for them to keep these important strategies in mind. This will help them with productivity, and handling stress. By making good use of technology and following important best practices, your law firm will be able to excel by working remotely.
Communication is key when it comes to making transitions easier. Always remember to communicate with your colleagues and clients. In a similar vein, being alert and responsive to your colleagues and clients will make everyone’s remote working experience better.
John Bui is the Principal Solicitor of JB Solicitors – a family law firm based in Sydney, Australia. He has over 10 years’ experience in family law and commercial litigation. John is also a nationally accredited family law mediator and arbitrator.