Our firm, concentrating on personal injury and wrongful death cases over the past 46 years, has always been six lawyers or less. The flexibility smaller firms enjoy has never been more important. The COVID crisis requires thinking and re-thinking our business plans.
Responding to the special development needs of our practices, may we offer some specific suggestions that may be worth considering during these challenging times?
10 Tips for Firms during the COVID crisis:
1. Overall, do not change your proven business plan and practice. What worked for you pre-COVID will work again, given time.
2. An exception to No. 1 is the need to enhance and grow your well-established practice areas. Re-contact past clients and business sources, while re-affirming your name, brand and reputation with established business sources.
3. Laser focus on what you do best, while considering the opportunity to co-counsel cases that are not in your “wheel house” and may be productively referred.
4. Re-activate your existing resources to strengthen your reputation and emphasize case results in the areas you are best known for. Use your database for an updated e-mail blast.
5. Our reliance on technology has to be balanced. Yes, Zoom and virtual communication is valuable, but not a substitute for personal contact and focused marketing. So, pick up the phone and call those resources who are in your “orbit” and remind them that you are available to assist with their legal work.
6. Hearings, depositions and mediations are better adapted to today’s technology. But, “jump starting” business generation, means writing a personal letter to your longtime friends and clients, thanking them for years of loyalty and dedication.
7. Think about a conversation with your partners, your accountant, bank, and vendors to discuss financial management over the next year. (The situation will not be resolved in less than 12 months.) Make sure you are properly capitalized, your lines of credit are updated, and you have made full use of government assistance such as SBA loans.
8. This is a good time to revisit your firm’s budget and expenses, and eliminate unnecessary or overly utilized items. Think “streamline.”
9. Call your friends and colleagues to discuss cross-referral of business. If you primarily practice in one area, be sure to identify other firms who can be business sources to you, where you can reciprocate.
10. Examine the cost saving steps necessitated by this crisis – some of them may become permanent. Look at travel cost and other savings necessitated by this difficult moment.
Leesfield Scolaro, with 46 years of continued personal injury results and success, has built a Rainy Day Fund allowing us to expend considerable case costs in our personal injury practice areas, meeting significant expenditures for experts and advancement of expenses in complex cases. With several million dollars in reserve, we can put our resources to work on cases of combined importance to you and your clients.
As always, we are available for a free consultation with your clients at any one of our statewide offices, or a video conference on any platform. We have the most updated technology, allowing optimum communication remotely. If you will tell us your practice areas, we can refer clients. We hope you will to the same.
As we have heard so many times, “we are in this together,” and our practices will be more productive, profitable and enjoyable as we work through these extraordinary times. Stay safe!
Ira H. Leesfield,