Coronavirus Response

 

ALA members, business partners and the legal community have reached out for information about how to handle the threat of coronavirus in the workplace. ALA is continuously monitoring authoritative public health and media threads in this ever-evolving landscape and will be pulling in reliable and relevant industry resources into this centralized location for your ongoing reference.

Please continue to check this webpage and even consider bookmarking it for easy reference as your needs arise. ALA members are also sharing resources in the Online Community. There is now a dedicated coronavirus discussion forum within the Online Community.

Go to:

ALA roundtables, hangouts and meetupsALA webinars (last updated Feb. 15)ALA publications (last updated Dec. 11)
Prevention resourcesBusiness continuity resourcesRemote work resources
Recovery/returning to work resourcesWellness resourcesBusiness partner resources

Click on each underlined header to expand the section.

 

ALA Roundtables, Hangouts and Meetups

In recognition of their changing subject matter, ALA Roundtables, ALA Hangouts and Small Firm Meetups have been relocated to another webpage: Virtual Member Meetups. Many of their discussions will still center around COVID-19-related issues, but this new home will encourage members to use these virtual meetings as ongoing networking opportunities.


ALA Webinars

ON-DEMAND: Changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Loans and Forgiveness Demystified
Available on-demand (originally aired February 10)

Learning objectives:

  • Determine if your organization qualifies for a first- or second-draw loan under the PPP.
  • Identify what’s new in the PPP.
  • Discover changes to the PPP.
  • Describe total loan forgiveness and what additional expenses can be included.
  • Identify necessary planning to prepare in advance of applying for your PPP loan.

ON-DEMAND: Onboarding and Offboarding Team Members in a Remote Work World
Available on-demand (originally aired October 28)

Learning objectives:

  • Identify high-level best practices for developing onboarding and offboarding programs.
  • Use simple, actionable concepts to build a new program or strengthen an existing one.
  • Employ technology to increase the effectiveness of your program.
  • Prepare a plan that will set both you and your team members up for success.

ON-DEMAND: Viral Change: The Evolution of Law Firms in a Post-COVID-19 World
Available on-demand (originally aired October 21)

Learning objectives:

  • Recognize how the short-term decisions made as a result of COVID-19 are going to affect the mid- and long-term decisions.
  • Predict the mid- and long-term changes that are likely to impact the legal profession.
  • Explain why these trends will accelerate now and how law firms can adapt to them.
  • Identify the client priorities that are motivating these trends.

ON-DEMAND: Show Me the Money! How Can We Get Our Lawyers to Embrace Good Fiscal Hygiene, Especially in Light of COVID-19 and Remote Working?
Available on-demand (originally aired October 14)

Learning objectives:

  • Review the elements of poor fiscal hygiene that we can ignore in good times but must address in tough economic times.
  • Discuss how alternative approaches to fiscal hygiene can provide more predictability and economic safety.
  • Prepare attendees to spearhead or participate in these discussions in their own firm.

ON-DEMAND: Reimagining the Post-COVID-19 Law Firm
Available on-demand (originally aired September 30)

Learning objectives:

  • Review key law firm challenges and opportunities brought about by COVID-19.
  • Discuss some of the changes that law firm leaders are exploring, and why.
  • Prepare attendees to spearhead or participate in these discussions in their own firms.

ON-DEMAND: Adaptive Thinking
Available on-demand (originally aired August 26)

Learning objectives:

  • Create a toolbox of techniques to improve mental flexibility.
  • Illustrate the common mistakes that keep teams from solving problems.
  • Choose the one question teams can ask to generate more (and more innovative!) ideas.

ON-DEMAND: Creating the Resilient Firm of the Future

Available on-demand (originally aired August 6)

Learning objectives:

  • Explain the importance of having written business continuity and pandemic plans for your law firm, especially in the face of COVID-19.
  • Discuss the implications of the “new better” work environment for law firms and what this means for the safety, security and resiliency of your law firm.
  • Discuss how having a written business continuity plan gives law firms a competitive edge in a world where clients and insurers are insisting on compliance in business continuity industry standards.
  • Identify the key/essential elements of a comprehensive business continuity plan and the importance of testing your plans to ensure that your law firm remains resilient in the face of any threat.

ON-DEMAND: Keeping Your Head Above Water During COVID-19
Available on-demand (originally aired July 28)

Learning objectives:

  • Discuss how the virus has impacted our basic human needs.
  • Distinguish the important difference between stress and anxiety.
  • Identify stress management techniques for the mind, breath and body.

ON-DEMAND: Microsoft Teams: Much More Than Just Helping Remote Staff Stay Connected
Available on-demand (originally aired July 15)

Learning objectives:

  • Demonstrate Teams and Channels and share ideas on how they can be used.
  • Identify the many types and applications of Channel Tabs.
  • Discover document organization, co-authoring, comments and conversations.
  • Illustrate a deep dive on the vast interoperability of Teams with other functions and features of Microsoft 365 like Planner, Stream, Forms, Lists (new) and Power BI.

FREE: How to Plan and Manage When Change Is the Only Constant
Available on-demand (originally aired July 9)

Learning objectives:

  • Learn how firms adapted their administrative functions in order to continue supporting attorneys and clients effectively, including key successes and learnings.
  • Gain insight into some of the tools and techniques used to efficiently and cost effectively manage the flow of work between attorneys and their support staff including outsourced administrative resources.
  • Learn about future staffing plans and how firms are expecting to utilize remote working practices long-term, moving staff back into offices, or see value in a combination of both.
  • Assess the impact of an increase in support staff retirements, attrition and layoffs.
  • Discuss how the pandemic has impacted firms’ disaster recovery plans, strategic planning, budgets, and willingness to embrace change.

Safely and Legally Returning to Work in the Age of COVID-19
Available on-demand (originally aired July 8)

Learning objectives:

  • Identify the legal risks posed to employers by OSHA.
  • Review the legal risks posed to employers under premises liability.
  • Discover how to provide a safe workplace under OSHA and CDC guidelines.

We Can Work It Out: Generational Collaboration in a Work-from-Home World
Available on-demand (originally aired July 2)

Learning objectives:

  • Understand the historical and societal trends that shaped each generation.
  • Recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each generation.
  • Communicate effectively with each generation to meet their goals.
  • Adjust their approach when giving feedback or assigning tasks to colleagues.
  • Implement specific techniques for partnering with individuals from diverse generations.

Zoom Fatigued? How to Stay Virtually Engaged Without Losing Our Minds

Available on-demand (originally aired June 17)

Learning objectives:

  • Describe how online meetings differ from in-person meetings.
  • List and describe three challenges inherent in online meetings.
  • List practical strategies for coping with “Zoom fatigue.”

Best Practices for Returning to Your Law Office
Available on-demand (originally aired June 11)

Learning objectives:

  • Examine the new skills and habits that workers have developed and how that impacts the future of legal workplace.
  • Outline how space guidelines can contribute to the health and safety of your staff.
  • Define how the pandemic is accelerating legal workplace trends.
  • Explain the importance and advantage of working in the office.

FREE: The CARES Act and What It Means for Your Business
Available on-demand (originally aired April 6)

Learning objectives:

  • Classify the U.S. Small Business Administration loan options available to small businesses, including the Payment Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.
  • Interpret the eligibility for the loans and the terms of the different loan programs.
  • Make use of guidance for preparing your loan application(s) and ensuring approval.

FREE: Flattening the Curve Without Flattening Your Employees and Company
Brought to you by VIP business partner iSolved HCM
Available on-demand (originally aired April 2)

Learning objectives:

  • Demonstrate how to execute/implement new requirements for family/medical leave, unemployment, paid sick leave, the Americans with Disabilities Act, equal opportunity employment, etc.
  • Illustrate eligibility requirements.
  • Outline the effective date of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
  • Summarize key elements for employers.

FREE: The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Is Here. Now What?
Available on-demand (originally aired March 12)

Learning objectives:

  • Classify your business insurance and workers’ compensation coverage.
  • Identify risk management implications.
  • Demonstrate how to communicate and lead effectively in a crisis.

ALA Publications

Legal Management Magazine

Critical Security Measures for Smaller Law Firms
Is your firm equipped to handle whatever cybersecurity threats come its way? (November/December issue)

What’s Next? 4 Legal Trends in the New Normal
This year has forced legal organizations to change how and where they work. (November/December issue)

A Digital Mailroom Built for Law Firms in the New Normal
A productive, secure digital mailroom operation is a practical solution as the workforce remains remote. (November/December issue)

Law Firm Life After COVID-19
Where do we go from here? Plus: the results of a summer survey of ALA members about the ways the pandemic has affected their operations. (November/December issue)

Your Remote Workers: A Target for Cybercrime
Now is the time to focus your firm’s efforts on a secure and compliant remote workforce plan. (October issue)

Pandemic Priorities: Your People
The most important factor for most organizations to look after right now is their people. Regardless of your size or the market you serve, keeping your team healthy and happy is more important than ever. Even if it has never been a priority in the past, now is the time to focus on organizational development. (September issue)

Returning to Work: How Telehealth Can Provide Peace of Mind
Available 24/7, virtual care is a convenient way for employers to connect their workforce with health care experts. (July/August issue)

What to Do When Clients Can’t Pay
If clients are having a difficult time paying, there are some tactics to ensure your firm will survive, while still showing consideration for your clients. (July/August issue)

How to Craft and Communicate an Effective Work-from-Home Policy
With working from home suddenly the norm, legal managers are tasked with creating guidelines to help employees make the transition smoothly. (June issue)

Bringing Workers Back to the Office
The pandemic forced firms into work-from-home situations. Now comes the next phase: how to safely bring employees back. (June issue)

Top Ways You Can Ensure a Secure Zoom Experience
Take these steps to make your virtual meetings safer. (June issue)

Crisis Affects Everyone Differently — Here’s How to Make Sure Your Communications Reflect That
In a time of crisis, it is very important to embrace diversity and inclusion in the workplace. (June issue)

How Legal Professionals Can Elevate Their Marketing During COVID-19
These tips will help legal marketers elevate their visibility and promote their value. (June issue)

Summer Associate Programs: A True Departure from the Traditional
With the start of summer, firms are facing a new challenge — how to host summer associate programs. (June issue)

From Law School in the Age of the Coronavirus
Like the rest of our lives, the process of hiring a recent graduate has taken an unexpected turn. (June issue)

Making Remote Work Work
This details one firm’s strategy for charting a path to success during COVID-19 and beyond. (June issue)

Leading Through Change
Now more than ever, legal managers will be asked to lead their firms through an unprecedented landscape. This continuing education (CE) course will explain how. (May issue)

Handle with Care
For employees who are struggling to help an ill parent or family member, employer-provided support can be a game changer. (May issue)

Working from Home? Here’s Your Cybersecurity Checklist
The realities of a remote workforce present new cybersecurity concerns for firms. (May issue)

In the New Era of Remote Work, What’s Your Best Technology Strategy?
These steps can help your firm handle the new work-from-home norm. (May issue)

Your Guide to the Temporary Rule on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
This article provides an overview of the FFCRA. (May issue)

3 Takeaways About Leadership During Uncertain Times
In these extraordinary times, how you lead is more important than ever. (May issue)

Are We Really Prepared? The Critical Nature of Contingency Planning
These discussions may not be easy, but they are essential in creating a solid plan for life's "what ifs." (April issue)

The Top 5 Budget Items Law Firms Will Try to Slash in Response to COVID-19
What you should — and shouldn't — cut from your expenses, including membership in networks and associations like ALA. (April issue)

Surviving COVID-19
Read for tips about managing a healthy workforce and keeping your clients informed. (March issue)

Legal Management Talk Podcast

Law Firm Life After COVID-19 with Monique Mahler
Monique Mahler polled her fellow ALA members about what their firms are planning in the post-COVID-19 landscape, questioning them about everything from remote work policies to the future of their real estate footprint. Read more in the November/December Legal Management cover story, “Law Firm Life After COVID-19.”

Establishing and Maintaining a Wellness Program with Krista Hart
ALA member Krista Hart discusses how and why she established a wellness program for staff and attorneys at her firm, Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel. She also talks about how the program has had to adapt to the new normal of a remote workforce with many additional COVID-19-inflicted challenges.

Leadership During Uncertain Times with Brianna Leung
GrowthPlay Consultant Brianna Leung returned to the podcast to discuss her recent Legal Management cover feature about change, which turned out to be a prescient topic as the COVID-19 pandemic alters our professional and personal lives.

Marketing and Managing Law Firm Expenses After COVID-19 with Ross Fishman, JD
Ross Fishman, JD, expanded on his recent Legal Management column about avoiding slashing all marketing costs due to the COVID-19-related business downturn. Instead, he advocates for hustling for new business, emphasizing busy practice areas and focusing your spend where it counts in order to stay competitive.

Wellness Strategies During the Pandemic with Lance Breger
Lance Breger, the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Infinity Wellness Partners, joined the podcast to talk about how to handle team-building, negative emotions and wellness as we deal with remote work and major stressors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus-Related IT and Remote Work Concerns with Michael Kemps
IT consultant Michael Kemps spoke about managing the remote workplace and keeping IT systems afloat as law firms and legal departments revise work-from-home policies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

LM Extras

Forecast 2021: Return to Normalcy
With more than one vaccine on the horizon, firms look toward economic recovery in 2021. (November 2020)

Weighing in on COVID-19 Liability Waivers
As employees return to work, it’s worth taking an in-depth look into the litigation and lawsuits associated with liability waivers. (November 2020)

6 Ways that Law Firms Can Keep Remote Employees Engaged
Technology has made getting work done remotely more seamless, but one piece is hard for even technology to completely replicate: feeling connected and engaged with your colleagues. (September 2020)

Insurance Upset
Law firms face uncertain coverage when employees and clients contract COVID-19. (September 2020)

The Show Must (Remotely) Go On: Transitioning from Live to Virtual Retreats
Here's how to run a successful virtual retreat for your partners. (August 2020)

Today, Every Lawyer Can Be a Trusted Adviser
Lawyers should be checking in on their clients during these difficult times. (August 2020)

Law Firms Up Their Game at Lease Renewal Time
The pandemic and the subsequent economic downturn have firms reexamining their lease options. (August 2020)


Curated Resources from Around the Web

Prevention Resources

Business Continuity Resources

Podcast: What Should Law Firms Do To Prepare for a Possible COVID-19 Epidemic?, The Geek in Review

COVID-19, U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

ALA Sample Business Recovery Plan, ALA Reference Library

As Coronavirus Spreads, Prepare Infectious-Disease Plans, SHRM

Staying Afloat When Disaster StrikesLegal Management

Cancellations, Crisis Planning and Clorox: COVID-19 Strikes Legal CommunityLaw.com

Coronavirus Preparedness Kit, Agility Recovery

  • Business partner Agility Recovery is offering ALA members a free preparedness checklist and a free coronavirus preparedness tabletop exercise, which they can use to game out responses.
  • The company also has a on-demand webinar, Coronavirus and Pandemic Planning: Protect Your People and Operations, that is free to view. Agility's Mark Norton covered how organizations can better prepare for pandemics like coronavirus and immediate next steps to take; there was also a Q&A session.
 

Recovery/Returning to Work Resources

Back to the Office: Return Strategies for the Workplace and Office Buildings, Gensler

Re-occupancy Assessment Tool, The American Institute of Architects

Reopening: Guidance for General Office Settings, American Industrial Hygiene Association

Back to Work Safely mini-website, American Industrial Hygiene Association

How do parents return to work without available child care?, Workforce

How to Create a Healthy Building for Returning Employees, SHRM

Bringing Them Back: Questions for HR from Returning Workers, SHRM

COVID-19: Implications for law firms, McKinsey

Sample Return-to-Work Survey for Small and Midsize Firm Employees

Sample Return-to-Work Survey for Large Firm Employees

Safe Reopening Plan template, City of San Diego

Recovery Readiness, Cushman & Wakefield

Post COVID-19 Normal? and Post COVID-19 Normal? Part 2 - Reopening, Altman Weil

When and How to Reopen After COVID-19, Resolve to Save Lives (Vital Strategies)

Managing The Big Risk Of Bringing Your Employees Back To Work, Chief Executive

Revise Policies to Facilitate Return to Work, SHRM

Getting Back to Work in the Coronavirus World: What Is the New ‘Business as Usual’?, Furia Rubel Communications, Inc.

The post-pandemic workplace will hardly look like the one we left behind, The Washington Post

This is the end of the office as we know it, Vox Recode

What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

EEOC Addresses ‘Return to Work’ Issues and Clarifies ‘Undue Hardship’ in New Guidance on COVID-19 and Antidiscrimination Laws, The National Law Review

When Crisis Calls: How Lawyer Leaders Are Responding to COVID-19, The Tilt Institute

Layoffs, furloughs, pay cuts, etc.:

Workplace business partners suggested by ALA members:

ALA does not endorse any single business partner and cannot vouch for what these companies have in stock.

Summer associate programs:

Remote Work Resources

Combatting "Zoom fatigue"
 
 
 
Electronic Notary Resources
Many members have asked questions regarding electronic notaries. The National Notary Society has all the information by state. There are quite a few companies that can assist in this regard, too. Here is a list of those entities:
The National Notary Association has documented states’ emergency actions on remote notarization. Note that requirements differ from state to state — for instance, Maryland not only mandates an audio-visual recording of the notarization act but deems platforms like Skype or Facetime insufficient. So you may need a communication vendor as well.
 
ALA also recommends checking the Legal Marketplace to find business partners who offer this service, or talking with your local chapter business partners as they may offer this service, too. Members have also discussed their experiences in the Online Community.
 

How to Keep Your Zoom Chats Private and SecureWired

How to Prevent Zoom-BombingPC Mag

Coronavirus-Related IT and Remote Work Concerns with Michael Kemps, Legal Management Talk

    The Internet is drowning in COVID-19-related malware and phishing scams, Ars Technica

    Videoconferencing Resources, Zoom Blog

    FREE: The Flexible Law Firm: Is Your Practice Ready to Embrace a Work-from-Home Program?, ALA Solutions Series webcast sponsored by Zola Suite

     

    Business Partner Resources

    ALA members know their business partners are a valuable resource. In these unprecedented times, they remain here for you and your firms. They have essential information about how to handle the impact of coronavirus on the workplace, ranging from payment processing and cyber risk management to telemedicine and personal protection equipment (PPE).

    Visit the Business Partner Resources for Members page to discover some of the ways that your business partners can assist in this ever-evolving landscape.