Working from Home for Law Firms in the Age of Corona Virus

In normal times, working from home has its obvious advantages.  You can take conference calls in your jammies and let the plumber in to fix your leaky faucet while drafting a brief.  Thanks to our recent unwanted visitor, the novel Corona virus, telecommuting may become a necessity.  While most attorneys have some basic abilities to work from home such as accessing online research sites and perhaps downloading documents to a thumb drive, many of the nuts and bolts processes need to take place in the office.  Even worse, while the attorneys may have some access, it is less common for the staff to be able to telecommute.  This post is a basic primer on how to securely and efficiently allow your entire staff to work from home.

First, some caveats are necessary.  Certain mechanical functions such as opening and sorting mail and large copying or printing jobs probably can’t be efficiently moved out of the office.  That said, those jobs can be done by a small cadre of people who can keep a distance from each other.  Second, while not steep, there is a bit of a learning curve to telecommuting.  Finally, setting up a proper telecommuting system does require a modest investment both in expertise, and possibly software.

With that in mind, here are the minimum needs in order to allow you and your staff to work from home. 

  1. Decent internet service at your office.  You most likely won’t need a ultra-fast connection since the amount of data movement in a properly designed system will be minimal but it will need to be stable and at least 10Mbps.
  2. VPN capable router.  Properly configured virtual private networks allow end to end encryption of communications between your home user and your office data.  This sounds like it’s in the weeds but, especially for those concerned about protect your clients’ privilege, it is critical and relatively simple to set up.
  3. Properly configured user computers.  This may require a quick trip to their homes if they do not own a laptop.  The user should be running the latest version of their operating system including all patches as well as a quality anti-virus program.  They will also need to establish the VPN to your office.
  4. Training.  This is the easy part.  A well designed system will allow the user to simply click on an icon on their home computer that will give them direct access to your office data.  There are several ways to do this depending upon the circumstances but, if done correctly, the experience should be comparable to working from their office computer.

If you are interested in learning more about how to get the most out of your telecommuting staff, give us a ring and we’ll get you connected.


About the Author: AF

Allen Friedman Founder and CEO of Techaerus LLC

Allen Friedman is the owner and CEO of Techaerus LLC, an office efficiency consulting firm. He is also a licensed attorney. Allen founded and managed one of the largest consumer collections law firms in the country and managed over 50 attorneys as well as hundreds of non-attorney staff. Prior to founding that firm, he opened and managed the New York and Michigan operations for the largest consumer collections firm in the United States. Throughout his career, Allen has always placed great emphasis on ensuring that investments in office technology provide the greatest possible returns. In order to achieve these returns, he focuses on three pillars of office management; asset management, training, and automation. His expertise includes document/image management, software and hardware integration, training, and process management and automation. Allen lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with his wife Amy, his children Cassidy and Gideon, and two adorable dogs named Roxie (a labradoodle) and Bentley (an Old English Sheepdog).