How Law Firms are Responding to COVID-19

Apr 6, 2020 | Law Firms

Author:
Patrick Carver
Founder, Constellation Marketing

Over the past few weeks, as COVID-19 has gained serious momentum in the United States, law firms have been dealing with the consequences. The situation is developing in real-time and things are changing by the minute, but we wanted to highlight a group of law firms who are responding publicly to the crisis and why their messages are valuable.

What we’ll cover: 

Law Firms Leading the Way | What’s Trending in Other Countries | How to Navigate the Coming Weeks

At first, it seemed manageable with an understanding that there would be some changes. However, the situation quickly turned and has had a dramatic impact on our clients and other firms throughout the country who have seen a quick and significant drop in consumer activity.

Courts are essentially shut down, new laws are being passed daily, and there is a significant amount of gray area in the way existing laws are to be interpreted across a wide range of practice areas. As a result, law firms across the country are searching for answers as to how to handle this unprecedented situation.

The situation is developing in real-time and things are changing by the minute, but we wanted to highlight a group of law firms who are responding publicly to the crisis and why their messages are valuable.

Hopefully, you can get some valuable insight and inspiration by seeing how others are handling the pandemic.

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Law Firms Who are Leading the Way

 

Scrofano Law

Category: All Firms

Social distancing and shelter-in-place laws are being created, but how will governments interpret them in practice? What is truly considered essential by the letter of the law? These are questions that are playing out in real-time as state and local governments try to do their part and suppress the spread of the virus. Lawyers can play a large role here by helping average business owners understand what’s legal and not.

Why It’s Useful:

Scrofano Law has quickly become a go-to source for interpreting stay-at-home orders in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. The firm has established a central location for information on the laws in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. A Criminal and DUI law firm by trade, Scrofano Law is stepping outside of their primary practice area to share their knowledge.

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770 Good Law

Category: All Firms

770 Good Law is a personal injury firm who is going outside of their primary practice area to provide insight on other legal matters that have arisen during this time. The firm has created a nice resource page that includes helpful downloads for some of the anticipated legal matters that people will be facing. Here, you’ll find request forms for utility relief, auto loan relief, mortgage relief, and rent eviction relief. Although not directly linked to their practice area, this type of gesture can create goodwill amongst your audience and showcase your willingness to help in tough times.

Why It’s Useful:

During a time of heightened fear and uncertainty, readers are increasingly seeking trustworthy sources of information, which is an ever-valued trait in attorneys. By stepping outside of their area of specialization and taking the time to provide helpful advice, 770 Good Law is establishing trust with their audience.

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The Rice Law Office, PLLC

Category: All Firms

 

With so much unknown, it’s difficult to predict the legal issues that will arise once the COVID-19 situation begins to de-escalate. The Rice Law Office, PLLC has set up a COVID-19 Resource Center to help gather important information that is relevant to their clients within their practice area. As we’re still in this crisis, arrangements within the legal system are changing quickly and often. Creating a dedicated page that can be updated over time is a great way to begin building the foundation that is essential to visibility on search engines.

Why It’s Useful:

The page is an ongoing resource that the firm can continually update as the situation develops. As opposed to a collection of untethered posts or pages, a central information hub offers more value to everyone.

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Hach & Rose

Category: Personal Injury

 

A short, personal video is what separates this firm’s response from the others in this article. Hach & Rose created content to discuss personal injury cases in New York, but it’s the way they did it that stands out. As you’ll see, the video is not long or overly promotional, but is instead a simple and straightforward explanation of how Coronavirus is affecting cases.

Why It’s Useful:

This is a good application of how to use video to elevate your law firm’s online presence. For quick announcements, many people will find a short video more palatable than a long blog post.

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Hill Law Firm

Category: Personal Injury

 

Although a growing number of states are implementing strict shelter-in-place orders, accidents will still happen. With the country facing increased fear and anxiety, those who are out and about may be unusually susceptible to accidents. There are a number of other scenarios where personal injury cases may arise and the Hill Law Firm has a helpful article answering many of the questions that would be essential. This article caters to personal injury matters in Texas, but the concept could be applied to any state in the U.S.

Why It’s Useful:

The simple Q&A format of this article makes it a concise and engaging resource for readers. Thanks to the easy-to-browse format of the article, those who are looking for a specific piece of information will be able to quickly find it. This can help boost the firm’s search engine ranking and establish their role as a source of valuable information.

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Gravis Law

Category: Family Law

 

Even though the Coronavirus has significantly limited day-to-day activities and kept people at home, it doesn’t change the fact that life happens. Family law matters are a good example of this. In countries that were impacted by the virus in the earlier stages of the pandemic, officials are seeing sharp increases in domestic violence cases. In many ways, the situation we’re faced with could cause more issues between family members, such as handling child custody directives. Gravis Law in Montana has shared some valuable information about navigating child custody orders in their state. Creating timely and well-researched content with a specific audience in mind can quickly land you on the first page of Google for related queries.

Why It’s Useful:

There are lots of unanswered questions at this point and family law matters can be some of the most stress-inducing. Those experiencing family law issues during this difficult time undoubtedly benefited from this quick read.

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Law Office of Sarina Gianna

Category: Family Law

 

As we’ve alluded to, life is still moving along, even with shelter-in-place orders across the country. There will still be fights between couples and kids will still need to be cared for. However, if you’re already divorced with kids, what happens to the parenting plan if someone contracts the virus? New Jersey attorney Sarina Gianna tackles this issue, among others, on her blog. The article is concise, but provides clear steps for what divorced couples with kids should do to prepare.

Why It’s Useful:

This quick and simple update will keep the firm’s clients and potential clients updated on how to plan smart.

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The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center

Category: Criminal Law

As the Coronavirus situation has unfolded, criminal law proceedings have evolved quickly and continue to change rapidly. Initially, many of the firms we work with shared that their local courts were proceeding as normal. Then, courts began to limit attendance to only attorneys and their clients. Now, we’re hearing that some courts are attempting to conduct meetings via video conferencing platforms. One thing that has not changed during this crisis is the presence of criminal charges. The consequences may be delayed, but the charges will not be forgotten. The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at the Benjamin Law Firm has helped provide up-to-date information for their clients by creating a daily blog. Their posts discuss some of the most common questions people will have during this time if they have outstanding legal matters. The posts are succinct and informative, almost like a daily journal of what’s happening on the ground.

Why It’s Useful:

The Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center has committed to daily blog posts during the pandemic covering all aspects of the criminal process. With courts changing their orders daily, knowing exactly where you stand with a warrant or case is an invaluable asset.

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Norton Rose Fulbright

Category: Business Law

 

The global nature of the pandemic has created international legal issues affecting how companies are doing business. Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright is responding by providing information about how the outbreak has impacted the global economy. For their audience, this is a great resource to help them understand the legal implications of the outbreak on contracts. The U.S. is largely dependent on other countries for goods, including China, which has been severely affected by the virus. Even though Chinese manufacturers are starting to get back on track, there’s no doubt that multinational companies in the U.S. are dealing with disruptions.

Why It’s Useful:

This article is useful because it looks at how U.S. businesses will be impacted by this crisis. With so much of the world largely shut down, what happens to contracts? American businesses are depending on how these contracts are enforced.

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GreeneHurlocker

Category: Employment Law

 

In this short video post, attorney Laura Musick of GreeneHurlocker in Richmond, Virginia provides valuable insight into some recently enacted and other, older federal labor laws. Using her extensive knowledge on business, regulatory, and labor and employment law, she provides an in-depth explanation of how these laws may impact employers, offering timely and relevant information to her audience in a trust-building face-to-face format.

Why It’s Useful:

Everything has happened so quickly, forcing employers to navigate the crisis in real-time and putting a significant strain on employment laws. This helpful video explains which employers must comply under the recently enacted laws.

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Working Solutions NYC

Category: Employment Law

 

Some law firms are focusing their attention on specific companies exhibiting questionable behavior during this period. Victoria Breese at Working Solutions NYC takes aim at Hobby Lobby, who is not yielding shelter-in-place orders, yet requiring pay cuts from their employees.

Why It’s Useful:

They are exploring the possibility of litigation with specific ‘bad actors’ as this crisis plays out. By addressing and exposing labor law issues occuring on a national scale, this firm is establishing an impressive online presence that will assure current and future clients that they have a dedicated legal advocate on their side.

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Ammons Law Firm

Category: Insurance Law

Immediately following the first impacts of COVID-19 in the US, Ammons Law Firm wasted little time getting to work and filing what they claim is one of the country’s first lawsuits against an insurance company for losses as a result of the virus.

Why It’s Useful:

This firm has unofficially claimed the spotlight as the first COVID-related lawsuit in the country. In a world that will undoubtedly see lasting impacts from the virus, Ammons Law Firm has established themselves as a leading figure in what will soon become a prominent legal area.

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Hanson Law Firm

Category: All Firms

When the virus began to spread throughout the U.S., forcing non-essential businesses to shut down, millions of small business owners were left scrambling to find a way to pay their rent. This, in turn, has led to significant drops in revenue for commercial property owners. Utilizing multimedia tools such as text, video, and flow charts, Hanson Law Firm responded to this crisis with useful information on how property owners should handle the legal side of the issue.

Why It’s Useful:

The pandemic has impacted just about everyone, and commercial property owners are no exception. As a trusted real estate litigation firm in San Francisco, California, Hanson Law Firm is leveraging its online platform in creative ways to help clients and prospects navigate uncharted waters.

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Herd Law Firm

Category: All Firms

One of the lesser-known impacts of COVID-19 is that on the oil industry in the Gulf of Mexico. Although not completely shut down like many other industries, it has seen blows to worksite efficiency. Herd Law Firm responded to this issue with an informative news-style blog post designed to raise awareness and let those in the industry know that they are seen.

Why It’s Useful:

As an established law firm in Houston, Texas specializing in Maritime Law, Herd Law Firm is keeping their clients and prospects informed about how the virus may be impacting their industry. This raw summary of the facts builds trust between the firm and the reader, elevating the firm’s online presence as a leading voice in the local maritime industry.

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What’s Trending in Other Countries

 

Even though all of the firms above are doing their best to be helpful and serve as a resource, the truth is that we don’t exactly know what’s coming.

To get a better context of where the future will take us, we wanted to look at the countries who saw the effects of the virus happen earlier and are now beginning to recover.

For example, fraud crimes appear to be a common tactic across continents. In Europe, INTERPOL is reporting that financial fraud crimes have increased during their quarantine. The group is seeing organized crime groups adapting to the conditions and offering fake tests, counterfeit products, fake vaccines, and more. Cyber criminals are also using this as an opportunity to spread malware by posing as ‘official’ healthcare professionals providing announcements. Additionally, there have been reports in France of criminals posing as police officers in order to issue dubious ‘face mask law’ fines.

What is even more troubling has been the sharp increase in domestic violence cases in France and throughout the rest of the world. As a corollary, China is reporting that there has been a spike in divorces starting at the end of March as citizens emerge from quarantine.

With the pandemic developing momentum in the U.S., we may see similar trends here.

 

How You Can Navigate the Coming Weeks 

 

In two words: be nimble. Since we don’t have a crystal ball to know if the trends happening in other countries will make their way here, it’s a matter of staying updated and being responsive.

A great example of this is utilizing video to provide virtual appointments instead of in-person meetings. One of the first-to-market purveyors of this option were The Law Ladies in Atlanta, Georgia, who have offered video appointments even prior to the pandemic. We’ve seen other clients utilize Facebook Live or YouTube to answer questions on the fly about new laws being enacted.

Because we can’t predict what will happen next, we’re not keen on advising firms to make large-scale strategy changes right now.

Instead, we suggest being helpful and serving as a conduit between your network and the law. Additionally, you can use this time to optimize your own marketing and operational efficiencies.

Stay safe and we’ll make it through this together!

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