During a pandemic year, it sometimes seems like everything is more complicated. Few tasks are the same as they once were. You have to mask up and implement social distancing for something like a grocery store run.
One thing that’s the same is that people have to hire lawyers. They still need to buy and sell businesses. They need divorces and to make out their wills.
If you need to hire a lawyer in 2020, you might find it a little more challenging than it usually would be. If you have an immunocompromised condition, you don’t want to visit a lawyer’s office in-person. That’s when you want to look into virtual law office capabilities.
Here are some ways law offices can do the job you need while keeping you safe.
If you don’t want to go to a law office and speak to a lawyer in-person, you’ll want to locate a firm that has virtual office capabilities. That’s because:
- If you must consult with a lawyer, you don’t have to leave your home
- You don’t have to risk Covid-19 exposure
If you need a lawyer right now, but you’d prefer not to leave your home because of health concerns, you want to find a technologically-savvy firm. You want one that has desktops and laptops that are camera-equipped.
You want them to have video call apps that you can use. Those might be mainstream platforms like Skype or Zoom. They should have speakers, microphones, and every other equipment piece they might need to communicate with you safely and easily.
Proprietary Communication Platforms
While it’s okay for law offices to communicate with you through popular platforms and apps, it’s also sometimes nice if they have a proprietary system set up. This means they have a custom-made platform through which you can talk to them. Through this app or platform, you can:
- Video chat with lawyers and other firm employees
- Send them email and instant messages
These platforms fulfill the same purpose as something like Zoom or Skype. The difference is that you understand you’re communicating with the law office on a private network where they have implemented their own security measures. That’s good to know if you’re talking about anything confidential.
You might also want to deal with a law office that has a corporate VPN set up. A VPN, or virtual private network, is how you can receive and send data that is more secure than simply sending it via email. With a VPN in place, it’s as though your computing device is plugged directly into the law office’s private network.
This will make you feel better about privileged communications if you’re sending the lawyers confidential information. You’ll always have lawyer-client privilege, but this way, you stay safe from hackers.
A business VPN provides even more safety. An organization sets it up, and their employees and clients can communicate via a secure, end-to-end, encrypted connection. This makes it even less likely anyone can spy on your conversations.
Electronic Document Signing
You want the law firm you use to have electronic document-signing capabilities. This is a way for you to “sign” a critical document electronically. Again, it saves you the possible danger of heading to a lawyer’s office in-person or them coming to you.
If you have to sign a document quickly because you want to bid on a house, this is how you can do that. There are many other documents you might have to sign electronically. Your signature is still perfectly valid, even if you didn’t sign a physical document.
A Lawyer Can Represent You in Court
If you have to make a court appearance, but you have an immunocompromised condition, your lawyer might also be able to appear on your behalf. They can represent your best interests while you’re at home, in the hospital, etc.
They can also make sure you see what’s happening live by using a smartphone, computer monitor, etc., right there in the courtroom. They can use an app to call you and then make sure you’re getting the live play-by-play. They can speak for you, or you can talk to the judge or jury yourself via speakers, a smartphone, a laptop, etc.
You want a technology-equipped lawyer’s office on your side these days. That’s necessary because of Covid-19 concerns, but it also indicates the law firm you hired embraces the latest tech. That’s ample reason for you to look on them favorably.
Photo credits: eOffice