Law Practice Tips: Disaster Recovery Planning
Every business has had to adapt to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and quarantine, including businesses that engage in the practice of law. Granted, most business owners, including attorneys, were not prepared for the effects of the coronavirus. But it was those attorneys who were prepared for the pandemic or anything like it, to any extent, that were able to more quickly adapt and keep their law practices operating. Although most attorneys possess the ability to think on their feet and react to a situation analytically in an expedient fashion, it is best to be prepared so that they may always be responsive to the needs of their practice. Ask any attorney who practices in an area on the eastern seaboard that has been ravaged by a hurricane.
It is important to remember that a “disaster” may occur in many ways. A “disaster” may indicate the inability to practice because of health reasons. Sudden illness or an accident may cause serious, even life-threatening injuries that may not only impede the ability to practice law, but also the ability to function and perform everyday tasks.
Most businesses need a physical location as the headquarters of the business. This facility houses and stores resources that are necessary for the business to function. Any damage to resources or lack of access to intact resources is an interruption in the regular operations of the business.
The following are some examples of potential emergencies with some more serious than others:
- a biking or motor vehicle accident hospitalizes you;
- a sick family member requires your assistance;
- you are out-of-town, transportation is delayed home, and there is a hearing or trial scheduled for the next day;
- a power outage;
- computer issues;
- stolen property (computers, servers);
- earthquake; and
This list is not exhaustive, of course, but still may provide some idea of those events which require preparation and disaster planning and disaster recovery planning. The next step is to consider and analyze the available alternatives for addressing the issues and problems associated with these events.
Always having access to your calendar and client telephone numbers is a good place to start. It is also important to always keep computers with confidential files within your control at all times, especially in public places like courthouses and airports.
A key to implementing an effective disaster recovery plan for a business is to ensure that you have an effective disaster recovery plan for your family. This will enable you to focus on your practice recovery efforts as soon as possible. If not, the result will be that you will expend valuable time that could have been spent on maintaining the operations of the business.
The coronavirus pandemic forced businesses to operate by employees performing their job functions remotely. The businesses that were most successful in making the transition were those businesses that were best suited for making the transition from office to home. While a doctor cannot examine a patient remotely, a lawyer using modern technology may still communicate with a client over Skype, Zoom, or even the telephone. Anyone who works in an office on a computer may generally do the same thing at home if they are equipped to do so. Ensuring that all of a law practice’s employees can work from home at a moment’s notice, seamlessly without interruption of job performance may prove most useful in an uncertain, unanticipated, tense situation.
Also, maintain separate backup boot disks for computers. All of the disks should be kept with your system software in a safe, dry place. Because restoring from backups to recover a system often requires the re-installation of some software applications, the easier availability of these necessary items will expedite the recovery of a computer system and network.
Finally, there are insurance options available in disaster situations. Consult your insurance agent to discuss and consider the best insurance alternatives for your needs in this situation. Insurance may be available to not only cover the usual losses caused by fire or natural disaster but losses that include business income, files, premises liability, and other disaster-related expenses.
Like traditional law schools, California Desert Trial Academy’s curriculum is designed to teach students the substantive law of core subject areas. Unlike traditional law schools, CDTA emphasizes training and developing students to be capable and competent advocates in any courtroom. The California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) is a 21st Century law school that moves students toward a successful legal career on the first day of class. We believe that practical experience in tandem with legal knowledge is the best road to a successful, rewarding, and prosperous legal career. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.