Our Clients Were Prepared for COVID-19 (Well, the remote access part of it)

Not the pandemic itself, of course.

None of us is prepared for a pandemic.

But our clients at Integrated Technology Services, LLC all knew that to prepare for a catastrophe, they needed to transform their offices into a paperless environment. And we tell clients of our law firm, the Law Offices of Daniel J. Siegel, LLC, that we have cutting edge technology, which will allow us to operate remotely even when the Governor has ordered us to close our physical office.

So did the thousands of attorneys who have listened to our webinars, attended our CLE programs or read one of the many articles (and a couple of the books by) Technologist/Attorney Dan Siegel and Technologist/Paralegal Pam Myers. Just last month, Dan spoke on Paperless 3.0 at ABA TECHSHOW and attendees learned how to build upon a paperless office, and do more. And Dan received rave reviews. Plus, Dan and Pam’s books were huge sellers. Everyone raves about The Ultimate Guide to Adobe Acrobat DCTheir other book, Checklists for Lawyerssold out quickly, as did Dan’s book (co-authored by Allison Shields), How to Do More in Less Time

Yet it’s still amazing how many law firms of every size have lamented how unprepared they were for a pandemic. Dan has been warning lawyers forever that they need to be prepared for a catastrophe, not necessarily a pandemic, but some major event that would prevent them from going to their offices and working.

Dan was right. No, he never imagined a pandemic but knew that events would force firms to work remotely. Most ignored him. And many said they wanted to go paperless to allow them to work remotely, but that was often talk, not action.

Now the time has come, and it’s more surreal than any of could have contemplated.

Lawyers are lamenting that they weren’t prepared to work remotely, or worse – they have remote access to their offices but nothing, or almost nothing, has been scanned, so they login and can’t see or review or work on anything they need.

 

Having remote access without being paperless is like wanting cake or cookies and looking through the plate glass windows of a closed bakery. The cakes and the cookies are there, you want them, but you can’t have them. They are beyond your reach and you can’t do anything to change it.

That’s what it’s like not being paperless. The “stuff” is in your office, you know, you need it, but you can’t have it. And now, no one else can too – because of the most incomprehensible event – a pandemic. Dan Siegel has warned for years that stuff happens, but never thought it would be this.

Yet at Dan’s law office, during the pandemic lockdown, he and his staff can do everything that they did in the office. Well almost. The only thing we can’t do outside the office is print checks, a situation that arises only for IOLTA account checks and when we need to send a check with a HIPAA authorization, both of which are rare.

Otherwise, while we miss each other’s company, our office will continue to operate. We don’t have deadlines right now, but we have work to do. And lots of things to catch up on.

We can do all of that easily because we are paperless.

But like learning to ride a bike, or learning how to take a deposition, or anything else, it takes a time, a bit of training, and a bit of commitment.

At Integrated Technology Services, we are practicing lawyers and paralegals, who practice what we teach, and teach what we practice. While we can’t come to your office, we can consult and teach online, properly socially distanced. Give Pam or Dan a call at 610-446-3467 or click here to send them an email. We promise to prepare you for the next pandemic, or even something as mundane as a blizzard.

Photo by Jan Baborák on Unsplash

About dsiegel

Dan Siegel authors the Technology column in The Philadelphia Lawyer, quarterly magazine of the Philadelphia Bar Association; he also authors the Technology column in Trial Magazine, the official publication of the American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA)). Dan is a nationally-known writer and lecturer about technology in law offices and in litigation. Sensing the need for a firm to address the technology needs of attorneys, Dan opened Integrated Technology Services, LLC, which focuses exclusively upon ways for lawyers and legal support staff to handle cases more efficiently. An attorney since 1984, Dan serves in many technology-related positions. He is Vice-Chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association Law Practice Management Division and co-chairs its Practice Technology Committe. A solo practitioner, Dan chaired the Computer Committee at Anapol Schwartz in Philadelphia. Dan is also a certified Trainer for LiveNote and certified to support and train Time Matters, CaseMap, TimeMap and LegalFiles.
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