In Washington, in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, courts have shut down across the state. They are allowing only certain types of legal matters to be heard. Understandably, this has impacted law firms, and many are going to start feeling a crunch (if they haven't already). Attorney Jonathan Dichter of DUIHeroes recently spoke with Crisp Founder & CEO Michael Mogill and Scorpion about the current crisis and how our firm is seeing this as an opportunity to remain relevant rather than getting crushed by the pressures of these unprecedented times.
On Being Proactive
Attorney Dichter practices law in Snohomish County, Washington, near the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the state. He told Mogill that when news first hit about residents becoming infected with the disease, he made the quick decision to have him and his staff work from home. He didn't want to put the health and safety of his staff nor current or potential clients at risk. He said that being proactive during this crisis was essential.
At DUIHeroes, we've had to adjust to the changes brought on by COVID-19. We're working from home, and we've adapted by using technology to continue to have meetings with staff and current and future clients.
As statewide shutdowns continue, there's ample opportunity to be proactive. Attorney Dichter told Scorpion that now's a great time to focus on cases and work on deals with the prosecution. Because when this thing ends, preparation now is going to help move cases through the system more quickly.
On Staying in Communication with Clients
At DUIHeroes, one of the first things we did upon working from home and learning about the court closures across the state was reach out to our current clients. We called or emailed them to let them know we were still here, we were still handling their cases, and we were available to answer questions. Talking with clients goes a long way.
When we reached out to our clients, understanding that some might be facing financial struggles because of the COVID-19 outbreak, we offered to defer payments for those on payment plans. We received positive responses from them.
When speaking with Scorpion, Attorney Dichter said that contacting our clients and recognizing their situations wasn't about making sure they were going to be able to make their payments. It was about showing them that we are present, we're still operating our firm with integrity, and we want to ensure things are working for them.
On Recognizing Opportunities
The COVID-19 outbreak has had, and will continue to have, many adverse effects on life. And although it's important to recognize the seriousness of the situation, it's also essential to see the opportunities that can arise from it. Now is the chance to do the things we've said we've wanted to but didn't have the time. It's an opportunity to remember why we got into the business and keep that feeling alive.
When the courts were open, there may have been many things that needed to be done but got put on hold. The current shutdowns give more time to focus on the things we couldn't when we were running back and forth to the courts.
Attorney Dichter told Scorpion that this is a time to evolve. Right now, we can't do "business as usual," and we need to find new ways of doing things. That might mean taking a look at current processes and asking if they work. If not, how can they be fixed? How can new ones be created?
At DUIHeroes, we're taking the time to focus on our rebranding, working with our marketing teams to build our presence. When everything opens up again, we'll be the firm that persevered through the adversity. Sure, at first there will be a struggle, but the work that we're putting in now will help us pick up the pieces. We're business owners: We know how to build from scratch. We can use that knowledge to pick ourselves back up.
On Connecting with Others
Attorney Dichter told Mogill that to continue forward momentum during this challenging time, it's essential to "connect with people, connect with your teammates, connect with yourself." This can help reveal other opportunities and can help keep from becoming stagnant.