Thriving During a Pandemic
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The Friday Five

Practical Ways to Keep Your Practice Thriving During a Pandemic

By Kimberly McTorry

Thriving during a pandemic: Despite quarantine, court closures, and learning fourth-grade math, I’ve survived, and so has my firm.

Emotionally and professionally, 2020 was quite the rollercoaster. And so far, 2021 isn’t looking too hot either. As a wife, mother of three and managing attorney at my own practice, at times it has felt like I was doggie-paddling in the middle of the ocean. My kids may have even eaten cheese puffs for breakfast on a few occasions due to my early Zoom court appearances. Just last week, my family camped out in our living room without electricity or water during Texas’ historic winter storm.

But despite quarantine, the weather, frequent court closures, and pulling my hair out learning fourth-grade math, I have survived, and so has my firm. Just because the world around us is unraveling, it doesn’t mean your practice has to. There are practical ways to make it a little easier to navigate through these uncertain times.

Five Thoughts on Thriving During the Pandemic

Here are five thoughts on making the most of your time — and continuing to thrive — while practicing in a pandemic.

1. Create a Stronger Digital Mark

Now is a good time to work on your marketing. It doesn’t have to be hugely expensive. For example, focus on cleaning up your online profiles and increasing your social media presence. Test out advertising options. Make a goal as simple as committing to posting on your business page once a week. You’d be surprised how many people come across your content while scrolling.

(See “How to Stand Out on LinkedIn in Four Simple Steps”)

2. Embrace Technology

Learning new technology tools can be a headache — but you can make lemonade out of lemons by embracing technology. For example, how about offering consultations via Zoom? Instead of thinking of it as a way to make your life more difficult, think of it as a way to make your clients’ lives more convenient. They don’t have to drive or pay to park. They can reach their attorney from the comfort of their home. It’s also a way to manage long-winded clients.

(See: “Remote Work Lessons to Take Forward from the Shutdown”)

3. Load Up on Learning

Quarantine has created an influx of online CLEs and virtual legal conferences, presenting another way of thriving during the pandemic. Instead of waiting until the end of the year to cram in your required CLEs, start early. Use this time to perfect your practice area by soaking in as much information as you can. You can also use it to learn about new practice areas you didn’t have time to explore before.

(See: “CLE: Five Affordable Ways to Learn More About the Law”)

4. Clean Up Your Case Management

Many of us spent quarantine cleaning house. Do the same with your practice: Close cases, work on resolving problem cases, and get organized. You could take advantage of free software demos to learn more about automating your practice as well. (See No. 3.)

(See “How to Get Organized Despite the CHAOS “)

5. Decompress

As lawyers, we wear so many hats and sometimes take on more stress than we should. When you are burned out, it’s harder to remember your “why” and find your motivation. If your job is not bringing you joy, find something outside of work that does, whether it’s jogging or binge-watching a trashy show. Set boundaries for yourself and protect your peace. I know. It’s easier said than done. Perhaps instead of saying, “I’m not going to check my email after 6 p.m.,” say, “I’m going to set aside at least one hour a day to focus on me.” No law-related stuff allowed.

(See “Attorney Unhappiness Hits a High: What We Can Do About It”)

Illustration ©iStockPhoto.com

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McTorry Law Kimberly McTorry

Kimberly McTorry is a trial lawyer and managing partner of McTorry Law (www.shesmylawyer.com) in Humble, Texas. Prior to forming her own law firm, Kimberly was a prosecutor at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in Houston. Kimberly is a graduate of Belmont University Law School,  a charter member of Belmont Law’s Board of Advocates, and a fellow of the Tennessee Bar Association’s Diversity Leadership Institute. Follow her on LinkedIn and @shes_my_lawyer on Instagram.

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