Katrina taught lawyers in New Orleans how to work better outside of the traditional law office.
That was 15 years ago, and our society wasn’t as cloud-dependent as it is now.
The corona virus is disrupting a lot of things, but our global internet is working pretty much as it was before the virus’s outbreak in China.
Back in 2005 there was no cloud-based practice management software (e.g. Clio or Rocketmatter).
There was no Dropbox etc.
The average bandwidth was lower then. And not as many people were adept at using WiFi.
Now we are all pretty savvy about using the Internet, smartphones, Wi-Fi, cloud document services etc.
But now the crisis calls for us to learn to use all these tools to be more adept at working remotely, and at collaborating virtually.
And if we use this moment as an opportunity learn those things we’ll succeed at…
Turning lemons into lemonade.
That’s what I did during Katrina. I used that time to train myself to operate better and more efficiently.
I examined everything I was doing and asked myself “what is working, and why did it keep working?”
What worked was text messaging and it kept working because it was more disaster-proof than full-fledged cellphone service.
So I focused on learning how to communicate effectively using text messaging.
What didn’t work was anything plugged into the electrical grid in the New Orleans metropolitan area. So the servers at my big law firm (this was before I went solo) were offline. That meant no website, no document retrieval, no ability to send out bills, no email, no phones.
What worked for me was my simple weblog, my personal email (google’s gmail), and my laptop which had all my documents scanned in as PDFs.
That’s when I knew that the Cloud was more disaster proof and more robust than using localized servers.
That’s also when I realized that a solo lawyer who embraced technology and used it sensibly was better off than a lumbering big firm that needed several committee meetings to figure out how to deal with technology.
How to leverage this corona virus opportunity
Right now a lot of people are stressed out and it’s understandable why.
But if you let your life be consumed by the panic and mayhem you’ll miss an important opportunity to improve how you work remotely.
This is not a drill. This is a global catastrophe.
And you can use it to learn in a “real world scenario.” You can examine closely what’s working well and what’s not as easy as you might have thought.
Now is the time to learn to work better remotely. It’s not like you have a lot of choice, right?