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Turning Your Law Firm into a Virtual Office: Meetings and Communications

The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused our society to reconsider travel and social interactions. As a result, regular business meetings are being canceled and postponed. Numerous businesses, including law firms, are asking employees to work from home and have to re-evaluate how to meet with clients. To assist you in your re-evaluation, here is a list of some of the tools that we’ve found valuable at ElderCounsel in our decade (plus) of remote meetings.

Virtual Meetings

Zoom
https://zoom.us
Offers communications software that combines video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration. It works across multiple platforms enabling access from browsers and applications—laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Zoom also provides transcription services so your client meetings can be recorded and transcribed easily (paid version only).
Pricing: $0 to $19.99/month/account
The free account permits up to 100 participants, up to 40-minute meeting limit.

Skype
https://www.skype.com
Accessible by most people with an internet connection, Skype allows users to connect with one another through chat and video conferencing instantly. While a subscription fee is required to communicate with land-based phones, most offices can use this service for free. Skype also offers instant messaging services. Users may transmit text, video, audio, and images. It's built for both one-on-one and group conversations and works wherever you are via mobile, PC, Xbox, and Alexa.

Calendering

These services allow your clients or colleagues to book time with you directly based on your dictated availability and takes the hassle out of matching calendar availability and the back and forth of email. Share via a link or integrate it within your website.

Seminars and Workshops

Retail and wholesale seminars can be an effective way to generate new leads and business consistently. Some firms' seminar strategy is their primary source for new client acquisition. How do you keep this going in a time when gatherings are being restricted?

Live stream, webcast, webinar, virtual workshop—many names, one concept: deliver your message to your audience, anywhere, anytime. Invited attendees log-in via a computer, tablet, or mobile phone and see and hear what's happening with the option to participate.

There are many different software choices for hosting virtual seminars. In addition to serving as a viable solution, they can provide time and cost savings too.

Zoom
https://zoom.us
Offers communications software that combines video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration. It works across multiple platforms enabling access from browsers and applications—laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
Pricing: $0 to $19.99/month/account
The free account permits up to 100 participants, up to 40-minute meeting limit.

GoToWebinar or GotoMeeting
https://www.gotomeeting.com/webinar
https://www.gotomeeting.com
If you're looking to present to a group of people, this platform allows you the ability for your clients to interact with the seminar if you want to make sure your employees attend the meeting. Capture attendee reports, conduct polls, distribute handouts, monitor engagement. GotoWebinar and GotoMeeting also provide transcription services, depending on the plan chosen.
Pricing: $49 to $99/month.
Free seven-day trial option.

Equipment and System Requirements

If your computer, laptop, or tablet does not have an integrated web camera option, you will need to purchase an external one. Here are a few options with a variety of price points:

Be sure your internet speed will support streaming the workshop, and your environment is conducive to a lecture-style presentation.

  • We strongly recommend a wired internet connection with a minimum speed of 20 Mbps. Learn your speed at www.speedtest.net.
  • Our experience is that Google Chrome is the most reliable browser.
  • Have a quiet place without interruptions or distracting backgrounds.
  • Use a wired microphone or a headset with a built-in microphone.
  • Close other applications and bandwidth-heavy systems s such as cloud applications that require continuous syncing.
  • If you wish to allow your attendees to participate, you'll need a speaker (built-in or external) to hear them.

Getting the Word Out

There are several ways to promote a webinar. Below are examples of ways to get the word out to your target audience. We suggest using a variety of strategies for greater effectiveness and to achieve top of mind awareness.  

  • Email and Newsletter
  • Blog and Website
  • Social Media
  • Digital Advertising
  • Direct Mail

Don't be intimidated by virtual meetings and webinars.

LAB Services can advise you on solutions to meet your needs, help your meetings and seminars run smoothly, and assist with technical setup.  LAB Services can also help you advertise your webinars to promote your practice.

This is part three of a blog series to help you get your office up and running while practicing social distancing. We've previously discussed file sharing and work collaboration followed by keeping your staff accountable and internal communication lines open

Another area we know is a concern to law firms is how to get legal documents signed during this pandemic when your office is virtual and nursing homes are limiting visitors. We are having a free video that covers our research, thoughts, and suggestions on this very topic. 

How to Get Documents Signed During the COVID-19 Crisis

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