As part of an industry focused on services, law firms know that their people are their most valuable assets. Yet many firms have crisis plans that are untested, rarely updated and lack consistency between office locations. Office administrators spend a lot of time researching best practices from a multitude of different sources, but don’t have an effective way to pass on the knowledge and maintain a whole team trained to lead a crisis response. While more than 60% of business leaders say they have a business continuity plan, it’s important for law firms to review their emergency preparedness, disaster recovery, and business continuity plans on a recurring basis. The way that they act in a crisis will surely have an effect on how the law firm is viewed by the public and potential clients which is why being in control of your public image is crucial to continued success. With the help of a marketing agency like Gladiator Law Marketing, law firms can begin to represent themselves online however they choose in order to maximize positive public opinion, including ads, SEO, and web design. Here are four key areas to consider when dealing with a crisis:

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Documents & Data Storage

The biggest threat to your business may be sitting in your own office. Keeping data backup files on-premise exposes your firm to greater risk in the event of a crisis. A secure backup solution is to have data storage offsite and the ability to access to critical information online. Preparis services such as cloud-based document sharing are a great resource for firms looking for secure access to business continuity plans.

Emergency Notification

Ensuring your firm can connect and communicate with key stakeholders during a disaster can determine your ability to bounce back. Every month, update the names, phone numbers, and email addresses for all parties who would need to be notified of a crisis. Then, have an emergency messaging system which enables voice, text and email alerts. Phone trees and e-mail blasts won’t be enough in the event of a natural disaster or threat of an active shooter in your office.

Client support

The first item a firm needs to take care of is its employees, and then ensure their clients know the firm is still open and ready for business. Have attorneys contact all their clients immediately following a crisis, plus post communications to external websites. This will also be a good way to help advise the media who might attempt to contact the firm with press inquiries. Client support is one of the main priorities when owning a law firm because they are the individual that are in need of legal support, finding a field such as real estate law and offering a confidential client-lawyer interpersonal relationship with heart and a professional manner will keep any law firm thriving!

Administrative

Be prepared to reroute core administrative functions – such as secretarial work or time-entry accounting – to other office branches or provide administrative employees with the ability to access key systems remotely. Consider office supplies that will be needed immediately following a crisis. There may also be certain assets in the office that are vital for your business and if anything were to go wrong, you may have to move elsewhere. This would mean that the assets would have to move with you! Perhaps it might be worth looking at a few different types of printers. There are lots of different printers on the market at the minute, so perhaps looking for a printer that is easily transportable might be good for your business when in a crisis situation. This goes for any other assets you would have to move too, so be sure to do your research, read reviews to ensure your firm finds the most suitable and adaptable supplies in case a disaster were to occur. Also, have the mailroom staff contact the local post office to re-route delivery of critical documents and packages.

Preparis partners with several top-law firms around the country for their emergency preparedness systems, and you can read their testimonials here. To ensure your emergency preparedness plans are up to date, e-mail us at info@preparis.com or give us a call at 404.662.2950. Our Services team is here to customize plans to help your business prepare for any crisis. Also, follow us on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates on industry news and events.