The MLO Minute: By, Katie Ryan, Michael Connolly, Lesley Mehalick, and Dennis McAndrews
These have been difficult times for everyone. The challenges faced by families, individuals, businesses, school officials, teachers, and vulnerable populations such as persons with disabilities and the elderly are unprecedented. These circumstances require all of us to adapt and adjust in major ways, and those of us in our legal family are no exception. While even before the current pandemic our firm was well positioned in terms of technology and training, times like these have required many innovative practices to continue to serve our clients, and every day we explore and implement additional extraordinary means to continue to serve our clients.
For example, in our special education practice, we have expanded our use of electronic communications of every kind, whether it involves transfer of records, conducting client meetings, or communication with school officials and counsel. We are conducting special education due process hearings virtually and successfully, and are participating in all types of litigation through telecommunication means.
Our Estates and Trusts Department is similarly using all available means of communication and client contact to ensure that the Estate Planning needs of our clients are met. In addition to virtual client meetings, we are also ensuring the documents are executed in manners that are fully legally compliant and with personal safety, including “drive-by notarization” at offices, porches, driveways, etc. in safe and legally effective manners. We are also conducting hearings virtually or, where available and with safety precautions, in-person with socially distant procedures.
Our business operations during the current health crisis are based upon our commitments to service and safety. We are constantly reviewing our internal and external procedures to provide value and affordability to clients, and we are blessed with an outstanding array of exceptional attorneys with experience and empathy, who are guided by a skilled leadership team which focuses upon the interests of our clients.
We continue to provide initial special education client meetings at no charge, and most special education matters are handled without hourly fees to our clients. We are open and transparent concerning the cost of our Estate Planning work by providing our fee schedule on our website, which is unique in the practice of law. We look forward to serving you and your families at this unprecedented time.