Disasters come in all shapes and sizes, from a burst pipe to a “Katrina sized” event. Regardless of the size and scope, lawyers must take steps to protect their practices and serve their clients – and possibly other victims affected by a disaster. The resources below will help lawyers and firms prepare for and respond to disasters.
The ABA Legal Technology Resource Center (LTRC) can help you and your firm in disaster preparedness. Contact LTRC directly at 312.988.5465 or via email with your questions regarding the use of technology in the practice of law.
LTRC can help with:
- Best practices for computer backup and disposal
- Business continuity
- Checklists for Disaster Preparedness
- Tech Resources for Disaster Relief
- Checklist to help you get your practice up and running after a disaster
- Hotline for technology consultation after a disaster
- Information on available local and national technology resources
Disaster Planning and Recovery for Law Firms
- ABA Guide to Conducting a Business Continuity Exercise
- The Essential Formbook: Comprehensive Management Tools for Lawyers (Vol IV, Disaster Planning, Risk Management and Professional Liability Insurance. (excerpts, four volume set may be purchased through the ABA Webstore).
- Being Prepared with Law Office Emergency Planning
- Disaster and Recovery – Special Issue of ABA General Practice, Solo, & Small Firm Division magazine
- Planning for Reconstituting a Law Office after a Disaster
- After Disaster Strikes: A Checklist
- Small Office Disaster or COOP Plan
- Preparing, Reacting & Resuming Life
- Firms and Courts Take up Challenge of Preparing for the Worst
- Disaster Recovery: Steps to Take in the Recovery Effort
- Pandemics: Preparing Businesses for a Global Outbreak (D. Benson & A Paterra, South Carolina Lawyer, July 2009)
Law Practice Management Resources
Several online-converted articles address planning, recovery, and continuity of a disaster-struck law firm. These articles are published in the ABA's Law Practice Management Section. Representative articles include:
- Security Advice for the Solo Practitioner
- 4 Steps to Getting Serious About Law Firm Cybersecurity
- Before Disaster Strikes: What Law Firms Should Know About Case Management and Electronic Case Filing
- Preparing for a Disaster: Data Backup and Beyond
- Hosting a Law Firm Web Site - What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
- Network Risk Insurance: Privacy & Security Exposures and Solutions for Law Firms
- Protecting Civil Liberties During Quarantine and Isolation in Public Health Emergencies
- Aftermath Recovery: Beyond an Afterthought
- Consequence-Based Analysis: An Emerging Risk Assessment Paradigm
Lawyer Assistance Programs
Following a disaster it is normal to feel sad, angry, and overwhelmed. The ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance can identify local and state assistance programs to help you cope with the effects of a disaster.
Keep in Touch with the ABA
If you are an ABA member and have been temporarily or permanently dislocated due to a disaster, please contact the ABA service center (1-800-285-2221) or go on line to change your address.