SEPTEMBER 2020 | AROUND THE ANNUAL MEETING

New website assists lawyers navigating through COVID-19 fallout

To help legal professionals meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis, the American Bar Association has launched the Practice Forward website, which will serve as a clearinghouse of ABA-related information and resources to support and advance the practice of law and the judicial system.

“We are going to leverage the power of the entire ABA to address all of the changes to the practice of law that will arise out of this extended period of remote working,” ABA President Patricia Lee Refo said. “Our work will help lawyers in all practice settings to better serve their clients.”

Experts say that among the challenges the legal profession faces due to the pandemic are access to technology and virtual tools for law practice, justice system backlogs, economic impact of losing business and legal jobs, language and disability access, and ethics and cybersecurity issues.

The website, which was launched in July, will disseminate ABA resources — seminars, publications, best practices and more — as well as information from partners in state, local and specialty bar associations to help determine how the legal workplace will function and optimize client service.

The website is part of the work of the Coordinating Group on Practice Forward, which was created last May to leverage the strength of the entire ABA by coordinating pandemic-responsive resources throughout the association. The tools, information and thought leadership address topics such as law practice management, the practice of law and professional development.

The coordinating group, led by immediate past House of Delegates chair Bill Bay and longtime ABA leader Laura Farber, also aims to look beyond the COVID-19 crisis for innovations and new ways for legal professionals to provide their services and deliver justice. 

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