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Delivering Value During COVID: Associate Perspective By: Symone Shinton

No lawyer has been spared from the stress that the impact of COVID-19 has caused. Some have lost or fear losing their jobs. Most are anxious for what the future holds. Others are tasked with leading lawyers and staff through this wave of uncertainty while managing their own anxiety.

Now more than ever, calm is your currency.

COVID has taken us all by surprise, and those responsible for the firm’s health and employees’ livelihoods stepped into this disaster overnight. As an associate, you should see this time as an opportunity to demonstrate your leadership skills under pressure. Yes, thoughtfully consider work product that you can deliver during this time period where you have been relieved from the time constraints of traveling for depositions and attending status hearings in court. But also check in on staff. Lighten the mood on a conference call. Smile on your Zoom video meeting. Share productivity hacks that are working for you at home. Be the one to initiate client contact just for the sake of assuring them that all is well during these trying times.

Be the associate whose hand not only does not need to be held, but is readily extended to guide and comfort others. Get creative about work product that will genuinely add value to your clients’ cases. Draft those deposition summaries you previously couldn’t because you were busy preparing for the next deposition. Synthesize documents into case themes, and start answering questions you previously didn’t have the time to even ask.

Trial is uncertain. Law is uncertain. Life is uncertain. The spoils belong to those of us who can be relied on when all the guardrails fall off. Show your colleagues and superiors that’s who you are. You may never be given another opportunity quite like this one.

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