SIDEBAR Summer/Fall 2020 - 17

SIDEBAR FEATURE

Practicing
in a Pandemic

T

hough it seems like more than a just a few months ago,
the World Health Organization designated Coronavirus
Disease 2019 (COVID-19) a global pandemic on March
11, 2020. Within days, the disease caused widespread closures here
in the United States, beginning with professional sports leagues and
quickly followed by businesses and state-mandated lockdowns. As
we attempted to curtail the spread of the virus by implementing
self-quarantine and social distancing techniques, many of us
scrambled to rethink our business practices and to accept remote
working conditions as a way of life.
Our profession has not been immune to the economic impact
felt across the globe. Many attorneys found themselves struggling
to earn revenue as courts closed and cases were continued
indefinitely. Client interaction, when possible, was difficult.

applications to videos from resident experts addressing tax,
insurance, employment and HR concerns. Members utilized our
50+ listserv communities in record numbers to share updates and
information, while staff did its best to monitor and assist those
in need of assistance. Insurance and benefits partners, banking
partners and others also proved to be lifelines for members. Many
offered a single point of contact for our members, while some even
offered live 24/7 assistance.

Virtual Events and Information Sessions

Whenever possible, previously scheduled in-person gatherings,
meetings, and events became live virtual happenings. Through
the end of June, the MBA hosted over 60 virtual meetings and
events, and nearly 20 live CLE webinars. Over 2,400 individuals
As the days passed, we learned how to Zoom and how to Go
attended these events, which ranged from town hall gatherings,
To Meetings and Webinars. We learned how to quickly turn our
expert-led on-camera training, judicial information sessions,
cameras and/or microphones off when children came barreling into legislative updates to health and wellness programs, happy hours, a
the room or dogs barked at the Amazon Prime trucks. We learned
virtual beer tasting, bingo, even a virtual piano bar. Many included
how important email communication and listserv messages could
sponsors, which in many cases allowed us to waive or offset
be. We learned how well pajama pants can complement a sport
member attendee fees. We offered a number of free CLE courses,
coat and tie.
deeply discounted our live CLE webinars, and reduced the cost of
We adapted.
our on-demand CLE seminars for members who may be struggling
financially. Our virtual gatherings also included multiple diversityWe created a "new normal" of practicing law during a global
pandemic - something not taught in law school (but may be going related sessions, held by our incredible Diversity Committee
and MBA leadership, including a timely presentation entitled
forward)! Here are just a few ways that your Montgomery Bar
"Racism in America, Politics, and the Law" featuring PA State
Association pivoted to better serve you during this unprecedented
Representative Joanna McClinton, which drew an unprecedented
time:
170 attendees.

Timely Resources
For starters, the MBA wasted no time in preparing and building
out its Online COVID-19 Resource Center, which by midMarch served as a centralized location for closing announcements,
judicial emergency orders, and new procedures for our county
court, as well as those of neighboring counties and jurisdictions.
Here, members and their staffs could also find carefully vetted
content ranging from the latest on PPP and SBA EIDL program

Promoting Our Members, and Visibility for Our
Lawyer Referral Service During Challenging Times
We arranged timely, on-camera speaking engagements on
Action News for our Employment Law Committee Chair;
designed posters addressing common COVID-19 related issues
that were distributed and hung in public-accessible areas of our
courts; featured LRS panelists addressing common COVID-19
continued on next page >
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SIDEBAR Summer/Fall 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SIDEBAR Summer/Fall 2020

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https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARFall2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSummer2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSpring2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARWinter2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSummerFall2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSpring2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARWinter2019-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARFall2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSummer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSpring2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARWinter2018-19
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARFall2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSummer2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/LRSINSIGHT
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSpring2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARWinter2017-18
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSummer2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/hoffmann/MontgomeryBarAssociation/SIDEBARSpring2017
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