Managing a Manhattan Law Firm in the Midst of a Pandemic

by | Jun 17, 2020 | Mia Poppe

The Three Pillars to Operating Our Law Firm in the COVID-19 Pandemic

“COVID-19 took everyone by surprise, but as New Yorkers and Americans, we’re resilient, adaptable, and are determined to win,” says Mia Poppe, Esq. from the Law Firm of Poppe & Associates, a boutique New York City Matrimonial and Family Law Firm.

“This is just another part of our story,” quipped Mia.

Mia Poppe, a female business owner who founded and manages her midtown Manhattan Firm, has certainly faced challenges and adversity over the last decade of building her successful law practice. What small business hasn’t? But, now to the Firm and to Attorney Mia Poppe, the stakes seem even higher.

“In February and even most of March, it seemed as though COVID-19 was so far away, but one day, suddenly, we were in crisis planning mode,” Mia shared. The Firm quickly sprung into action to audit and adapt their existing business technology and continuity plan to meet the needs of their clients. Time was of the essence as New York City had become the epicenter of outbreak in the United States.

“We looked at every single piece of technology from how we communicate with clients to how we maintain and access case information. Many of our clients are going through divorces with custody at issue, and custody and access issues, as we anticipated, would require new strategic methods given the impacts to the courts. We had to make sure that we could continue to advocate for our clients, in particular when both physical safety and parental access were both compromised in the time of the uncontrolled pandemic. We had to continue “business as usual” despite the challenge confronting us,” expressed Mia.

The Law Firm of Poppe & Associates evaluated and simulated every scenario to ensure that working remotely would have no impact on the day to day client advocacy, at a time when courts had sharply limited operations, or were closed to filings, except for emergencies.

“There are a lot of tips and tricks on ‘what’ you should do to operate a law practice remotely. We looked past “band-aide” temporary fixes; rather we engineered new processes that could, for the long term, accomplish serving our clients relentlessly in the office, or in remote home-based offices.

As a result, Mia and the Firm arrived at the following pillars to how they would continue to operate their firm in the midst of COVID-19:

  • Over-communicate with Clients – Keep clients abreast of their matters real-time.
  • Test server and backup systems regularly – Every business has back-up systems – interval testing should be a regular part of the workflow to ensure continuity.
  • Reinforce daily the Firm’s core value of ‘Relentless Advocacy’. – A firm’s core value is it’s guiding light. It’s the lens through which decisions are made. In times of crisis, it’s critical to remember your core values.

1. Over-communicate with Clients

“We exist to serve our clients, helping them navigate through what can sometimes be the scariest time of their lives,” says Mia. “As a group, we knew that we had to focus on the lifeblood of our business, our clients, making sure that we were in constant communication with them about changes to court dates, firm processes, and updates on their case.”

This means that the Attorney Poppe and her team are touching base with clients on a weekly basis. In addition to this, the firm sends out COVID-19  updates and helpful blog posts regularly to ensure that their clients are always in the know.

2. Test Server and Backup Systems Regularly

“We implemented regular “stress tests” on our various firm platforms to ensure that we could continually meet the needs of our clients,” says Mia. “We follow Murphy’s Law that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Our goal is to catch it before it does.”

Regular system checks help The Law Firm of Poppe and Associates ensure that they are able to deliver on their promise to be relentless advocates to the clients that trust them with their family and matrimonial law matters.

3. Remember Our Firm’s Core Value of “Relentless Advocacy”

“Our firm is built on our core value of ‘Relentless Advocacy’,” explained Mia. “This is our north star when it comes to how we operate professionally and personally. Relentless advocacy means that we are constantly in pursuit of our client’s best interests, day or night, pandemic or not.”

“It is important now more than ever to remember this core value,” says Mia.

And with that in mind, the Firm continues to be relentless advocates day in and day out for their clients, even in these extremely trying and uncertain times.