Rent is Due Tomorrow, and It’s Going to be Bad. Tomorrow is going to be a terrifying day for lots of people across the country. That’s because it’s the first of the month, and rent and mortgage payments will be due for millions of families, and a good number of those people are out of work.
Clients in all types of industries are scared. They’re scared for their business. For their employees. For their personal finances.
Some businesses are taking aggressive action to preserve/conserve cash, but that’s a bold move and beyond what most small businesses or individuals can envision. Who on earth imagined a future where “I’m not paying my mortgage next month” is a valid financial planning option?
It’s important that we, as lawyers, figure out how to help. This article in the Wall Street Journal, Bankruptcy Law Needs a Boost for Coronavirus, suggests that our financial and restructuring bar is thinner than it should be.
This is a real concern that I’ve heard from bankruptcy lawyers for about a year, even before people had any idea that a global pandemic was possible. There aren’t many bankruptcy lawyers under the age of 40. It’s because, basically, in the last 10 years, the economy has been strong enough that there hasn’t been growth in new practitioners.
This Bloomberg News article, Bankruptcy Phones Ring Off the Hook; Firms Prep for Deluge, suggests that there will be big time growth in the practice area.
So, we get our coronavirus updates whereever we can, right?
COVID-19 Webinars are the real fast spreading virus. Ok, so what role can lawyers play?
First off, slow down with the webinars. There are so many lawyer webinars right now.
I loved this tweet from @catmoon:
This is great advice, and it’s a good reminder to judge your client marketing first from a place of “Is this Useful to the Client?”
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have watched a fair share of coronavirus webinars, and I’ve learned a lot about the state of the economy and business interruption insurance. I even taught one (see below).
(Side Note: I’ve also learned that lawyers should do a test run before going live on a webinar. “I just heard someone grimace.”)
My advice? I agree with Cat 100%. Don’t make me listen to an hour-long webinar, when you could put that together in an article that I scan in 5 minutes. Everybody is busy, so let’s get to the point.
Also, maybe just call the clients and see what they need. Again, handing the mic to Cat Moon:
Call. E-mail. Text. Check in.
Separately, I taught a webinar. Ok, ok, I know. Webinars.
Mine was a CLE for the Tennessee Bar Association. It was titled “Navigating Client Financial Issues During the Pandemic,” and I hope it gave good, practical advice for both creditors and debtors.
But, yeah, do what I say, not what I do.