Written by the MDW Law Team
Edited by the Symplicity team
Maritime Resilience is a series of stories on how local organizations are adapting to COVID-19.
MDW Law is not a “typical” law firm. We are a boutique firm that is dedicated to family and
personal injury law. We are owned, led, and managed by an all-female partnership of four women
who are respected leaders in their fields.
Our response to the current COVID-19 crisis is also unusual, and that’s a good thing.
COVID-19 has brought with it a whole onslaught of new legal issues from how to manage parenting plans to how to alter support arrangements in light of layoffs. In this time of uncertainty, our most important role is to provide as much certainty as we can to our clients.
In the time of this unprecedented pandemic, MDW Law has innovated and moved quickly to offer virtual mediation and arbitration services. We are also leading the provision of information to the legal community at large on how COVID-19 impacts our business and the legal issues faced by clients. We have published daily blogs and made ourselves available for media interviews on relevant topics.
A number of changes have been instituted: all staff and lawyers are now fully transitioned for working from home (and our reception phone even rings into an employee’s home office), initial consultations now occur by video, our morning team “huddles” are all virtual, and the partners “meet” regular via video to respond to the changing land- scape brought to us by COVID-19.
We worked hard to create a sense of team and in this time of stress it has reinforced that we are agile, nimble, flexible and more prepared than we realized to deal with this massive disruption to our work.
That’s not to say that this has been “easy”. The past two weeks have been a rollercoaster ride like no other that we have experienced. As business owners, we have vacillated between optimism, fear, and grief. There is no point in mincing the reality of what we are all facing. Finding ways to ensure our business continues to operate seamlessly while embracing physical distancing and work from home arrangements for our team has required our leadership to flex in ways we did not even contemplate three or four short weeks ago.
The other reality is that all four MDW Law partners are parents, and suddenly faced with the daunting task of homeschooling and balancing working from home with the demands of childcare.
And while things have been hard – really hard – every challenge also brings positives. Our team craves the virtual social connection each morning to review the workflow on our plates, contemplate new ways to do things, identify pitfalls we are facing, and develop solutions to problems.
Even in this time of social distancing we
are using the power of teamwork to meet
the needs of the families who need us.
Opportunities have emerged to do business differently. Our firm has been committed to developing and expanding our alternative dispute resolution services and there is no time like the present. With the shut-down of most services at the courts, our clients and the public still require assistance to bring their matters to conclusion. We are equipped, ready and able to resolve disputes by using video technology to mediate and arbitrate issues that individuals are struggling to resolve on their own.
We have always excelled at helping people during the most challenging times of their lives, and that’s what we continue to do.