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COVID-19 Crisis Tips for Bankruptcy Lawyers

- by Aron Solomon

The best bankruptcy lawyers are driven by a singular purpose - to create tangible value for good people in immediate need of their expertise.

As the impact of COVID-19 transitions from solely a health issue to a societal issue impacting businesses all over the nation and the world, the number of individuals in the United States seeking bankruptcy protections will skyrocket.

The vast majority of bankruptcy lawyers will never see this new business. Simply being highly skilled and experienced as a bankruptcy lawyer won’t cut it. Some lawyers will get a small percentage of new business simply because prospective clients will stumble upon their site by chance. Others have the potential for a dramatic uptick in business and the opportunity to sustain it by having the right plan for the right moment.

Here are our tips for what you need to do in this time of crisis if your goal is to expand, perhaps dramatically, your practice:

1. Reach

Every legal business, from solo to Big Law, has an established reach today. Your reach is the product of many factors, some of which you control and some of which you don’t. Extremely few lawyers maximize the factors they can control to ensure the broadest reach possible. When was the last time you sat down, shut out all distractions, and really considered how your outbound and inbound marketing is working? This is exactly that moment.

2. Empathy

Today, you need to check the content and tone of everything from your web presence to your email communications. It has been argued that sometimes lawyers lead with powerful rather than empathetic language. In fact, this week, we have seen communications from more than a few lawyers actually referencing opportunities from this crisis as “blood in the water.” Email me personally at aron@nextlevel.com if you’d like a quick and free tone check for something you’re planning to send out. Fresh eyes outside your firm are particularly important now as we need to round the sometimes harsh edges of our words and be individually and collectively empathetic.

3. Action

As you read this, pause for a minute, please. Think about what action you can begin to take today to share the story of your work and the value your services can provide people who will be seeking bankruptcy protections. What value can you provide for them today? Maybe you can make an easily-digestible video - even on your phone - and upload it to Vimeo or YouTube and your website. A simple Q&A for the time. Or maybe you can schedule a webinar for this week? Or perhaps you can provide something of value as an auto-reply to every inquiry to receive on your site - the same kind of detailed Q&A or links to laws or recent short articles your prospects should read. Please provide value and be informative rather than sales-y.

4. Invest

Here is where NextLevel comes in. We can audit your site today at no charge. We will get back to you today with strengths and weaknesses and we can even do a free call on the same day to suggest ways we can help. We can also examine your social presence and give you tangible and actionable things you can do to attract new clients. Anything you’ve been thinking you might like to do (redo your site, add world-class video, refine your SEO strategy) we can help with. Whether you decide to work with us or any other provider, don’t delay.

5. Plan

What if things don’t return to normal for your practice or your clients? In uncertain times, you need a plan to be one step ahead of the changes. NextLevel can help you assess where you are and where you want to be. There are no guarantees as to what the future of the profession is going to look like and how you will be practicing law six months or two years from now. What is certain is that in several practice areas - bankruptcy certainly among them - there will be growth. Preparing to deal with growth is always much more complicated than we expect it would be.

When you are driven by value creation and putting the interests of your clients ahead of any other considerations, you are in the best position possible to serve new clients. Those clients are coming and they will arrive on the virtual doorstep of the best-prepared lawyers and firms.