Lawyers: Don’t Shut Down, You Are Essential to the Survival of Our Country, 0420 KSBJ, 89 J. Kan. Bar Assn 4, 8 (2020)

AuthorBy Mira Mdivani
Position89 J. Kan. Bar Assn 4, 8 (2020)

Lawyers: Don’t Shut Down, You Are Essential to the Survival of Our Country

89 J. Kan. Bar Assn 4, 8 (2020)

Kansas Bar Journal

April, 2020

By Mira Mdivani

Dear Colleagues:

Don’t Shut Down

I live next to a beautiful park. It is spring. As I run in the park early in the morning, while keeping six feet away from runners, the park delights me with its luscious green grass and gorgeous magnolias, cherries, and mulberry trees in bloom. While I run, I feel free and happy. I am happy that so far, my family, friends, and colleagues, many of whom are also close friends, are all alive, and I am still able to practice law. I also feel terrified because my daughter is a physician whose surgery practice has been shifted to ICU where she is risking her life treating patients with coronavirus. I am afraid that someone I know may die. Our lives and practices have been upended because of a deadly epidemic. There are so many hurdles to overcome and so many difficult decisions to make. Sheltering in place, practicing from home, dealing with remote access, learning how to videoconference, how to run a paperless office, inability to see clients in person, struggling with completing work on a client’s will because the law didn’t allow for virtual notaries, or finishing an I-9 audit that normally requires face-to-face interaction for an employer under COVID-19 lockdown, clients cancelling work while you have to meet payroll at our own firms, isolation and cabin fever, and this is just the beginning. So what do we do? One option is to shut down, lay of our staff, close our doors, wait until it gets better. The other? Stay open, find a new way to practice virtually, help each other to adapt, innovate and evolve while continuously serving our communities.

Lawyers Are Essential Providers

As state and local governments issue orders to shelter in place, they designate lawyers as essential providers, in the same category as physicians, nurses, food distributors, air traffic control, abused women shelters, police and firefighters. This is because lawyers are enablers of essential functions of society, as well...

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