One of the most consistent themes of the over 40 people I’ve interviewed for my In Seclusion Podcast, is that everyone is handling the stress of the pandemic in their own ways. As with companies like Twitter, it is very possible that some of us may never return to an office permanently ever again. For some people that is a godsend. For some people that is a nightmare. Just as in diversity and inclusion, the broad range of how we are looking at our future is a good thing. (I’m looking at you Google… diversity and inclusion is a good thing!)
This week, I talked with association leaders who are guiding members through the process of how to work, manage, and stay physically and mentally healthy through this pandemic. At the same time trying to rework the business model of their own organizations. I’ve talked with those in faraway places who understand the major, minor, and unchanged processes that they are going to face over the next weeks, months, and years. And, I had a conversation with someone questioning the idea that if you work remotely, you still have to be physically close to an office that you don’t really need to go to.
In other words, I had some great discussions with some very thoughtful people.
Monday, May 11th – Young Lawyers Working and Living Through the Pandemic – Victor Flores, City of Plano and President of the Texas Young Lawyers Association
The pandemic and the changes in our overall work structure can be challenging to even the most experienced of us in the legal industry. For younger lawyers, those just starting off, or those who are having to take care of younger children at home while balancing work, this can be overwhelming. I talk with Victor Flores, Assistant City Attorney at the City of Plano, who is managing all of these challenges and is leading some 27,000 of his peers through his work as the current President of the Texas Young Lawyers Association.
Tuesday, May 12th – Providing Access to Justice in Paradise – Jenny Silbiger, State Law Librarian/Access to Justice Coordinator, Hawaii State Judiciary
The pandemic is sparing no one, even in the tropical paradise of Hawaii. I talk with the Hawaiian State Law Librarian, Jenny Silbiger about how she led her staff through the transition to remote work and service to the courts, the bar, and to the citizens across the multiple islands of Hawaii. As many law librarians do, she reached out to others across the country and sought best practices guidance from librarians, museum curators, and government agencies like the CDC. It shows that even those who are thousands of miles away are still not alone.
Wednesday, May 13th – Providing Legal Information Services in America’s Last Frontier – Susan Falk, Alaska State Law Librarian
Yesterday I went virtually to Hawaii to see how the pandemic has affected one of the United States’ remote locations. Today I get to go to another paradise, albeit a little bit further north, and a lot cooler, to talk with Susan Falk, the State Law Librarian at Alaska Court System. While Alaska may have missed the brunt of the pandemic, it was not immune to the changes that a work from home environment has created.
Thursday, May 14th – Legal Marketing Association’s Mission During the Pandemic – Jill Huse (President) and Kelly MacKinnon (President-Elect)
During a crisis, professional associations become a touchstone for many in the profession in order to stay in touch with our peers and to continue professional development and even potential employment opportunities. I talk with the current Legal Marketing Association (LMA) President Jill Huse and LMA Vice-President Kelly MacKinnon to see how they are reacting to the needs of their members during this crisis.
Friday, May 15th – Missing the Natural Serendipitous Exploration of Ideas – Kristin Hodgins
One of the things that many of us struggle with, but may not admit to others, is that we actually really miss the office environment. Whether it is the ability to duck into another worker’s office for advice, or bouncing ideas off others in breakrooms, there is definitely processes of an office setting that are very difficult to replicate. I talk with Kristin Hodgins and ask her about how she is adjusting to a remote working environment that is missing many of the things that she really enjoyed about her job, and working in an office.