Vlog Series: Lawyering in the Time of Coronavirus with Octavio Duran

The coronavirus pandemic has brought about many challenges that workers and professionals must grapple with worldwide. Lawyers are navigating the uncharted territory of practice law while social distancing and are finding creative solutions to do so. The Young Lawyers Section of The Chicago Bar Association will showcase many of its members, and will ask them questions about how they are, “Lawyering in the Time of Coronavirus,” with this Vlog series.

The first in the series features, YLS Chair, Octavio Duran.  Octavio practices in the area of personal injury law and is the principal attorney for Duran Law Offices.

Octavio’s Vlog and the written answers to the questions are below:

Q: Are you working remotely?  If yes, what’s your set up?

A: Yes.  The beauty of my shop is that its built to be a remote/virtual office.  My clients all communicate to me through a software and we share files through that as well, which is then synced with DropBox.  I have a virtual team (to cut back on office costs) and we use Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Slack to communicate.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge you are facing as a result of the changes your normal day-to-day operations?

A: While my team was geared for social distancing, we are certainly impacted by this “quarantine” transition.  It is harder for us to get a hold of medical records/bills departments, as well as adjuster -as not all can work remotely.  Additionally, many of my clients cannot see their doctors because of one or a combo of the following: the doctor’s office is closed for selective (non-emergent visits); the doctors hours are diminished to encourage social distancing; my clients are afraid of going to a doctors office; my clients are older or have immunity concerns and want to stay at home.

Q: What are you doing to stay sane while social distancing?

There’s not much that I can do regarding the above.  The only times my clients can see their doctors/therapists are if they are willing to risk going to a doctor’s office.  Other facilities have been quick to do virtual physical therapy -which, big side note, should be more of a thing if it’s not already.

Q: If you have a useful tip, hack, or resource you can suggest to other lawyers, please share it.

I’d suggest using much of the software that I mentioned above (zoom, Teams, Slack) to communicate with clients/staff.  I’m sure there are plenty of webinars available that can help anyone catch up with technology. I’m one of the older lawyers for the YLS, which means I’m not that tech savvy. If I can do it, I’m sure others can too.


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