Vlog series: Lawyering in the Time of Coronavirus with Brian Bentrup

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’re, “Lawyering in the Time of Coronavirus,” with this Vlog series.

The next featured member is Blog Steering Committee Member, Brian Bentrup. Brian practices in the areas of estate planning, probate and trust administration, guardianships, and real estate at Pluymert, MacDonald, Hargrove & Lee.

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

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

A: Yes, I left my office with bankers’ boxes full of various items to set up a home office, including my monitor, internet-connected phone, important files and the few plants I have.  I had to make 2 trips with a loaded dolly; it looked like I had been fired.

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

A: The disruption and lack of continuity are real issues to fight.  I have a 6-year-old who is being homeschooled as well as a 2-month-old baby.  My wife has been doing an incredible job, but everyone needs help.  I doubt anyone needs to be reminded, but a hungry or tired 2-month-old is also quite difficult to ignore.

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

A: I try to take my 6-year-old outside as often as possible to be active and get our energy out, and of course, observing proper social distancing.  The alley behind our house is in good shape (a Chicago rarity!) so she’s been learning how to ride her bicycle while I run beside her.

I’ve also been making sure to check in with my parents and other family members over 60 to ensure they are doing as well as they can be and taking the necessary precautions.

Now is also a good time to learn or develop those skills or hobbies that have been put on the back burner due to work, school or other personal/family obligations.

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

Treat each day like you are going to the office. Get on a routine.  Wake up at the same time each weekday, shower, logon to your computer at a set start time, use a dedicated workspace and do your best to maintain focus and avoid the many things that can grab your attention.  Also, snack in moderation!

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