On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak, as a pandemic. It means that the virus has spread across large regions worldwide. 

In the United States, President Donald Trump announced a national emergency in the country on March 13th. In response to this declaration, people immediately shifted their working style to work remotely. Hence, many companies have to comply yet face several obstacles with regard to this matter.

For legal services, lawyers and their staff who have to participate in important court duties may have access to their offices. Yet still, they need to practice some safety precautionary measures advised by the WHO in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Due to that, many legal entities are resorting to outsourcing legal services

Outsourcing refers to when a company hires another company or staff to provide services and handle operations that are being executed in a separate remote location. This strategy supports businesses in times of crisis. This equips them with technology and staff who are ready to work and be productive at any given time and place.

Outsourced legal services could carry out legal research, prepare briefs, review materials, and make court appearances on behalf of the company. They can also work on document management and assist in developing case strategies. 

Lawyers or legal staff  contracted in the outsourcing of substantive legal work must hold their ethical responsibilities to perform the following: 

  • Ensure competence and appropriate supervision; 
  • Preserve the client’s confidential information; 
  • Check for conflicts of interest; 
  • Disclose the outsourcing arrangement to clients; and 
  • Avoid assisting in the unauthorized practice of law.

Sources: https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=320c6cfe-fceb-463f-b8ec-5f247de4c843

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