Young Practitioners Working from Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Ways to Stay Involved
By now you have probably encountered a plethora of articles that discuss how to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. The general takeaways tend to be:
- Develop a routine
- Maintain basic hygiene (and change out of your pajamas once in a while)
- Have a designated workspace or home office
- Take breaks or work in sprints
- Stay connected and manage expectations
- Try to stay active and focus on your mental health
While this seems like good and straightforward advice, many, including the author of this article, are still struggling to implement these suggestions in a meaningful way into their new normal. There are of course other issues that IP practitioners now face including: managing workflow with various closures, changing timelines and client expectations, and navigating the overall economic uncertainty. With all of this at play, it is no wonder the standard advice doesn’t seem to be quite enough.
Experimenting with different aspects of your routine is one way to determine what does and doesn’t work for you. However, as a young practitioner you can also get involved and work on aspects of your practice that you normally do not have much time for. In addition to writing articles, attending webinars and catching up with contacts on Zoom, young practitioners can engage in and promote various (remote) activities and initiatives, including:
COVID Legal Help: created to help frontline healthcare workers in Canada and the USA during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis by providing them with access to lawyers offering pro bono simple and non-complex wills.
Provincial Pro Bono Organizations: for lawyers based in Ontario, Pro Bono Ontario has reorganized its operations so that all services are delivered through the Free Legal Advice Hotline and volunteers can answer calls from their own homes. The Hotline provides assistance to Ontarians experiencing unprecedented legal needs related to the COVID-19 crisis. A similar initiative has been set up by Access Pro Bono in BC that allows lawyers to volunteer at a COVID-19 Telephone Response Clinic. For pro bono services near you and ways to get involved, refer to this page.
Virtual Volunteering: interested in getting involved with your favourite organization and doing any sort of virtual volunteering? Volunteer.ca provides various resources for discovering that perfect virtual volunteer opportunity offered by organizations across Canada.
While these are only some of the ways to get involved and add to your routine, it can help you stay engaged both with the profession and your community at large during these unprecedented times.