Many law firms believe that they do not need a disaster recovery plan, a plan to get the firm up and running after a disaster strikes, because they do not operate in an area affected by hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, or floods. But disasters come in all shapes and sizes, and can include smaller things such as fires, cyber attacks, theft, unexpected loss of key personnel, or a coffee spill that impacts critical business equipment. Basically anything that interferes with your firm’s ability to carry out its business functions can have serious implications for your firm’s future.
If your firm had to close for a day or more because of a disaster, the odds of its survival decrease significantly because forty to sixty percent of businesses never reopen after shutting down temporarily. Impacts from a business closure, even a small one, can include things such as:
- Loss of revenues due to attorney and staff inability to carry out billable activities;
- Loss of new clients to a rival firm if your attorneys and staff are available to answer cold calls;
- Loss of current clients if you are unable to return phone calls or emails;
- Loss of employees who wound up so frustrated and unhappy from the challenges of trying to put the business back together while also trying to meet important case deadlines, that they sought employment elsewhere; and
- Loss of clients due who worry about your firm’s ability to represent them competently in light of your firm’s inability to plan ahead for a disaster.
Because a disaster can have significant negative impacts on your firm, it is important to have a plan in place ahead of time so you can get your firm up and running as fast as possible in the event disaster strikes.