During the continued uncertainty caused by Covid-19, the Law Society of Saskatchewan is increasing its efforts to keep our members and the public informed on all matters relating to legal services and the administration of justice in this province. Our management team and the Benchers are working hard to not just maintain services, but ramp up support for lawyers and law firms to ensure they can continue to meet public needs during these extraordinary times.
In particular, the Law Society is taking extra steps to help lawyers deliver services during a time of social isolation and distancing. Events are happening quickly, and at the time of writing this, law offices are still permitted to be open. However, we need to prepare for the real possibility that all businesses might be ordered closed, perhaps for an extended period. Even now, the protection of employees and clients may require, if not complete closure, drastically reduced contact among individuals. The impact on legal services, some of which is vital to individual lives, is obvious.
Even if offices can legally be open, lawyers have responsibilities as societal leaders and influencers. The firms which demonstrate responsibility and care for the community, including respecting social distance recommendations, can maintain their high reputations.
The good news is that remote work can be accomplished without huge additional resources. With that in mind, the Law Society will be providing additional services to support our members. This includes information and guidance on working remotely. A video will be available shortly to help illustrate some options for remote work. We will also be regularly posting materials to our website as a resource in setting up remote systems.
We have been working closely with the Ministry of Justice to prepare rules and guidelines to streamline remote work, including document execution during times when face to face contact may be impossible. More news on these actions will be coming. Staff and the Benchers have been working overtime to enable and approve these measures.
I have been asked to act as a resource for lawyers who may have questions on technology, whether it involves remote work or otherwise. I am of course happy to help. While I am primarily working through the Practice Advisors and other Law Society staff, I will do all I can to respond quickly to these queries and help firms maintain their services. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We lawyers can fill a vital role in helping society work through an unprecedented and quickly changing state of affairs. Nobody has all the answers, but working together will help everyone through knowledge sharing. We will do our best to not only react, but proactively employ solutions which will protect the public and the members who serve it.
Craig Zawada Q.C.