This podcast is centered around how lawyers can make the best of their time and resources during COVID-19, as well as advice for lawyers wanting to start their own firm.
Kim Kirn is a lawyer, full-time mediator and arbitrator based in the St. Louis area. Although Kirn has been practicing for 12 years, she spoke about the difficulties she has encountered during COVID-19.
“One of the things I have struggled with ever since I started working from home is loneliness. I mean, I am an extrovert and I think a lot of lawyers are extroverts,” Kirn said.
As an extrovert, Kirn describes that email and cell-phone interactions not enough, and she assumes the sentiment is the same for most lawyers.
Virtual Networking to Grow Law Firm
Kirn is working on making connections through joining a mediator networking group and is joining a bi-weekly law firm leaders virtual networking group hosted by Legal Back Office. These virtual meetings have helped Kirn maintain the professional interactions she desires.
Kirn also described this time as a way to feed her soul through staying true to herself and making work happen despite the difficulties COVID-19 has brought on her profession.
Virtual Mediations and Arbitrations
“One of the things I have been most proud of is moving mediations that almost always occurred in person, to being mediations that are completely virtual and how successful they have been.” Kirn said.
Certain details such as document sharing and receiving instant feedback from other lawyers have been great perks from hosting mediations over Zoom, according to Kirn. Embracing these innovations have given the pandemic a silver lining.
Another perk Kirn touched on during the podcast included the increase in clients she received during the pandemic. Kirn always practices in the Metro East, Central and Southern Illinois, but because of successful virtual mediations, Kirn has gained clientele and professional connections from all over Illinois. This pandemic has made Kirn dig deep into technology, which she never took time to do before.
Starting Your Own Law Firm
To end the podcast, host Jaimee Hall asked Kirn what her best advice would be for a lawyer starting their own practice or going into practicing mediation.
Kirn said her biggest advice to other lawyers would be to think about their career in shorter increments. To ask themselves, “Where do I want to be in one year or five years,” rather than too far into the future.
“For so long I had a 10-year plan, a 30-year plan, and of course none of that has happened. If you asked me 30 years ago where I would be in my career, I would never ever have picked this. So forget the ‘Here is where I want to be 10 years from now and be open to what your career is presenting to you. Be ok with the path that it takes,” Kirn said.
Kirn laughed and also mentioned to always hire help for the items you cannot do yourself.