When someone leaves a company it can be hard to replace them, especially when you are losing someone in leadership. Within a law firm it can be harder because you may need to cover cases that initially were never yours and maintain schedules that have abruptly fallen into your lap. There are things that you can do to help stem the backlash of their absence by following some of these simple tips.
Abrupt Unplanned Termination? Follow These Guidelines
1. Get all of their username and passwords to their firm/company email and any other site that may be storing case and workload information. This is important because there can be a time when you are assigned to a case after this person leaves and some pivotal information is locked behind a password.
2. Get their company voicemail login information
3. Remove their name and mailbox from the firm/company outgoing greeting so callers are forced to leave messages in the general voice mailbox.
4. After you have access to his accounts and have removed him from the outgoing greeting, make sure that you are checking his email and voice mail daily so that nothing is missed or overlooked within the transition period.
5. Check their docket or calendars to make sure discovery deadlines, witness prep appointments, trial prep dates, pleadings deadlines, depositions, client meetings, conference calls, closings, etc. are all now assigned to someone else.
6. Before any one of the deadlines for these added tasks approaches make sure it is clear to everyone: who’s taking over what tasks and make sure everyone knows what their roles are. There are always things to done and knowing who is assigned and when the deadlines are can give you more assurance that the tasks are being accomplished and if there is something that needs to get done it can be started.
7. Sit down with the person leaving and make a list of their office duties. You want to be able to learn all that they do while it is still fresh in their minds.
8. Make sure you get personal contact information including email and cell phone numbers. This is vital because a work email may create a conflict of interest especially if they are moving to a firm that practices similar law. Most likely you will asking something case related and you don’t want this information to wind up on another firm’s system.
In most cases there could be an office administrator that will handle these matters, but don’t trust that any work you are going to be responsible for to be handled with precision. Some of these things may not be on that administrators “comprehensive list “. It isn’t personal, you just want to make sure that you are covered and are completing the tasks someone will hold over your head when it is not dealt with. Heads could roll so make sure that yours is not one of them.