Bob Buckley for The Examiner: Crisis Takes a Toll on Legal Profession

Bob Buckley, partner at White, Graham, Buckley & Carr, is a regular columnist for The Examiner of East Jackson County. In his latest column, Buckley explains his new work-from-home life and how the law firm is adjusting to the “new normal,” and shares few examples of distractions (including an adorable pup).

The article, Crisis Takes a Toll on Legal Profession, was published in the May 2 edition of The Examiner. An excerpt from the article is below.

As I sit in my kitchen in shorts and a T-shirt and approach the end of Day 38 in my new life working at home, I am wondering whether we will ever get back to the life I used to enjoy.

My two partners and I met on March 23 before any orders were entered and decided that we would close the law firm and try to function in home offices. We have five lawyers and three staff people, and we are blessed to have some of the best people on the planet working for us so there was not a second of doubt as to whether we would pay our staff during the stay-at-home time.

Both of our paralegals have been working for us for well over 20 years and although I am related to one of them and am somewhat biased, we are blessed with loyal and brilliant staff. Our receptionist has been with us for only two years, but she is the best receptionist I have had in my current firm, and she does more than greet clients and answer the phone and is eager to learn new things and help us as we help others.

Our two younger partners are among the brightest and best in the business. I am thankful each day that I can work with them. We are a family and encourage each other to spend time with our families. We have met on Zoom a couple of times just to keep everyone informed and to make sure everyone is healthy and well. We are all looking forward to being together again.

I have never been very good at working at home. In the first 20 years of my practice, my office was a mile from my home and so if I needed to work, I went to the office. In January 2001, I was blessed to join one of the best firms in the state but had a 12-minute commute. I did visit the office on occasion, but rarely traveled back to the office in the evening. We then moved to our current location in 2007 and my commute was 17-20 minutes so I seldom returned to the office unless I had forgotten something or needed something I could not access remotely. Even then, I rarely worked from home. One of the best things I like about our firm is that we value family time in the evenings and on weekends and while we do what is necessary to represent our clients, we also lead well-balanced lives.