By Jonas Petersson (UU) - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Take good notes.

Document everything.

Effective crisis management involves more than just good planning. It also is a valuable learning experience.

Most law firms have been caught unprepared for the short-term and potential long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you have a well-developed tested plan, no plan at all, or something in-between, one of the most important things that you can do is to document all the practical problems that you have encountered in responding to the pandemic. What responses haven't worked? Which ones worked very well?

In other words, make sure that your colleagues take good notes and that they are compiled in a central location. This will move your firm from knee-jerk reactions based on isolated incidents and anecdotal evidence to well-informed decisions that will produce the best results under the circumstances.

Remember these six points:

1. When dealing with the unexpected, all data is good data.

2. Try to put aside the paradigmns that can block your perception and lead to faulty assumptions.

3. Take accurate, contemporaneous notes of everything that happens.

4. Ask "why" five times to get to the root causes of problems.

5. Document what you have learned.

6. Finally and most importantly, truth is always the most effective crisis response tactic.

Norman Clark

Walker Clark can help your firm set up and manage the tools and procedures you need to document your experiences in the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises, as well as to improve your readiness for the future. Consistent with our "any law firm, anywhere in the world" commitment, we can deliver custom-tailored advice and support remotely, producing a strong, sustainable return on your investment. Contact us by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.