News and Information
March 24, 2020

Law Practice During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Resources for Virginia Lawyers

Additional Info

FAQs from the Court of Appeals of Virginia for attorneys, pro se litigants, and the public regarding COVID-19 operation changes, general guidance, and up-to-date information may be found here.

Local court COVID Information from across the Commonwealth may be found here.

Lawyers are permitted to practice, subject to certain restrictions, during Governor Northam's Stay-at-Home order issued March 30, 2020, to reduce the spread of COVID-19. More information here.

The Virginia State Bar continues to provide essential services to Virginia’s lawyers and the public. However, we have taken steps to keep the health and safety of our members, employees, and the general public at the forefront of our actions in this rapidly changing situation. See the Bar’s webpage COVID-19 Updates and Safety Measures.

Update: Supreme Court of Virginia Offers Extensions to Deadlines Governing Lawyers Due to COVID-19 Pandemic. The Court’s modifications affect deadlines for dues, the Clients’ Protection Fund fee, MCLE, certification of professional liability insurance, and the attorney wellness fund fee. The extensions move all deadlines from July 31, 2020, to September 30, 2020, and October 31, 2020, to December 31, 2020. Read more.

Read VSB Executive Director Karen A. Gould’s March 18, 2020, message to Virginia lawyers.
 

VSB Ethics Department

The VSB Ethics Hotline is open during the pandemic for Virginia lawyers.

Call the Ethics Hotline at (804) 775-0564. You will be prompted to leave a voice mail message, and your call will be returned in the order of receipt or email the Ethics Hotline: Any Virginia lawyer may submit a legal ethics question online. Depending on the complexity of your question, you will receive either an email response or a return phone call. The ethics staff strives to respond to your questions within the same day.

Ethics articles

Meeting your Ethical Responsibilities During the COVID-19 Global Pandemic
By James M. McCauley, Ethics Counsel, Virginia State Bar

VSB COVID-19 Ethics Seminar

A discussion a lawyer ethics considerations with Jim McCauley, Katie Uston, and Seth Guggenheim of the VSB Ethics Department. For a PowerPoint that accompanies this video, please copy this link: https://bit.ly/COVIDethics.

 

 

Vermont Bar Counsel Mike Kennedy discusses professional responsibility during COVID-19 while quarantining from his garage:

 

Legal Ethics in the Age of the Coronavirus
By Saul Jay Singer (from the DC Bar Association)
 

Mandatory Continuing Legal Education

Programs delivered via teleconference or webcast where there is an opportunity to interact with the speaker in real time qualify as live interactive CLE. Please make sure any course you take indicates it is approved for Virginia live interactive credit. Contact the course sponsor with any questions. A partial list of already approved teleconference and webcast CLE courses is available on the MCLE page under Current Virginia Approved Courses.

 

VSB Membership and MCLE services are operating with reduced capacity due to delays in mail processing and other extenuating circumstances related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. You may contact us by phone, (804) 775-0577, or email.

FAQs about "Live" courses and MCLE during COVID-19: The MCLE requirements for 2020 have not been canceled. Update April 14, 2020: The deadline for completion has been extended by the Supreme Court of Virginia effective April 14, 2020. Information on this and other MCLE questions during the pandemic here.

 

 

Meetings and events

Virginia State Bar has canceled most in-person meetings and events, with very limited exceptions, until June 10, 2020. Most live events have been postponed or will be held by teleconference in an effort to minimize the potential spread of the coronavirus. Registrants have been contacted directly about any postponed events. After careful consideration, the VSB Annual Meeting scheduled for June 17-20, 2020, in Virginia Beach has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are monitoring the situation as to events taking place beyond June 10. The status of all meetings will continue to be updated on the events page of the VSB website.
 

Practice management

Free legal research

Virginia lawyers have free access to a comprehensive, nationwide law library, including case law, statutes, regulations, court rules, constitutions, and law review articles with Fastcase. Log in to access Fasctace.

Fastcase does not require IP authentication, so you can keep your legal research uninterrupted while working remotely. If you have any questions regarding your access to Fastcase, please reach out to their support team. 

Need a refresher on Fastcase research? Click here to view the upcoming webinar schedule, and register for one that you'd like to attend.

Fastcase is working to ensure Bar members have access to resources available to them. Check out the Fastcase COVID-19 resource hub, bringing together legislative and government updates and COVID-19 content across leading news media sources.

Mental health

The Virginia Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program is available 24/7/365 for confidential assistance to lawyers and judges with concerns about mental health, addiction, or other stressors caused by this pandemic.

Pandemic Life: Weekly Chats for Lawyers and the Legal Profession begins April 28th, sponsored by The Mindfulness in Law Society and the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being. This series gives lawyers, judges, law students and other legal professionals an opportunity to share experiences, ideas, concerns, and stories about life and law during COVID-19.

Each half hour session will focus on a pressing topic. They are live at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in our private Facebook group, Mindfulness in Law Society Pandemic Life Weekly Lawyer Chats. Sign up for the private group and participate in real time or at your convenience.

Resources for Legal Professionals from the Virginia Lawyers' Wellness Initiative. 

The ABA’s resource page for mental health concerns.
 

VSB Disaster Resources webpage
 

Government agency resources

Updated: May 20, 2020