“Maintaining Connection in A Time of Uncertainty” by Susan Heikkila

After three grueling years of law school, the time finally arrived for me to face life as a lawyer. The New Year passed and I prepared to begin my job with O’Dell & O’Neal. I was excited and anxious about getting into a new routine and settling into a new environment with new people.
After a shorter period of time than I expected, I began to feel comfortable accomplishing tasks and handling assignments. I was excited to work with clients and handle responsibilities independently. Then the coronavirus public health crisis began to impact our community.
As a business providing essential services, we adapted quickly to the impact of the global pandemic. The virus was spreading by the hour and our plans were evolving at the same pace. Once Georgia began to shelter in place, our firm was fully equipped to work remotely. The firm kept operations at full speed despite changes in the courts through the Emergency Judicial Order. This will drastically affect our Cobb County court system and the state courts for the foreseeable future.
One thing that has not changed is the needs of our clients and the need to stay connected with those families. We are now navigating our way through a new normal, one in which schools and businesses are closed, children are at home, and contact with family and friends is limited. Because of this, families with custody schedules or those in the process of a divorce are faced with even more significant challenges.
One thing that I have missed from my first few months with O’Dell & O’Neal is the face-to-face connection. Client consultations, court hearings, and meetings with other lawyers have been significant experiences to help shape my career thus far. Connection is a vital part of human life, and we are all dealing with a major change not just in our professional lives, but our personal lives. We are living in an overwhelming time, but maintaining a schedule and sense of normalcy can help ease the anxiety of the uncertain times.
Maintaining a schedule, embracing changes, keeping communication open and dynamic – those are a few ways to maintain connection and ease tensions in your household. I have been maintaining a normal work schedule, making sure to get outside for daily walks, and calling/FaceTiming with friends and family. We are all in this together, and we are always here to answer your questions and address your concerns.