The International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) recently surveyed its members about travel restrictions and other actions they have been taking with respect to COVID-19 preparedness and response. More than 750 responded, with the bulk of the responses coming from law firms, but corporate law departments and legal technology providers also responded.
Briefly, the key takeaways from the survey respondents included:
Has your organization instituted any kind of travel restriction in response to COVID-19? (Yes; No; No, but considering)
Law firm responses varied by size, with larger firms being much more likely to have implemented travel restrictions. Only 7% of law firms of less than 150 total people reported instituting travel restrictions; while 75% of law firms with more than 700 people reported restrictions.
What travel restrictions have you put in place (check all that apply)? (No travel; No international travel; No non-essential travel; No travel to/from specific countries/cities (aka “hot zones”); Quarantine following travel to specific countries/cities (aka “hot zones”)
Many organizations have implemented combinations of restrictions. In many cases, the restriction has been identified as through a certain date, e.g., April 1, or the organization has indicated a specific date for revisiting the restriction.
Complete travel bans appear rare, with fewer than 10 total entities and only five law firms reporting that all travel had been prohibited (as of Monday, March 9).
The most common responses are as follows:
- No travel to/from “hot zones” — at least 70% in every respondent category for those with restrictions;
- No non-essential travel — at least 50% in every respondent category for those with restrictions; and
- Quarantine following travel to/from hot zones — at least 60% across law firms and corporate law departments.
For those law firms that have implemented travel restrictions, the restrictions are fairly consistent across firm size.
Please describe the policies/procedures you have announced in response to COVID-19. (Free-text responses)
In this question, respondents were provided a free-text field to describe steps beyond travel restrictions their organizations are taking in response to COVID-19. The most common responses — in order of frequency — appear below:
- Self-Quarantine/Stay Home if Feeling Ill or Ill Family
- Post/Reinforce CDC/WHO info/Prevention Methods
- Liberal/Expanded Work from Home
- Setting Up, Testing, and Training People for Remote Working
- Deep Cleaning of Offices/More Wipes and Sanitizer
- Notifying HR about Travel/Family Travel to Hot Zones (even personal travel)
- Limiting In-Person Meetings/Recommending Online Meetings
- Developing/Updating/Testing Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity (DR/BC) Plan
- Revisiting HR policies on Sick Time, Paid Time Off & Travel
- Activating DR/BC/Pandemic plan or Creating a Response Task Force/Team
- Tracking/Restricting visitors
- Asking Essential Vendors for Pandemic/BC Policies
For more information on how ILTA and its members are dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, ILTA has created a resource page on its website.