How Nathaniel Lee and His Law Firm Made it Through the Pandemic
2023-12-24 – BE&O IF
After more than 40 years of practicing law, Nathaniel Lee, Esq. says the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic was one of the most challenging moments in his career.
Lee first began his career as a trial lawyer in 1982. Now, his firm, Lee Cossell Feagley, LLP, is one of the area’s most successful injury law practices. But pandemic-related shutdowns tested the resolve and strength of his business.
Before practicing law, Lee served as a jury bailiff in a Marion County courtroom. He says that time was invaluable in learning how courtrooms and juries functioned during trials. He used that experience to start his law firm.
When reflecting on COVID shutdowns, Lee says, “I don’t think I’ve ever been more miserable.” With courtrooms closed and no civil trials making their way through the system, Lee says there wasn’t much to do for an attorney used to arguing a case before a judge and jury.
Once trails finally resumed, proceedings moved to virtual platforms like Zoom. Even here, Lee says he had to adjust his style. He talks about the rise of “Zoom bullies,” who are normally nice in person but, for some reason, turn mean and obnoxious when interacting with others via Zoom.
Determined to have his workers return to the office as soon as possible, Lee says remote work was not ideal for his firm. Many clients wanted to see their attorneys in person; others needed the right technology to meet lawyers and judges online for cases.
Lee also says that even after Covid restrictions were lifted, his firm had to deal with many challenges, not least of which was the massive shift in daycare expenses and availability for his staff.
Now that the storm has passed, Lee says, “Things are going great.” The pandemic proved challenging for his business, but with the right tools, staff, and organization, he made it through a very challenging era in his long and storied career.