Keith Burns on Reopening Offices During COVID-19
With businesses and legal firms beginning to reopen across the Carolinas, Nexsen Pruet's Raleigh Office Managing Partner Keith Burns spoke on returning to work with South Carolina Lawyers Weekly in the article "Slowly but surely, firms are reopening."
Keith offered details on the firm's precautionary measures to ensure employees safety and thoughts on adapting to a shifted work environment.
Nexsen Pruet began reopening its Columbia, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Greenville, and Hilton Head offices on May 18, when its attorneys could voluntarily return, said Jacquelynn Spivey, the firm’s business development manager. A week later, most attorneys began returning to the office at least two days a week, and on June 1, most will have returned to the office full time. But things aren’t business as usual: attorneys and staff must maintain social distancing, the offices have strict cleaning procedures, signs warn that those who are ill or have a temperature can’t come, and bottles of hand sanitizer are spread throughout the building.
Keith Burns, a managing partner at Nexsen Pruet’s office in Raleigh, said that the office is getting back to normal, with attorneys at the firm who have to stay home to take care of children, or are in a high-risk group, working from home.
Burns said he finds it odd to see his colleagues walking around the office with masks on. There are also directional signs that have made hallways one-way.
“We had a pretty solid contingent of people who never stopped coming to the office,” Burns said. “Their practices were paper-dependent, and they felt they couldn’t operate efficiently from home. And they concluded with so many people gone, it was as safe to be at the office as anywhere else.”
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Nexsen Pruet is one of the largest law firms in the Carolinas, with more than 180 attorneys and offices in Columbia, Charleston, Greenville, Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach, S.C., as well as Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh, N.C. Founded in 1945, Nexsen Pruet provides a broad range of legal services to the business community and represents companies and other entities in local, state, national and international venues.
About Nexsen Pruet
Nexsen Pruet serves clients from nine offices across the Southeast. With more than 200 lawyers and professionals, the firm provides regional, full-service capabilities with international strengths.