"There’s almost nothing you can’t do online that you can do by mail." I’m not sure if attorneys will be the only people who are completely and totally screwed if USPS goes under, but we’ve gotta be near the top of the list.
Here are things I do by mail that I can only do by mail:
1) Send documents to clients for their signature and have them return them with their signatures. I can email some forms, but I need original, signed, signature pages.
2) Communicate with clients that do not have e-mail. My clients are elderly, and low-income. These are two groups of people that don’t have computers, don’t want computers, and need to communicate with us by mail.
3) File documents with the court. Right now, the courts still do everything by paper. Some districts have an e-filing system. I think that’s great, and can’t wait to have that in our state. But for now, we need the post office.
4) Send documents with a raised seal or that are certified copies. So far, there is no way to replicate this electronically.
5) Receive bank and financial statements that have been mailed either to our office or to our clients. Our clients regularly mail us statements and bills that they receive. Our office also receives bank statements for certain guardianship or medical assistance cases. We could receive these electronically, but many of our clients cannot, and they cannot authorize us to receive them electronically, and would not want to give us their electronic banking information.
It is also a problem that we now will not be able to mail things in a day. This is extremely helpful to lawyers who need to get documents signed and filed as soon as possible. I am continually amazed that I can mail something which is received by clients in a day, and it is really a lifesaver for things like documents which need to be filed in a certain amount of time. Arguably, the post office reducing service will result in the courts figuring out e-filing and perhaps and electronic way to notarize something, but we still can’t get past the fact that not everybody has a computer or internet access. Even though they are provided by libraries, there is still a fundamental access problem.