The “Hello From The Other Side” blog series was launched in response to COVID-19 to share what young professionals think and feel about the changes happening in our community, and how they are finding ways to navigate those changes. We hope that these stories give you insight, hope, encouragement and community as we move forward, together. If you are interested in sharing your own story, please contact us here.
What’s your name and your involvement with AYC?
Raul Randoval, Jr. | Member, Board of Directors and Corporate Member
How are you? Give us two to three words to describe your current state of mind.
Are you currently working/WFH?
Thankfully, as attorneys, we are considered “essential,” so just my paralegal and I are going into the office (keeping at least 6 feet apart) and wiping everything down with our Clorox wipes when we walk into the office suite. We constantly use hand sanitizer as well, but there is only one other legal office open in the building.
How does your work day look different than it used to?
We do everything via phone or video conference versus our preferable “eye to eye” practice. We had one client recently come to the office to sign documents because she’s IT challenged, however, we did not let her into the office and talked through the door. All documents we handled were transferred under our door (with gloves), and we shredded documents once we no longer needed them (into a disposable and sealed bag) (we wiped down the printer once scanned in and wiped down the shredder). We cannot hold in-person court hearings until at least May 2020 unless an absolute emergency. We are having to attend mediation via video conference as well.
What are you most afraid of right now?
When can we get back to healthy, normalcy? Will I unknowingly contract this virus and potentially pass it on to a loved one (more concerningly, my aging parents)?
What are you most optimistic about right now?
Thankfully, family law issues need to have some resolution in some capacity. Families and their children still need my help. So I am able to continue to support my and my paralegal’s family right now. We hope to remain steady until we can get back to “normal.”
What is keeping you sane right now?
Thankfully work is keeping me busy and occupied, so my wife and I still have our “space.” Unfortunately she has been furloughed being in the dental industry and has been at home since about March 11, 2020.
Are you finding balance in your new daily routine? If yes, what does that look like?
Since my wife has stayed at home, we try to spend some quality time in the morning by drinking coffee and watching Good Morning America (GMA). We’ve historically not spent this time together because she’s at work before 7:00 a.m., and I am either getting ready for work or at the gym. I also try to “leave work” thirty minutes earlier than normal so that we spend some time working out at home together (then make dinner). Historically, working out together wouldn’t work because of our respective work and “gym” schedules.
Do you find that you have more or less free time right now? Describe.
I give myself more time to grill out or smoke meat either on weeknights or over the weekend than before.
What’s the strangest impulse purchase you have made online or at a store during COVID-19?
More “out of the ordinary” than strangest: way more snacks, whether salty or sweet.
What are some examples of community coming together that have inspired you or given you the warm fuzzies?
People seeking out the way to give a helping hand, whether to support a local business, restaurant, artists, bars, bartenders, and our heroes (those on the front lines).
What is the first thing you will do once the lockdown has been lifted?
Spend time with out-of-town family who we have felt the need to stay away from for safety purposes. And probably go to our favorite local bar (Mort Subite) and give everyone a hug.
What advice do you have for other young professionals in Central Texas who are feeling scared, isolated, and anxious about the future?
We can’t lose faith in humanity and our community. People want to listen and help any way they can. Don’t be afraid to communicate the help you may need.
How can members get in touch with you?
firstname.lastname@example.org; 512.580.2449; www.sandovalfamilylaw.com.