The pandemic changed the concept of a “virtual law office” forever, as lawyers from coast to coast moved their law practices into their spare bedrooms almost overnight.
And clients loved it. An eye-popping 79 percent say they would prefer to work with their attorney remotely rather than face-to-face, according to the 2021 Legal Trends Report.
“A number of benefits are associated with transforming your practice into a virtual one and using online platforms to deliver legal services,” writes attorney Annette Choti in this article for Attorney at Work. “You remove the need for a bricks-and-mortar office — and the costs. You can work from anywhere, with a more flexible schedule. You can tap into an expanded target market for new business since you are no longer limited by geographical location. You will have fewer no-show clients because clients do not need to leave their homes.”
Another benefit: you can plow the money you save in overhead back into your practice.
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Tools Needed for a Virtual Law Office
The following is from “Virtual Law Practice: Steps for Making the Transition” published at Attorney at Work:
Here are some of the essentials for in a Virtual Law Office:
- Secure client portal
- Phone service or VOIP
- Cloud storage or cloud-based document management system
- Videoconferencing software
- Call-answering service
- Word processing and/or document automation system
- Calendering software
- PDF Software
- Legal payments system
- Password manager
- Collaboration tools
- E-signature software
An Important Risk Management Consideration
The N.C. State Bar issued a comprehensive ethics opinion on the subject of virtual law practices in 2005. Read and follow that opinion if you have a virtual practice or offer unbundled services. Contact the State Bar with questions.
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