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Unlike with most other solos, Stephanie Kimbro's law office isn't on Main Street-it's exclusively on the Internet. Residing just a mouse click away from clients at Kimbrolaw.com, Kimbro Legal Services, LLC, is a completely Web-based virtual law office. In April, the Wilmington, North Carolina, solo practitioner was awarded the LPM Section's 2009 James I. Keane Memorial Award for Excellence in eLawyering.
The Keane Memorial Award gives recognition to law offices or organizations that have developed legal service innovations delivered over the Internet. Richard Granat, Co-Chair of LPM’s eLawyering Task Force, says: “Kimbrolaw.com met the criteria for the award perfectly as it demonstrates an innovative online model for delivering services to the broad middle class.”
At Kimbrolaw.com, clients are provided with limited legal advice and general counseling on North Carolina civil law matters, including estate planning and administration, small business, landlord-tenant and contracts and leases issues. Prospective clients register on the site, accept the terms and conditions of use, and receive their own secure home page from which to request a personal quote for legal services. After accepting the quoted price and terms and conditions of the limited legal services agreement, the client is able to pay for and receive the requested legal service. From their secure home page, clients can communicate with Kimbro, upload or download documents, complete North Carolina-specific legal forms, update their client information or make credit card-secured payments. Services are considered limited in scope, or unbundled, in that Kimbro does not file any documents or make any court appearances. Ditching the high overhead of a physical office enables her to deliver services in a cost-effective manner—and pass the savings on to clients. Kimbro’s site is powered by another company she cofounded, Virtual Law Office Technology, LLC, which provides the technology as a software as a service (SaaS) product.
The Keane Award is named for James I. Keane, founding Chair of the eLawyering Task Force.
Sheila Blackford, Law Practice Technology Editor