Technology provides attorneys with unparalleled opportunities to provide legal assistance from anywhere in the world at any time of day. In fact, a significant number of lawyers are implementing virtual law offices, while others are considering whether a virtual law practice would be appropriate for them. The benefits of a virtual practice attracting lawyers include reduced costs, savings in time, and a resulting positive work-life balance.
But what is a virtual law practice—what are its defining characteristics, and why go virtual? Lawyers continually leverage technology to provide clients with efficient, prompt, and high-quality service regardless of their location. In doing so, attorneys are able to reduce the confines of a traditional bricks-and-mortar practice in favor of delivering service in a way that makes sense to them. Whether sitting in a mountain cabin, waiting for an airplane, hanging out in a beachside bungalow, or sitting at the kitchen table, the notion of virtual law practice continues to gain popularity.
The definition of a virtual law practice can differ depending on who is asked. A virtual practice can range from "a multi-lawyer, multi-jurisdiction law firm that engages in full-service representation to a solo practitioner who interacts with clients online, providing limited scope services," according to Chad Burton, chair of the ABA Law Practices Division's Futures Initiative. "The focus of a virtual practice is about introducing and enhancing the concept of 'mobility' into the lawyer client relationship—both for the lawyer and the client," adds Burton.
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