The virtual law firm emerges
One of the many skills law students are taught from the beginning is how to strategically look to the past for guidance, proof, and precedent.
However, over the last few years many new and seasoned attorneys have come to understand that when it comes to the business side of operating a successful law office, embracing a forward-thinking model can significantly benefit how well they serve their clients while also improving the bottom line of the practice itself.
Case in point: the trending concept of the virtual law firm.
While there are surely many factors to consider when taking an existing law practice virtual (or starting one from scratch outside of a traditional brick-and-mortar office space), advances in cloud-based communications plus secure online technology such as client portals and document storage have virtually (no pun intended) eliminated the need for physical law offices…and all the fancy furniture, mortgages and massive file cabinets that come with it.
Need some evidence?
Meetings and Staff
Meetings can be held anywhere and attorneys can hold professional meetings online, in their home offices, at meeting spaces and more without having to pay for expensive real estate leases or mortgages.
High quality virtual assistance from qualified legal staff is widely available for administrative work and reception, and there is no shortage of technology available for managing incoming calls, call routing, and more with web-based dashboards and even mobile applications (like the ones our customers and employees use at CSII).
Document Management and Client Portals
Cloud communications and document management applications have emerged that are proving to be so reliable and secure that not only attorneys but also doctors and therapists are moving their practices online with no HIPPA concerns.
Many are using an online client portal to communicate with clients for the delivery of legal services. In fact, even the technical standards organization for the legal field has developed best practices for using cloud technology in a legal practice.
Attorneys, staff and clients can all communicate as well (if not better) virtually as they could in the office, but with fewer social distractions. Some examples of powerful and effective cloud-based communications options that lend especially well to the virtual law firm include (1) detailed call reporting for reference, audits or billing, (2) cost effective, localized call recording, (3) secure conferencing, which is great for getting multiple people on the line at once to discuss cases and even discovery sessions, and (4) mobile call management and reporting.
With all the opportunity available for a flexible yet effective remote law practice, the freedom the virtual law firm offers attorneys these days is so tempting it should be illegal.
P.S. Check out this awesome infographic from the blog at mycase.com: