The American Bar Association has something to say about virtual law firms and their position may surprise you. In an article called How Real Are Virtual Law Firms?, the ABA states their position on law firms that exist solely online without a brick-and-mortar office.
“At first glance, the concept of a virtual law firm sounds mystical or fake. In a profession historically resistant to change, the idea of altering the way business is done can be difficult for some lawyers to swallow.
Peeling away the layers, however, reveals that there is nothing magical about a virtual law firm. It is simply a fancy way of labeling two or more lawyers who collaborate and recognize that innovation should play a role in serving clients. Any decision made in a law practice ultimately affects how a client is served. Virtual law practices are no different.” – Chad E. Burton, The American Bar Association blog
It’s refreshing to see the point of view the ABA takes on virtual law firms. In the article referenced above, the association refers to virtual law firms as “the future of law practice.” With hundreds of virtual law clients who report major success with this business model, we can’t help but agree.
Virtual law firms are the future
Every client-facing industry is undergoing changes due to the increased availability of technology and automation. Fast food restaurants now have self-service kiosks for ordering; self-driving cars are in the works. Law firms are no different, and as operations in other industries increasingly move online, a similar trend is unfolding in the legal sector.
Virtual law firms enable attorneys and lawyers to practice solo while working from home. They can service a wider range of clients instead of only those in their local parameters. Many lawyers who own a virtual law firm choose to offer their services “a la carte” instead of in bundles to give their clients more options. This practice of unbundling legal services and instead offering a clear, concise “menu” is certainly well received by clients. It’s part of what makes virtual law firms so applicable for a technologically-focused future.
The norm in 5 – 10 years
Chad Burton, quoted above from The American Bar Association blog, believes that within 5-10 years virtual law firms will be considered no different from traditional law firms.
“Five to ten years from now, this will simply be called practicing law. Until then, the label “virtual law firm” makes sense to help the profession understand the opportunities, implement the new technology, and highlight the way clients expect to be served.”
Technology is a big part of virtual law firms. Technological advances now allow lawyers to run a law firm virtually, and technology-based tools are essential for running a practice online. Outsourcing administrative and accounting tasks are usually two of the first measures taken to transform a traditional firm into one that operates online.
Conversational’s virtual receptionist and virtual assistant services are popular with solo lawyers and attorneys who need help answering phones, delivering customer service, administrative assistant duties, and managing appointments and consultations. We encourage you to take a look at the monthly plans available for firms of every size – from tiny to tremendous.