It wasn't that long ago that the concept of a "virtual law office" was discussed in terms of an interesting trend for the future. But those days have passed. Virtual law offices have now become common throughout the United States. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let's answer the question: What is a virtual law office?
According to Joe Kashi, who covered the topic for the ABA law practice management session, a virtual law office has four elements:
- A stable core group of attorneys;
- An established collaborative relationships with other, specialized law firms that possess expertise that's occasionally needed;
- Appropriate computer and telecommunications technology; and,
- The ability to expand and reduce personnel as needed.
To help facilitate the growth of virtual law offices, the ABA has published a book by Stephanie L. Kimbro, Virtual Law Practice: How to Deliver Legal Services Online, that details how to responsibly deliver legal services online to clients and how to successfully run a virtual law office. Kimbro, a North Carolina attorney, wrote the book based on her experience running a virtual law office since 2006.
Kimbro won the 2009 ABA Keane Award for Excellence in eLawyering and has won the Wilmington Parent Magazine / Family Favorite Attorney Award four years in a row. The book offers information of how an attorney can deliver their legal services online, setup a secure client portal, manage and market the practice, comply with state ethics rules, and find that ever elusive ideal work / life balance.
Kimbro provides detailed case studies of attorneys who have started successful virtual law practices. The book also includes hypothetical scenarios that demonstrate how an attorney can use cloud computing to perform and manage legal work online.
If you are interested in Virtual Law Practice: How to Deliver Legal Services Online, you can preorder the book for $79.95 by calling 1.800.285.2221 or go to www.ababooks.org.
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