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Law Firm Creates 'Virtual Hub' for New Partners

Another law firm is branching out on the internet, setting up a virtual office to complement its brick-and-mortar presence.

Taylor English Duma, which brands itself as a new breed of law firm, is hiring partners to become part of a virtual hub. Unlike purely virtual firms, the Atlanta-based firm calls it a "hybrid" model that will give partners more support to work at home.

It also represents a trend in law firms branching out on the web to serve clients across the country.

Virtual Hub

In a press release, Taylor English says the "virtual hub system" is the first business model of its kind.

"Our aim is to marry our brick-and-mortar platform with attorneys from all over the country, and expand our geographic scope and service offerings to benefit our clients," said Marc A. Taylor, a founding partner.

The firm will provide remote partners with its technology and staff, including marketing, business development, accounting, and operational support. The non-equity partners will be welcomed into the firm with opportunities to become equity partners.

Taylor English is taking aim at the burgeoning virtual practice arena, which has grown from solo, to small firm to mid-size law firms. Virtual law firms say BigLaw will be next.

Virtually Everywhere

According to American Lawyer, virtual firms like Culhane Meadows and FisherBroyles -- with 180 partners -- are breaking the mold of traditional law firms. And now they want the heavy hitters.

Culhane Meadows, with 65 attorneys, has continued to grow. FisherBroyles projects it will break into the Am Law 200 next year.

Last year, other virtual firms like Potomac Law Group, Rimon Law, and VLP Law Group reported growth around 40 to 60 percent a year. It signals a sea change, as consultant Mark Cohen learned after founding the now defunct virtual firm Clearspire.

"What you're seeing is some of the more forward-thinking, younger-generation lawyers who do have some business saying that the incumbent model may be working for me today, but it's nothing that I particularly want to plan my future around," he said. "This is all coming, ultimately, at the expense of the traditional law firm model."

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