Homework Assignments 1 - 2 -

Homework Assignment #1 - THE VIRTUAL LAW OFFICE


Part 1 - 5 possible benefits and 5 potential harms of running a virtual law office

Possible Benefits
  • specialisation within a certain niche field & reaching a wider audience in this field as the service is not bound to a certain location
  • flexibility for both the lawyer and her clients, time- and location-wise
  • streamlining of knowledge management efforts if backend office is in the cloud, i.e. virtual
  • increased mobility of lawyers if backend office is taken virtual - mobile phones, iPads and laptops can replace stationary computers
  • easier to develop new legal services, such as providing online help and interactive guidebooks

Potential Harms
  • due to the cloud computing aspects of a virtual law practice, issues of security and data integrity are very important
  • from an EU perspective data protection and the possible transfer of personal data between providers have to be considered
  • trust issues both concerning the lawyer and the client due to the lack of face-to-face interaction (except web-meetings)
  • difficulty of finding the right billing model and the right fee in order to promote business as well as attract clients
  • in a long term perspective, virtual law practices may open up legal services to other professions than lawyers

Part 2 - 3 definitions for “Virtual Law Practice”, “Digital Law Practice” and/or “eLawyering” - most definitions found are from Stephanie Kimbro or the ABA
  • Virtual law practice is 'a professional law practice that exists securely online, is accessible to the legal professional and his or her clients, and provides an environment where the client can purchase and access legal services securely online.'
    Mountain, D.R. "An Update and Reconsideration of Chrissy Burns' 'Online Legal Services-A Revolution that Failed?'", European Journal of Law and Technology, Vol. 1, Issue 3, 2010, http://ejlt.org//article/view/48/77
  • "eLawyering is doing legal work - not just marketing - over the Web." http://apps.americanbar.org/dch/committee.cfm?com=EP024500
  • "A virtual law practice is a professional law practice where both the client and the attorney communicate through a secure online client portal, accessible anywhere the parties may access the Internet."
    Kimbro, Stephanie L., Practicing Law Without an Office Address: How the Bona Fide Office Requirement Affects Virtual Law Practice (December 1, 2010). University of Daytona Law Review, Vol. 36, p. 1, 2010. available at SSRN.

Homework Assignment #2 - DOCUMENT AUTOMATION


Part 1 - 5 possible benefits and 5 potential harms of document automation