HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS


Week 1
I. Five good things about running a virtual law practice. What are the advantages over an entirely office-bound practice. What are the efficiencies gained, money made or saved, etc.

1. Reduced overhead for cost of offices, furniture, and co-located support staff.
2. Reduced traditional marketing to get clients into a physical location, competing with other attorneys in the area.
3. Opportunity to reach out beyond the drive-able location and into the entire state.
4. Flexibility in work hours and location (is Starbucks not a wonderful place for free internet, power, and an assistant that actually will get you a cup of coffee)
5. Better opportunities for new lawyers to go solo and retiring lawyers to find alternatives to the daily grind.

II. Five things that could go wrong running a virtual law practice. What are the mistakes you can make, problems you could encounter, issues raised, etc.

1. Cybercrime, violation of attorney-client privilege, loss of data due to hosting company's data outages.
2. Lack of a physical office may give client's the idea that you aren't a "serious" attorney (Starbucks may not be the best place to have client docs out, fighting for the power outlet, that cup of coffee isn't free).
3. Isolation from peers, other chances for work and new clients.
4. Parsing yourself into areas of law that may hinder your growth (missing out on litigation, long term client matters, etc).
5. Problems with your hosting/SaaS provider including confidentiality of online payment information, encryption of data, level of service agreements, data backup, becoming your own IT department.

III. Three definitions for “Virtual Law Practice”, “Digital Law Practice” and/or “eLawyering”

1. A virtual law firm is a group of lawyers with diverse expertise that are banded together through technological means to provide a suite of services to its clients.
(http://www.facebook.com/pages/Elawyering/145495258797292?sk=wiki)

2. A “virtual law firm” or “virtual law office” is characterized by access by the firm’s clients to a password protected and secure web space where both the attorney and client may interact and legal services are consumed by the client. More specifically a virtual law firm can be defined as having a secure client portal that is accessible from the firm's website.
(http://www.directlaw.com/whatisvirtuallawyering.asp)

3. Elawyering is lawyering using web-based technology.
(http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_skills/2011/10/elawyering-resources.html)
    • From a law professor this seems like the most concise definition, but the least informative.