This is the place for Karen Botkin's homework.

Assignment #1
  1. Five good things about running a virtual law practice.
    1. Can practice in a time frame that suits just the attorney and the client, outside of “normal” business hours, if necessary
    2. Usually a small one-person environment so justifying every action is not necessary as long as the client is happy and the actions by the lawyer are ethical
    3. Saves money by not needing to rent or buy a formal office setting
    4. Fees can be negotiated to suit the lawyer and client in question, often easier if not face-to-face
    5. “No one knows you’re a dog on the Internet.” No need to dress up, etc. for most encounters unless a web-cam is involved.

1a. Five disadvantages/issue of running a virtual law practice.
  1. No support staff to do the grunt work
  2. No one to cover emergency client contact that might happen while another formal, scheduled “meeting” is taking place.
  3. Potential client might not realize attorney is not licensed to practice in the state in which they need the work done.
  4. Client might inadvertently send a virus with documents, etc. they send the attorney
  5. Problems with client payment may be harder to resolve.


  1. Three definitions for Virtual law practice, digital law practice or e-lawyering.
    1. A "virtual lawyer" is a professional authorized to practice law, who works with people all geographically dispersed, and whose law practice is carried on by means of a computer or computer network.A "virtual law practice" consists of one or more professionals authorized to practice law, whose law practice is carried on by means of a computer or computer network, without a physical office space.
http://thevirtuallawyer.blogspot.com/2007/03/virtual-lawyer-vs-virtual-law-practice.html
b . Virtual Law Practice Terminology for Beginners
Given the rapid development of Web 2.0 applications to provide online legal services, I decided to create this mini-primer which will have to be updated regularly. Feel free to contact me with suggestions and additions. I’ve noticed a lot of confusion of terminology regarding online legal services so I thought this resource might be useful.
eLawyering — The term means the practice of law online and includes everything from form-generated documents for sale and purchase to emailing your clients from unencrypted “contact us” forms on attorney websites. The ABA has an eLawyering Taskforce that covers these issues. Virtual law practice is one form of elawyering.
Virtual Law Practice — A professional law practice that exists online through a secure portal and is accessible to the client and the attorney anywhere the parties may access the Internet.
Virtual Law Office (VLO) — A web-based law office which allows for the attorney and his or her clients to securely discuss legal matters online, download and upload documents for review and handle other business matters in a secure digital environment, including all of the backend management functions of a traditional law office. A VLO may be the sole software used by the virtual attorney or may be used in conjunction with a traditional law office to provide online legal services to clients.
Virtual Lawyer — A licensed professional providing legal services through a virtual law office to online clients.
http://virtuallawpractice.org/2008/07/elawyering-vs-virtual-law-practice-a-primer-on-terminology/
c. What’s the Formula for a Virtual Practice?There are, as other sources have written about, a variety of ways in which VLOs can be structured, but overall they can be broken into two main types: (1) an entirely web-based firm and (2) a virtual practice that’s dedicated to a particular practice area but exists as an element of a larger, traditional law firm.
http://www.americanbar.org/publications/law_practice_magazine/2011/september_october/moving_to_a_virtual_practice_model.html

Homework Assignment #2

  1. Five benefits/advantages of Document automation.
    1. No chance of omitting any pertinent clauses
    2. No need to be creative
    3. Standardizes documents
    4. Automation produces consistent styles and numbering
    5. Automation checks validity of the text

  1. Five pitfalls/problems/barriers to Document automation.
    1. tendency to get sloppy
    2. need training to use the software
    3. client may tend to decide attorney not needed & use self-service
    4. no need to be creative – reduces attorney job satisfaction
    5. Software vendor might go out of business.


I will view the listed software sites for Document Automation, but I am not allowed to download any software onto the company's laptop. Also, I am a law librarian, not an attorney. The only documents I know how to create from scratch or cribbing someone else's work is cataloging/copy cataloging. I prefer to keep it that way.


Homework Assignment #3
  1. Somerset County, NJ http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/somerset/index.htm
A. E-filing:
B. E-filing for self representing litigants: http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/prose/index.htm
C. Online Docket:
Online calendar: same as below #2C
D. Online forms: http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/forms.htm

  1. NJ Supreme Court http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/supreme/index.htm
A http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/jefis/index.htm
B. http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/supreme/guide.htm (Forms – same as above)
C. http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/calendars.htm http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/calendars/sch_1112.html
D. same as above


  1. Federal District Court– Third http://www.njd.uscourts.gov/
A. does not state as such, but forms are provided
B. pdf from left frame on main page
C. pdf from left frame on main page
D. http://www.uscourts.gov/FormsAndFees/Forms/CourtForms.aspx


Homework Assignment #4
1. Unbundled tasks:
a. Reviewing pension division in a divorce case
b. Filing papers for the sale of a home

2. Unbundled service that can be digitized
a. Filings for incorporating a small business

3. 3 risks involved in unbundling legal services
a. Client could inadvertantly or on purpose omit relevant information that would impact other aspects of providing complete service
b. Client looks to attorney for assistance in court for services outside the limited service.
c. Client not fully understanding the concept of "unbundled" filing malpractice accusation for not receiving full service

4. Digital application (automated but bundled with advice)
Division of assets in a noncontested divorce: client could fill out form, listing items w/ what each item is worth. Digital form could prompt for needed information based on catagories for the item. Attorney could review completed list with client and offer advice on fair division of assets.


Homework Assignment #5
NJ-
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/bills/bills0001.asp Legislative Bills for 2012-13
http://lis.njleg.state.nj.us/cgi-bin/om_isapi.dll?clientID=1240544&depth=2&expandheadings=off&headingswithhits=on&infobase=statutes.nfo&softpage=TOC_Frame_Pg42 Statutes
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/lawsconstitution/chapter.asp Chapter Laws
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/lawsconstitution/consearch.asp NJ State Constitution
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/legislativepub/legcal.asp Legislative Calendar
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/legislativepub/legdigest.asp Legislative Digest
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/legislativepub/our.asp Main State Legislature page
http://njcourts.judiciary.state.nj.us/web1/ACMSPA/CaptchaController NJ Civil cases
http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/