Katharyn OwenKatharyn E. Owen’s Homework Assignment #1
Part 1
Five Good Things About A Virtual Law Office
Five Things that Can Go Wrong with a Virtual Law Office
  1. Mobility—the ability to provide legal services to anyone from anywhere.
  2. Unbundling—the ability for a lawyer to pare down the types of services they provide into very specific items, enhancing their ability to work at their highest personal level.
  3. Low Overhead—the ability to minimize costs by removing many of the traditional components necessary for an office setting.
  4. Staffing—the ability to employ staffers from across the county, allowing attorneys to obtain employees from a much larger pool and likely retain much more efficient staff.
  5. Best Uses of Technology for the Client—the ability of individual attorneys to move the practice of law forward by providing clients with information access and personal services directly to the client; essentially allowing the client to participate directly through each step of their representation through private site access to their files, video conferences, and attorney calendar access.
  1. Computer System Outages—if the power grid is down due to natural or man-made disaster, the law firm will essentially disappear for a period of time.
  2. Communication Gaps—email and other types of digital communication may lead to discrepancies in understanding between attorneys and with staffers, which may lead to problems with clients or the court systems.
  3. Loss of Data—if a computer and/or server malfunctions and confidential client information is lost; or the storage location is hacked due to improper security or other issue, leading to identity theft or the distribution of private client matters.
  4. Lack of Client Confidence—a client may feel she is not receiving the best service, depending on the client, if they do get to visit an office or only speak with an attorney over the phone or through the internet.
  5. Client Fraud—an alleged client may use the virtual firm to attempt to commit crimes because it is sometimes difficult to prove identity over the internet, unless the virtual firm has proper precautions in place.

Part 2

1. eLawyering:

  • companies that want to connect consumers with lawyers and plan to monetize the traffic stream in some way;
  • companies that want to provide tools to increase law firm productivity;
  • companies that aim to deliver direct legal services through a network of lawyers online or provide a legal solution to a consumer through the use of a digital application.

Pasted from <http://www.elawyeringredux.com/>

2. Virtual Law Firm:
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. The features offered by a virtual law office depend on the particular vendor, but basic features center around a securely hosted, web-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) application that stores documents as part of a cloud computing system. By storing documents and information on an external server – and allowing log-in through a secure, encrypted portal – documents can be accessed and shared by both client and attorney[4] .
A VLO allows clients and their attorneys to message and communicate securely, schedule appointments online, and upload and download documents. Attorneys running a VLO can also sync their firm’s calendars, sell documents online, and use a “virtual receptionist” service to handle administrative tasks[5] . Attorneys also save on paper and printing costs by providing documents online, and both parties can access the VLO portal at any time of the day.

Pasted from <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_law_firm>

3. Virtual Law Firm:
It is characterized by clients’ access to a password-protected and secure Web space where the lawyer and client may interact and the client may consume legal services. Some of these services may include the delivery of legal advice, review of documents that the client has received from other parties, sensitive discussions between the lawyer and client, and the creation, assembly and review of legal documents and forms. Among numerous examples of law firms now delivering services online are http://illinoisdivorce.com and www.kimbrolaw.com, both recipients of the James I. Keane Award, which the ABA eLawyering Task Force of the Law Practice Management Section presents to innovative firms that use the Internet to deliver legal services more efficiently.

Pasted from <http://apps.americanbar.org/lpm/lpt/articles/ftr11093.shtml>