KATHLEEN SHIRCLIFF'S HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT #1:

THE VIRTUAL LAW OFFICE

Part 1:

1. 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.
  • Makes obtaining legal services much more accessible to prospective clients
  • Easier to share documents with clients
  • Client has a more active role in obtaining legal services, resulting in a better attorney-client collaborative relationship
  • Easier for attorney to research and compile documents because forms and research that are already all online can be more easily utilized with electronic client information
  • Lawyer can work from home

2. 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.
  • Breaches of confidentiality more likely due to third parties involved in running the client portal
  • Clients feel less comfortable sharing their information online because they are concerned about internet privacy
  • Risk of alienating prospective clients who are less tech savvy
  • Lack of personal relationship on which trust is built between the attorney and client
  • Difficult to have a concrete “work day” so lawyer might always feel like he or she is on the job

Part 2:

Search the web and find at least three definitions for “Virtual Law Practice”, “Digital Law Practice” and/or “eLawyering”. Copy/paste the definitions into your homework wiki with a link back to the place you found.
  1. eLawyering is doing legal work - not just marketing - over the Web. Pioneering practitioners have found dramatic new ways to communicate and collaborate with clients and other lawyers, produce documents, settle disputes, interact with courts, and manage legal knowledge. ELawyering encompasses all the ways in which lawyers can do their work using the Web and associated technologies. (http://apps.americanbar.org/dch/committee.cfm?com=EP024500)
  2. eLawyering: "the utilization of the Internet and e-mail networks for the delivery of legal services". http://apps.americanbar.org/buslaw/blt/2003-01-02/walsh.html
  3. 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 first recorded virtual law firm was "Woolley & Co" set up in 1996 in England by Andrew Woolley. The term became more clearly defined in 2004 in an article written by Joe Kashi defining exactly what it meant to be a Virtual law firm [1]. Virtual law firms are also often referred to as "Law Firm 2.0". The concept has since spread globally and is finding favour with clients seeking higher quality service, value, and mobility. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_law_firm)