Homework Assignment 1
Part 1
1. Five good things:
Money saved on maintaining office space.
Lower startup costs - cost of a web site and digital management system for a virtual office is less than initial costs of a lease or purchase of office space.
Convenience of clients - they can contact you, communicate with you, on their schedule. Can submit documents in a secure environment instead of having to visit your office or send through postal mail.
Efficiency to attorney - can view client contacts/communications on your own schedule. Can set up alert systems, filter messages so messages receive your appropriate attention.
More efficient storage of digital documents, and easier indexing, then in a traditional file cabinet system.
Able to reduce costs and pass on lower fees to clients.
Easier collaboration with other attorneys. E.G., can set up an of counsel relationship with another attorney to cover cases while you are unavailable; give that attorney access to your practice managmeent system and he/she has access to full information about he cases.

2. Five risks
Loss of access to the management system. Mitigate by having redundant power supply and Internet provider at principal location; bring secure network connection or set up VPN to provide secure connection when traveling.
Loss of data - even Amazon lost some. Mitigate by contracting with well-regarded service providers; execute SLAs that clearly spell out service levels and responsibilities of provider. Maintain best practices for handling client data.
Continuity - If you have restricted access to your data and something happens to you, clients or others may not be able to get access to data. Mitigate by setting up succession information with service providers, execute contract with successors.
Geographic practice restrictions - state may have physical residency requirement. Limit practice to jurisdictions where you can meet the requirements at little or no additional cost.
The same mistakes you could make in a brick and mortar practice - missing deadlines, failing to take care of client interests. Develop professional attitude and use your systems to monitor events.


Part 2
Definitions for VLP, DLP. eLaywering

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. For most lawyering “verbs” – interview, investigate, counsel, draft, advocate, analyze, negotiate, manage, etc. – there are corresponding Internet-based tools and technologies.- The ABA Techshow description of the James I.. Keane Memorial Award for Excellence in eLawyering

Same definition at the eLawyering Task Force page at
http://apps.americanbar.org/dch/committee.cfm?com=EP024500

Wikipedia article : 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.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elawyering