Five good things about running a virtual law practice:
1. Lower overhead costs--rent, office furnishings, staff, etc., etc.
2. Broader scope of access to clients--reduces geographic limitations for people with limited transportation options
3. Greater scheduling flexibility for both attorneys and clients
4. Increased ability to respond to clients' needs quickly
5. Increased ability to reduce clients' costs and thus in crease access to legal services

Five things that could go wrong running a virtual law practice.
1. Vulnerability to hacking and malicious mischief
2. Susceptibility to compromise of client confidentialty
3. Vulnerability of professional reputation if fraudulent activity results from some form of identity theft
4. More difficult to build good will because of less personal contact
5. Loss of data if backup systems are not in good order


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.
— 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.

A Primer on Virtual Law Practice Terminology

Virtual Law Office

A Virtual Law Office, or VLO, is an online law practice that exists through a secure log-in portal and can be accessed by both client and attorney anywhere an internet connection is available. In contrast to a traditional law practice, a VLO allows attorneys and clients to communicate securely over the internet, download or upload documents, and conduct other business normally conducted face-to-face over the internet.
Conducting business through the log-in portal is different from conducting business over email, as the log-in portal is secure and must adhere to strict regulations and standards. A completely virtual law office will conduct all business online, while some small practices choose to integrate a VLO log-in portal to provide more options to their clients.


More recently, the concept of the virtual law firm has been associated with the term, "eLawyering" and means a law firm that delivers legal services online. TheeLawyering Task Force of the Law Practice Management Section of the American Bar Association has released a statement on minimum requirements for law firms delivering legal service online. The guidelines equate the concept of "eLawyering" with the virtual practice of law and the concept of the virtual law firm. According to the American Bar Association guidelines, eLawyering or virtual law practice refers specifically to the delivery of legal services online through a section of a law firm's web site that is a known as a secure "client portal."
The purpose of the eLawyering Task Force minimum requirements is to provide guidance to attorneys who wish to deliver legal services online on how to comply with the professional rules of conduct that govern law practice in each state.
Under this definition, a "virtual law firm" is not simply a lawyer who does not have a physical office and communicates with their clients by email. Instead, the law firm must have as part of its web site a secure section where a client can log-in with a unique user name and password.
From Wikipedia

What Is a Virtual Law Practice?

Opinions vary widely. Lawyer Carolyn Elefant (author of the 2008 book Solo by Choice and a well-known legal blogger) acknowledges that there are many definitions of the term but considers a virtual firm to be “one that does not have physical office space,” one where “attorneys work together online.”
Lisa Solomon, a New York-based contract lawyer who concentrates in legal research and writing, defines a virtual firm by the technology used to deliver services to the client.
Stephanie Kimbro, a practicing attorney with a virtual law office and co-founder of VLOTech ( www.vlotech.com), a platform that allows users to manage their practice over the Internet, offers a more blended definition: “virtual law offices can be completely web-based . . . or they can be . . . integrated into a traditional law office to expand the client base and provide the online services as an amenity to existing clients who will also visit with the attorneys in person.”



Benefits/advantages to Document Automation