Part I:

Five good things about running a virtual law practice.

1. Caters to another group of clients who may not be able to afford the traditional legal services or can easily request its services without incurring large costs.
2. Costs are much lower (if they are set at fixed costs and not billable hours) than traditional legal services.
3. Easily accessible for clients as it uses the communication channels now adopted by many.
4. Time efficient since appointments are no longer required (unless requested by client; but even if required, can be at a time when clients are home).
5. Gives flexbility to the practicing lawyer (better work-life balance).

Five things that could go wrong running a virtual law practice.

1. Confidentiality issues may arise as client data is stored on 3rd party servers.
2. A potential large learning curve for those lawyers who may not be technologically inept (need to meet due diligence of understanding all the technologies required-- not to mention that technology is constantly changing).
3. The practicing lawyer is only limited to certain types of cases.
4. There may be less of a relationship/rapport building with the clients.
5. There may be jurisdictional conflicts and conflicts of interests. This must be prudently checked to ensure that no such conflict exists.

Part II:

Search the web and find at least three definitions for “Virtual Law Practice”, “Digital Law Practice” and/or “eLawyering”.

Virtual Law Practice:
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.

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. Think of lawyering as a "verb" - interview, investigate, counsel, draft, advocate, analyze, negotiate, manage, .. - and there are corresponding Internet-based tools and technologies.

The delivery of legal services to clients online is called eLawyering. Although law firms and lawyers utilize the Internet at various levels, technology and innovation are permitting lawyers to deliver complete services to clients, even without ever meeting face-to-face. The traditional brick and mortar law firms are changing into what are becoming known as “Virtual Law Firms.”

A little something extra:
An interesting powerpoint presentation for all:
An Introduction to Virtual Law Practice from the eLawyering Task Force of the Law Practice Management Section, American Bar Association, presented by Marc Lauritsen and Richard Granat, Co-Chairs of the eLawayering Task Force and Stephanie Kimbro founder of Virtual Law Office Technology and author "Virtual Law Practice: How to Deliver Legal Services Online", published by LPM/ABA.