Published on February 11th, 2021 | by Sumit Bhowal0
Will Virtual Law Firms Be The Next Big Thing?
With an increased application of the Internet, many serviced based industries are resorting to digital platforms to provide their services. The recent pandemic has created an awareness of these digital platforms. The legal fraternity has not been left behind in this digital migration, with lawyers and firms offering services from different locations around the globe. Digitalizing operations has seen the establishment of virtual law firms across many continents. Virtual law firms are legal institutions not restricted to specific geographical locations, with lawyers delivering their services from different locations via new technological mediums of communication.
Technological advancements are credited for the various changes witnessed in the traditional business setting. Virtual law is slowly taking over the market, with more and more lawyers joining virtual law firms across the globe, with the United Kingdom reporting more than 800 lawyers working for these law firms. Eliminating the restrictions brought on by physical locations, virtual law firms utilize Cloud-based technology to enable them to operate digitally from any part of the world. Virtual law firms utilize technology like video conferencing and VOIP phone systems to conduct business. The firms also use practice management software to manage and keep track of their schedules, thus easing the managerial duties associated with traditional law firms.
Merits Of Virtual Law Firms
Cost of operation
Virtual law firms are taking over the market because of their cost-effective mode of operation. Traditional law firms are tied down with operation expenses like rent and purchase of office supplies and equipment. Virtual firms help cut such costs by employing the use of specialized Cloud-based practice management software. The software allows lawyers to provide their services from their locations. Cloud-based software also eliminates IT maintenance cost with cloud solutions that are flexible enough to allow the firm to modify its fees while providing excellent services to clients.
In the legal framework, at one point in time, a lawyer may need to consult his peers on a case they are handling. Virtual law firms have an edge over traditional firms by providing Cloud-based case management software. This software allows secure online collaboration between lawyers. The software is also able to keep a record of your work routine and deadlines helping you manage your workflow meet your deadlines.
Mobility and Work Mode
Virtual law firms allow lawyers to work from any location based on the billable time frames and resources available, unlike traditional office firms where a lawyer may face difficulties working without using the resources found in the office.
The business of law is as dynamic as other businesses. This requires a degree of competitiveness among the law firms to be able to stay on top of their game. Firms need to constantly keep track of their performances as well as new profitable ventures with the legal department and identify areas to focus on. In order to establish an entrepreneurial work mode, virtual law firms are a step ahead using technology to identify their flaws and chart the best of action. Traditional firms lack this flexible mode of operation, making it difficult to adjust to new changes within the legal framework.
With an increase in virtual firms opening up, many people are asking if this is the new trend in legal practice. There isn’t a clear answer to this question as people can still be able to benefit from services offered by both types of firms. By using the best of both, clients and firms are set to gain tremendously with the firms having more to gain. For example, a firm may set up a stationary location for its lawyers to select employees while setting up a virtual firm to oversee the daily operations of the firm. Jay Glickman, a Montgomery County family law attorney, uses both a physical location and a virtual office for his law practice. “I get the benefit of both worlds”, he says.
Nevertheless, the legal profession requires some amount of physical human interaction, something that virtual law firms are unable to provide. Being able to interact with fellow colleagues has been known to boost productivity as well as improve confidence among lawyers. Having a physical location instills a sense of belonging among peers geared towards a uniform direction. You feel like being part of a team. We definitely cannot rule out the advantages and disadvantages of both firms but can merge the two aspects to come up with a working solution.
With new and innovative technologies, the world should be ready to accommodate new modes of operations in the service-based industry.