Taking the leap and deciding to take your legal practice online can create flexibility and endless possibilities. The ability to create an alternative law firm model is both exciting and terrifying. Here are two tips to help you maximize success in your virtual practice.
1) Choosing and Using Technology
Choosing the best technology for your practice is imperative for a virtual law firm. At the top of that list is of course creating a functional, user-friendly website. Then you will need to find a law practice management system that provides all of the functionality that your law firm needs. Review your needs and make a list of all of the important components that are required to run your practice and run it efficiently. A secure, user-friendly client portal should be the first priority on your list when comparing law practice management offerings. You will want to review the software services that you currently use to determine if any of those services will integrate with your law practice management software. It will save you a significant amount of time and improve efficiency if the technologies that you use communicate with one another. Other software options that you may want to consider for your virtual law firm are an online calendaring or scheduling provider, electronic merchant services provider to accept payments online, an online accounting system, electronic signature service, document automation software, electronic intake software, video conferencing, and internal team collaboration software.
When considering outsourcing you should first identify your needs and the scope of the work that will be outsourced. In order to make that determination you should consider three factors. What is important to your clients and what do your clients need? Exactly what legal work or administrative tasks do you need to outsource? What are the costs associated with the roles you want to outsource? Once you have answered these questions you can focus on finding the right organizations and individuals to meet your outsourcing needs. When you are reaching out to potential outsourcing providers you will also want to ask them questions. You will need to ask how they secure data, how they handle sensitive information, how many law firm clients they have, and any other questions that will make you more comfortable in using their services. Some services that you may want to consider outsourcing include receptionist tasks, paralegal or assistant services, service agents, notaries, and legal drafting or other attorney services.
Running a virtual law firm is similar in many ways to running a traditional law firm. Start by considering these key factors and be sure that you create systems and processes to promote efficiency and consistency in your virtual practice.
Brooke Moore is the Founder & Co-Owner of MyVirtual.Lawyer dba O’Bryan & Moore, a virtual law firm providing flat fee and subscription based limited scope services to self-represented litigants, individuals, and small businesses in the areas of family, estate, and business law. She is also the Co-Founder & Co-Owner of MyVirtual.Lawyer for Attorneys, an Arkansas-based LLC providing attorneys in other jurisdictions the opportunity to leverage the MVL brand, systems, and processes to implement limited scope, virtual components into their firms. MyVirtual.Lawyer for Attorneys also provides group coaching courses, law firm consulting services, and technology strategy and implementation assistance. Her mission is to make legal help available and affordable for everyone, while offering a sustainable law firm model and solutions to help forward thinkers, lady lawyers, military spouse attorneys, and retirees love their law practices.