How to Create a Virtual Law Practice

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The Virtual Law Firm: How to Build Your Practice in an Online World

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  • Marc - INtroduction
  • Stephanie
  • Examples of client facing applications delivered from a secure client portal
  • What a secure client portal could look like- example Granat Legal Services
  • Marc and or Richard explain the significance of web-enabled document automation and how it could work. Doc automation has been around for many years, primarily a desktop app whose focus is on the professional user NOT the direct consumer/SME
  • Stephanie
  • Stephanie
  • Stephanie plus comments from Richard
  • Stephanie
  • Under served population - rsg
  • How to Create a Virtual Law Practice

    1. 1. The Virtual Law Firm: How to Build Your Practice in an Online World The Center forThe Center for Law Practice TechnologyLaw Practice Technology
    2. 2. Faculty  Marc Lauritsen, President, Capstone Practice Systems, Co-Chair, eLawyering Task Force, LPM/ABA. Moderator  Stephanie L. Kimbro, JD, Kimbro Legal Services, Wilmington, NC., Founder, Virtual Law Office Technology.  Richard S. Granat, Partner, Granat Legal, Washington, D.C., Co-Chair, eLawyering Task Force, LPM/ABA, CEO, DirectLaw, Inc.  William Hornsby, Counsel, ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services22
    3. 3. I. Introduction: The Basics What is a “virtual law firm”? What is “eLawyering”? What a “virtual law firm” isn’t Examples of On-Line Legal Services. What is driving the interest in this concept? 33
    4. 4. What is a Virtual Law Office? a “virtual law firm” is characterized by access by the firm’s clients to a password protected and secure web space where both the attorney and client may interact and legal services consumed by the client. More specifically it can be defined as having a secure client portal that is accessible from the law firm’s web site. 44
    5. 5. What a “virtual law firm” is not! A law firm without a physical office, sometimes called a “virtual law firm.” A law firm that uses web-based back- office practice management tools and applications is not a “virtual law firm.” By our definition, virtual lawyering and elawyering are one and the same and they always involve the actual delivery of legal services over the Web. 55
    6. 6. What is eLawyering?  Marc Lauritsen, co-chair of the eLawyering Task Force of the Law Practice Management Section of the American Bar Association has succinctly defined eLawyering as:  “[E- Lawyering is] all the ways in which lawyers can do their work using the Web and associated technologies. These include new ways to communicate and collaborate with clients, prospective clients and other lawyers, produce documents, settle disputes and manage legal knowledge. Think of a lawyering verb—interview, investigate, counsel, draft, advocate, analyze, negotiate, manage and so forth—and there are corresponding electronic tools and techniques.”  eLawyering or virtual lawyering requires that a client be able to log in to a secure web space with a user name and password where they can access the firm’s legal services. 66
    7. 7. On-Line Legal ServicesOn-Line Legal Services  A “virtual law firm” enables clients to:A “virtual law firm” enables clients to: Assemble legal documents over the web;Assemble legal documents over the web; Purchase legal advice online by telephone orPurchase legal advice online by telephone or email;email; Store their legal documents online;Store their legal documents online; Collaborate with their attorneys online throughCollaborate with their attorneys online through threaded discussions which are archived.threaded discussions which are archived. Access legal information, web advisors, andAccess legal information, web advisors, and intelligent calculators.intelligent calculators.
    8. 8. Benefits of a Virtual Law Firm Capture new clients who are part of the “latent market for legal services” who don’t use lawyers; Deliver “limited legal services” on-line. Capture web-savvy clients who are members of the “connected generation” who expect to relate to their lawyers “on- line.” 88
    9. 9. More Benefits Increase law firm productivity and profitability. Enhance to client experience. Reduce telephone-tag. Enable a more integrated lawyer/client relationship. 99
    10. 10. II. On-Line Legal Services: Examples Solos and Small Law Firms Large Law Firms Corporate Law Departments The Non-Profit Sector 1010
    11. 11. On-Line Legal Service Applications Web-enabled document automation Web Advisors – e..g. Chapter 13 Calculator. Legal Advice On-Line Legal Document Review Court Coaching for Pro Se Clients Collaboration and Communication Searchable and linkable legal library for clients. 1111
    12. 12. Example of a Client Portal
    13. 13. 13 Complete?Complete?Next questionNext questionNext questionNext questionNext questionNext question Documents that Assemble Themselves Ready for Lawyer Review 13 Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Last Will & Testament Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. You don't just ‘fill out’ an automated document – you create it. The answers you enter create a custom legal document, built from a library of state-specific and relevant legal text, that is tailored to client’s specific facts.         Start Finish
    14. 14. Practice Management Applications Case Calendar Conflicts of Interest Checking Jurisdiction check to avoid UPL Document Archiving Billing and Invoices Management On-Line Bill Payment by Credit Card Contact Management 1414
    15. 15. III. Ethical Issues  Client Development Issues  Multi-state compliance  Pitfalls – trade names, stock art, filing/screening obligations  Creating the lawyer-client relationship  Duties to prospective clients  Click-wrap as a manifestation of consent  UPL  Conflicts  Competent representation – verifying the client’s identity  Limited scope of representation  Confidentiality  Payment for services 1515
    16. 16. IV. Practicalities How do you make it happen? How much does it cost? Cloud Computing and SaaS Needs Analysis. 1616
    17. 17. Costs of a Virtual Law Office Front End Web Site- Hosting and Design Client Portal Vendor pricing ranges from $49.00 to $299.00 a month depending on complexity. Web-Based Practice Management Solutions. Approximately $49.00 per attorney per month. 1717
    18. 18. Typical Virtual Law Firm SaaS Offering- What to look for? No Up-Front Capital Investment or small set-up fee. No software or Hardware to Install East to Implement Ethically Compliant Totally Secure Subscription-based Plugs Into Your Existing Web Site. 1818
    19. 19. Vendor Selection Do It Your Self- meaning programming a virtual law office is cost prohibitive. The Software as a Service Solution (SaaS) – Benefits. What to look for in a SaaS Vendor generally. Needs Analysis. 1919
    20. 20. V. Marketing Legal Services Online New Market Opportunities Defining a Niche Client-centric web site How to make your web site findable!! Role of Social Media in Brand Building Building an On-Line Brand 2020
    21. 21. Latent Market for Legal Services  50% of middle income households in the US have at least one legal problem per year  Only 20% seek legal assistance from attorneys.  26% do nothing at all.  Increasing percentage of consumers seek alternatives to lawyers such as self-help. E.g., Nolo and LegalZoom  Potentially huge market waiting to be tapped in the US for personal consumer legal services.
    22. 22. How do you reach web-savvyHow do you reach web-savvy clients?clients?  You have to learn how to deliver legal services over theYou have to learn how to deliver legal services over the Internet and create an “online” brand.Internet and create an “online” brand.  Requires an interactive web site which support theRequires an interactive web site which support the “virtual practice of law.”“virtual practice of law.”  More than a passive web site.More than a passive web site.  The web site as the “front-door” of your law practice.The web site as the “front-door” of your law practice.  The web site as a way for your firm to create an “onlineThe web site as a way for your firm to create an “online brand.”brand.”  If you are not getting clients off the Internet, you areIf you are not getting clients off the Internet, you are missing part of the market in your territory.missing part of the market in your territory.
    23. 23. • Differentiation • Remarkable • Client experience BUILDING A STRONG BRAND ONLINE
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