Virtual law offices are a great option in today’s digital world. Remote work began to increase before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, a global pandemic, and the closure of well-known legal offices became necessary.
Law offices and their clients have become more comfortable with remote work and virtual offices. Recent data has shown that consumer attitudes towards remote working will change significantly in 2021, and it is important for law firms to adapt to this shift in consumer expectations. Are you ready to create a law office for your client?
Expectations of Fair Practices
A real law office does business online, not in an office. Lawyers can work from satellite or home offices. Lawyers serve clients through digital communication technologies, such as video conferencing, email, and chat. Law firms follow the same rules as law firms with offices, but lawyers are often consultants, not partners or employees.
There are many advantages to the legal profession. Law firms that only work with small offices should consider offering full-time services to accommodate more clients and meet consumer digital expectations.
The advantages of providing real services include:
A law firm is open to an unlimited number of clients, while traditional offices are limited to clients in a specific area. Digitalization means that lawyers can serve clients all over the world.
This benefit also works the other way around. Clients have a wide range of legal services to choose from that will meet their needs.
It’s a win-win for law firms and their clients.
Many businesses have gone remote after the pandemic because they realized they could save more money by moving to remote work. Even a half shift to remote work can save companies a lot.
Office space is a big investment for law firms, so getting rid of office space is a big investment. Businesses will also cut costs on services and other items when traveling online. In addition, employees will save more money working remotely, even part-time, because the cost of travel will decrease.
Law firms allow lawyers to flex their time. They work as needed and do not have specific business hours. Working online saves time, because traveling is not a problem.
Computer lawyers can work from anywhere, helping those with families to be more efficient in the tasks that are most important in today’s busy world. Remote work changes the landscape of the law office, increases the number of candidates for employment, and allows employers to offer unique benefits to employees.
Customer interaction is easy
Meetings may be convenient if the law office is far away. Customers do not need to travel or travel to meetings. Effective communication can include all of the same things as in-person meetings but in a more nuanced way. Digital communication also makes it easier to meet with customers on a regular basis.
Transitioning to a Virtual Law Firm
Attorneys should take the time to understand what goes into running a virtual law firm. A law firm needs a strong business and marketing plan, just like a brick and mortar business. Working with a digital marketing company for such changes can be helpful. Some things to consider when switching to a remote office include:
State Laws on Virtual Law Firms
Each country has its own laws regarding remote work. Some states require law firms to have physical locations but allow employees to work remotely. Researching the laws of your country will help you to use a law firm.
Communication is an important part of a legitimate business. Lawyers and clients need to communicate regularly. In the digital environment, reliable communication must be established using modern communication tools, including telephones, e-mails, video conferencing tools, and live online chats.
All businesses rely on phone and email in today’s market. It would be wise to test your phone and email and make sure they provide easy, quick communication with internal and external customers.
Powerful video conferencing is essential for both external and internal customer meetings. Other available meeting tools include Google Meet, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams. It’s a good idea to research your options and find a conference tool that best meets the needs of your law firm.
Consider adding live chat to your website to add instant support to future customers. Live chat is useful when customers have questions or need to get online legal advice. It’s a great way to attract clients and highlight your law firm’s presence and commitment to its clients.
When your law firm transitions to a remote or virtual office, it is recommended that records be physical or digital. The transition to a digital company means that all paper records must be stored electronically.
It is wise to look into digital document software as documents will require an electronic signature. Software should be easy to use and protect the privacy of your customers and their records.
Remote Law Firm Management Software
Managing a law office is different from managing an office. Legal management software helps with planning, document sharing and storage, databases, returns, accounting, time tracking, and project management.
Changing Corporate Policies
Official company policies must be modified due to the unique nature of remote working. All of the company’s old policies must be redesigned to accommodate the new online service.
New legal office policies should include:
- Business hours regulations are flexible
- Tips for authentic meetings
- Tips for recording meetings – Which meetings can be recorded? Where will the recordings be stored? How will recordings be kept private?
- Data protection standards
Website and Digital Marketing Strategies
A strong Internet marketing strategy, including a well-designed website, is critical to the success of any law office or business. When you switch to real systems, reviewing and revising your online marketing plan makes sense. It can be beneficial to create a new website for remote business. A digital marketing specialist will be able to help with this.
Digital Marketing Next Steps
Moving to a physical office is difficult but offers many opportunities to expand and grow your law firm. Consider making a list of all your steps and start creating your plan!
Annette Choti, Esq. graduated from law school 20 years ago, and is the Founder of Law Quill, a certified digital marketing agency focused on small law firms. Annette is the author of the best-selling book Click Magnet: The Ultimate Digital Marketing Guide For Law Firms, and hosts the podcast Legal Marketing Lounge. He is an important CLE speaker in the United States and Canada. Annette used to work in theater with comedians, which isn’t all that different from law enforcement if we’re all being honest. Annette can be found on LinkedIn or at email@example.com.