Virtual Law, Here to Stay?

Fahd Shah
July 8th, 2020

Keeping in theme of the topic of legal technology industry and legal innovation, virtual law firms seem to be the next mainstream innovation and change in the legal industry. Virtual law firms are becoming increasingly popular with most of work becoming remote, or work from home. Given the current circumstances of COVID-19, work from home became the only viable option, which showcased that it is indeed possible to work completely remote and from home. A lot of major companies in various industries announced plans to go fully remote, or allow their employees to work remotely the majority of the time. The law industry is no different, it recognizes the need for adapting and innovation to keep up with circumstances and general shifts in all industries.

A virtual law firm is a legal practice that does not consist of a traditional law office, or a set location. It operates on digital platforms. The lawyers in the law firm may choose to have their own remote offices, but are usually working remotely or working from home. It utilizes various technological means of communication and involves various safe networks to ensure clients information remains private and secure. Law firms also need to focus on their administrative and accounting side of the business, which is also fully done virtually by utilizing various platforms that may suit their needs.

These law firms are structured exactly like a traditional law firm, it's just all digital and virtually set up. Like any other firm, there is a group and team of attorneys. The business aspect is also set up like a traditional firm, whether a partnership or a proprietorship. Usually are specialized in a certain field of law. It can expand and reduce the amount of employees fairly easily due it being virtually based, and working highly on demand. Some of the advantages of virtual law firms that appeals to many is the low overhead costs. There is no need for office spaces, and much of the arbitrary things that may come with an office. Lawyers can work from home or have their own office spaces, which saves money for the firm, in turn increasing profits.

There is a lot of skepticism however regarding this. People view law and legal services as an in-person affair between the client and attorney. In a lot of the cases the information shared and the cases are sensitive and highly personal, getting that same attention on a virtual system can be hard if not impossible to replicate. There are also many concerns over safety and privacy of the clients. Especially in the age of big data companies and specific targeting, information is highly sensitive. Even with virtual law firms ensuring safety and security, data leaks and information hacking is still highly possible and a concern most people have.

Overall, as of recent virtual law firms still only makeup an insignificant percent of total law firms, however it is starting to become more and more attractive. With the overall push towards virtual platforms and technology based communication, virtual law firms are on the rise and will keep becoming increasingly popular over the next few years. We want to know your thoughts, as a client or a consumer, what do you think of virtual law firms, and would you feel comfortable utilizing their services? Please let us know!

Fahd Shah


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