Being able to practice law is a dream come true for many people. For one, you get to protect the rights of your clients. You also get a chance to uphold the legalities of your country, which for some is a true honor. However, despite being a graduate of law school and passing the bar exams, the recent global phenomenon has halted the majority of operations in physical law firms.
Protocols are in place to limit face-to-face interaction, which is crucial in the practice of law. Fortunately, the rise of technology and the ever-growing trend of digital marketing has given lawyers the opportunity to still practice law, allowing them to help their clients. This can be achieved by setting up a virtual law firm.
What Is A Virtual Law Firm?
A physical law firm and a virtual law firm are the same in the sense that both offer legal services. However, a virtual law firm operates in a virtual office instead of the usual brick-and-mortar establishment. Given that it’s a virtual office, this means that the firm’s lawyers and staff members can work in the comfort of their homes.
Additionally, the members of the law office don’t need to be in the same state or even the same country to be able to contribute to the law firm’s success. This unique setup offers practitioners plenty of benefits.
There are fewer overhead costs since there’s no need to rent office space or pay for office equipment like multiple fax machines and printers. Also, virtual law offices utilize cloud-based software. With this, storing client information and data is easier and much safer compared to keeping printed documents in file cabinets.
Running A Virtual Law Firm
Since office members can work remotely, they get to have more freedom because, depending on how the firm operates, they may be able to work flexible hours. However, this means that an employee must maintain a work-life balance, which may be difficult to do at first, especially when your law firm is transitioning from being a traditional law office to a virtual one.
Additionally, since running a virtual law firm requires a completely different approach than managing a traditional law office, it may be challenging for someone who’s already accustomed to giving legal services in a face-to-face setting.
Fortunately, if you truly want to have a virtual law firm or are planning to switch to this kind of setup, there are plenty of guides such as this article and this advanced digital marketing blog that’ll help your virtual law firm thrive.
That being said, here’s how you can successfully run a virtual law firm.
Determine The Scope of Your Legal Practice
Nowadays, many law firms, be they virtual or traditional ones, specialize in a particular area of law rather than offering to address every kind of legal concern. The reason for this is that specializing in a legal niche allows you to have a competitive edge, especially if you’re confident or possess the necessary experience to handle a specific legal issue.
Also, by determining the scope of your legal practice, clients would instantly think of your virtual legal firm if they ever get into a legal dispute that you handle. Furthermore, focusing on a certain field of law will give you more time to discover and understand the latest trends or updates related to it, and you’ll be informed on other methods to promote your virtual law office.
Thus, before starting a virtual law firm, consider these several factors so you’ll be able to determine what area you should specialize in:
- Your team’s legal experience and interests
- The legal trends in your locality
- The longevity of interest in your chosen specialty
Set Up Your Workspace
Just because you’re no longer in a physical location with your entire team, it doesn’t mean you’ll completely forego getting the office equipment needed to offer legal services. Thus, ask yourself, ‘What type of setup suits your preference?’
This could mean having a standing desk and one large monitor, or you can use a laptop for more mobility.
Having the right setup is crucial in a virtual law office since you’ll be spending all of your working hours in this area. Hence, to prevent yourself from slacking off, you must choose pieces of equipment and the right business tools allowing for maximum productivity.
At the very least, here are some of the things you should have in order to run a successful virtual law firm:
- Comfortable office furniture
- Supplies like pens and paper
Promote Your Virtual Law Firm
Regardless of your law practice is virtual or traditional you need to promote it so you can acquire more clients. Since you’re operating in the digital space, the first thing you need is a website. Your website must be user-friendly so potential clients can immediately know what legal services you offer and how they can contact you.
Still, given that the law industry is rife with competition, potential clients may not encounter your website if you don’t take measures to increase your online visibility.
To make your law firm stand out from the crowd, always be updated and apply the latest law firm SEO tips. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quality of your website so it’ll be placed on the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs).
Have The Necessary Licenses
Ultimately, a law firm is still considered a business. As a business owner, you need to have the necessary licenses—federal, state, or those revolving around the type of service you offer—so you can keep operating in the long run. Also, having the required licenses will help you avoid any legal troubles.
So before setting up a website or promoting your virtual law firm, make sure you’ve acquired all of the right licenses. Additionally, ensure that those licenses are always up to date. Doing so allows you to stay on the safe side of the law as you run your virtual law office.
Takeaway: Keep Learning
Establishing a virtual law office from the ground up is similar to starting a small business. However, the problem with setting up a virtual law office is the fact that it’s not covered in law school. Not to mention that the digital realm is constantly evolving, so it may be difficult to assert yourself as an authority in your field.
Setbacks are imminent even in a virtual law office. However, with enough commitment, hard work, passion, and knowledge of the latest trends both in law and digital marketing, you’ll be able to run a successful virtual office.