Virtual Law Offices for Lawyers

Virtual Law Offices for Lawyers

2020-03-31

Virtual Law Offices for Lawyers

Have you ever heard about people working from home? If so, this probably leads you to great curiosity about it to the point where you might even be tempted to try out the virtual work set-up.

There are a lot of lawyers and law firms who are slowly evolving into this virtual office set-up.

However, there are factors that we need to consider which are being pointed out by many lawyers, law firms, and law businesses.

Some businesses have shared the benefit of having a virtual law office. In this, let us understand more about what it is all about and how it works.

What is a Virtual Law Office?

Before we discuss the virtual law offices, let us first start with understanding the general concept of having a virtual office.

The virtual office is considered as the operational domain of an organization or business where the workers are using technology to do their work remotely.

The work can be done anywhere and many workers perform it in the convenience of their homes.

However, this is the same as how a virtual law office works. Many businesses, like Law Firms, have a virtual office. 

The specialization on legal matters and concerns is the primary focus of a virtual law office.

How a Virtual Law Office Works?

The virtual offices in any organization or business enable a lot of employees to work remotely by providing functions accessible through the internet.

There is a great advantage of this virtual work set-up for both the remote worker and employer.

For the remote worker’s advantage, it gives convenience as there is a full capacity to work anywhere and at home.

On the other hand, the employer benefits from the set-up for it reduces the cost of the workforce by cutting down the expenses on rental and other office bills.

3 Essential Factors You Need to Consider in Establishing a Virtual Law Office

There is great work flexibility for any remote worker but there is also great responsibility and accountability.

If you are a lawyer or you have a law firm and you are considering having a virtual law office, then there are things that you fundamentally need to consider.

In this part, we will understand the important things and details that you need to consider upon establishing your virtual law office.

1. Work Set-up

There are two things that we will discuss as it relates to virtual office set-up which is the transitioning set-up and initial set-up.

The first one is for lawyers and law firms that transitions from an office-based set-up into a virtual office. The second is the establishment of an initial virtual office without prior office or workers.

  • Transitioning Set-up

First, this is for lawyers or business owners who you already have an existing office and staff but are planning to let the employees work at home.

The work set-up is different for your part since you already have your people or workers with you and you are fully accountable for keeping them.

There is a need for transitioning and adaptation in the work set-up for your business.

You need to coordinate with your workers with the existing internet connection and technological equipment present at their home.

For workers that have their own equipment, they can use their own. However, if your workers do not have any existing equipment, then you probably need to settle this concern.

You can have two options for this scenario. First, you can let the existing office equipment be sent to your employee’s home which can be a risk on your part. 

Second, if you do not want to risk your existing office equipment, then you can buy new equipment for your employees.

As you choose a preferable option for your part, make sure to prepare a waiver for liability and protection.

  • Initial Set-up

If you are a lawyer or law firm owner who has not yet established any office nor hired existing employees, then it is advantageous for you.

You can consider hiring people online and remotely. There are a lot of people who are working online like freelancers and virtual assistants.

These people already have the equipment and you will no longer need to consider the equipment that they will use for it is already their accountability to provide on their own.

2. Official Contract

Upon establishing your virtual law office, you must create a contract that benefits both parties.

This is to make sure that the terms and conditions are clearly being presented prior to the start of work.

There should be a clear presentation of the contract as it is easily understood. Make sure that you and your remote worker agrees to the contract.

3. Scope of Work

Since your staff is working online, there are a lot of things and tasks that can still be done even in a remote set-up.

The businesses and law firms have pointed out the importance of specifically determining all tasks that need to be done. The scope of work and daily responsibilities must be clear and divided. It is great if you also mentor your workers so that they are enabled by you to improve in their execution of their tasks.

Another field of a law firm has also shared the need to manage your virtual worker’s productivity. Developing a healthy work environment is a need even if your workers are remotely situated. Performance and growth mentoring must be a priority.

The Pros and Cons of a Virtual Law Office

Some of the pros and cons of having a virtual law office have been stated above and in this part, we will understand more it.

Pros of a Virtual Law Office

The positive impact of having a virtual law office dominantly helps your daily transaction and work efficiency since it is done remotely.

Here are the pros of having a virtual law office:

  • Greater work flexibility for both parties which are employers and workers

  • Lesser monthly operational cost

  • Eco-friendly transactions

  • Gain more control over work and life balance

Cons of a Virtual Law Office

Choosing to have a virtual law office have also negative potential impact on your business which is dominantly due to social and relational factors.

Here are the cons of establishing a virtual law office:

  • Lack of relational coordination between employees

  • Confidential legal matters and concerns need to be personally addressed. Thus, virtual transactions may not be sufficient to effectively address the concern

  • Blurred parameters between personal and work life which affects negatively

  • You have more work responsibilities than being in a traditional office-like managing your equipment, ensuring sufficient home security, and others

  • You need to take an extra mile in communicating with your employers

There are many positive and negative impact on having a virtual law office. However, in having your virtual law office, not all transactions and work can be done remotely.

This helps you point out the need to draw a clear boundary on what tasks you will entrust to be done remotely and what needs to be personally addressed. Many different types of businesses have declared the need to strategically work on the business functions.

Before you implement your virtual law office, clearly know the positive and negative factors that it may bring to your business.

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