The CA State Bar has weighed in on licensed solo practitioners wishing to establish a Virtual Law Office also referred to as: digital law, online law, eLawyering and Law Firm 2.0. VLO, as a term, in general refers to “the delivery of and payment for legal services exclusively or nearly exclusively through the law firms portal on a website.”
We received a copy of the CA State Bar’s Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct’s findings on this issue. Very interesting!
The Committee’s findings included the following discussion:
“As a result of ever increasing innovations in technology, the world has moved significantly toward internet communications – through email, chats, blogs, social networking sites and message boards. The legal services industry has not been untouched by they innovations and the use of technology, including the internet, is becoming more common and even necessary, in the provision of legal services. Consistent with this trend, and with the benefits of convenience, flexibility, and cost reduction, the provision of legal services via a VLO has started to emerge as an increasingly viable vehicle in which to deliver accessible and affordable legal services to the general public.“ Formal Opinion No. 2012-184
For those in the workspace industry in California, this is great news to further enhance our already fantastic relationship with those businesses that provide legal services. In fact, we have seen recently the introduction of attorney-specific workplaces that provide cubicles for attorneys rather than the traditional corner window office, many of us imagine this subset of clientele requires. As workspace providers, we need to stay current with the technology options that will make us even better partners with VLO attorneys and think of ways we can use new initiatives like this to build our virtual office business.
We have seen other states recently, Virginia comes to mind, that have found that the attorneys must practice in an office setting. I suspect there are others as well that prefer to mandate a more traditional approach, but it will be interesting to see if the ‘benefits of convenience, flexibility and cost reduction’ that CA recognizes, doesn’t draw other states to the same conclusion; that embracing technology rather than the ‘old ways’ will ultimately provide a better consumer experience for those needing legal counsel. Check out our Resource Center for more data-driven content for flexible workspace operators, one chewable data-bite at a time.