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Becoming a Virtual Lawyer

Becoming a Virtual Lawyer

Working as a virtual lawyer or attorney is beneficial for you and your legal business. In recent years, converting to a virtual office is no longer foreign, and is being seen more and more. When considering all of the traveling lawyers do within their career as legal professionals —traveling to and from offices, client locations, courthouses, and notary appointments — becoming a virtual lawyer does not seem like a bad idea. Though some lawyers and attorneys have a specified location for their law firm office, others find it ineffective because they are always out of the office handling business. Becoming a virtual lawyer can save you time, and money, and allow you to work more efficiently. In addition to this, you have more travel time to fit in client and court meetings, and notary appointments. Though there are many benefits to becoming a virtual lawyer, you may need to consider the security of your law firm, the ethics and brand, and how effective you actually can communicate as an attorney while working virtually. You are interested in becoming a virtual lawyer, but what exactly is a virtual lawyer? Can my law firm still be accessible and effective to help legal clients if it is virtual? Read this article to find the answers to your questions pertaining to virtual legal services.

What is a Virtual Lawyer?

A virtual lawyer/attorney is a legal professional that virtually provides services to legal clients. This entails virtual meetings and communication. Virtual lawyers typically work in one of two ways. One way is a lawyer who owns a law firm and runs their law firm business virtually. The other is a lawyer who works for a law firm and performs his legal work remotely. Additionally, virtual lawyers may perform their legal work 100% online, while others perform their legal work partly online. It is important to take note that virtual lawyers must have a portal that is secure, username and password dependent, and encrypted for clients while running a virtual law firm. Additionally, the portal must be attached to the website of the law firm. The portal is where clients and lawyers/attorneys communicate, collaborate, share documents, and exchange information.

What are the Benefits of Becoming a Virtual Lawyer/Attorney?

Virtually running your legal business allows you to work remotely, from anywhere at any time, whether you are at home, traveling, or in the office. This makes your law firm more dynamic and efficient. Being a virtual lawyer gives you the flexibility to respond to clients, make appointments, review cases, etc. while you are away. Here are the main benefits of working as a virtual attorney/lawyer. 

Reducing Costs & Expenses

Becoming a virtual lawyer allows you to reduce expenses in several different areas. You can avoid buying or renting space for your law firm. As a lawyer or attorney, you are not required to have a physical office location. This avoids the expenses of rent, WiFi, utilities, supplies, and maintenance. After all, most law firm offices utilize cloud-based software for record-keeping and case managing, meaning client intake can be done anywhere. Becoming a virtual lawyer can save you money while running a successful legal business.


Becoming a virtual attorney allows you to work a more flexible schedule. Instead of working a 9-5 job, work the hours that best work for you and your client's schedule. Work the hours you want to at any location, anytime in the world. Working remotely benefits traveling legal professionals and those who are struggling to separate their legal careers from their life as a parent. Being a virtual lawyer leaves you with a better work-life balance, a diverse schedule, and extra time throughout each day.

Versatile Way of Communicating with Clients

Offering virtual services can make your legal business more accessible to clients. As of late, clients prefer to meet virtually rather than in person. Clients would rather meet virtually to avoid extra time spent traveling, taking days off from work, finding a sitter for their children and pets, and in some cases, avoiding the hassle if they are dealing with mobility disabilities. Additionally, virtual services allow you to do the same — saving money on gas, saving time, and making room for more meetings throughout the day. Virtual services are more convenient for both the client and attorney and encourage a better attorney-client relationship because of the communication resources available to clients.

Environmentally Friendly

Reduce emission release and paper usage by becoming a 100% remote lawyer/attorney. By cutting your daily drive to the law firm office and reducing paper usage by utilizing client intake software and website capabilities, you are contributing to the attempt to improve environmental factors.

How to Become a Virtual Lawyer

There are many advantages of becoming a virtual attorney/lawyer; however, it is important to take several components into consideration and ensure you and your business are well prepared before the transition. To successfully run a virtual legal business, make a plan, ensure you understand the rules, and stay ahead of your marketing strategies.

Educate Yourself on the Virtual Lawyer Ethics and Rules

Before transitioning to a virtual law firm, you need to understand the rules and consider the ethics. There are laws, rules, and regulations that might interfere with your plans of becoming a virtual lawyer/attorney. Some states require lawyers to have a physical office for their legal business. Becoming a virtual lawyer may not be an option for you. Check the rules and requirements for your jurisdiction and the state you practice in. On the other hand, if you pass all of the requirements, it is your duty as a legal professional to protect your client's personal information and data and maintain client confidentiality. Virtual lawyers run the risk of leaked data. In this regard, it is important all of your legal work is secure and that all of its channels are encrypted.

Create a Roadmap for your Career as a Virtual Attorney/Lawyer

Becoming a virtual attorney/lawyer requires a lot of work, and is no walk in the park. In fact, you should consider it to be just as much work as opening a location for your law firm. Though it may seem like a lot of work in the initial stages, the hard work will pay off once you start experiencing the benefits. Follow these steps to create a roadmap so opening your virtual law firm goes smoothly.
  • Create a Business Plan: Regardless of the situation you are starting in — if you are a lawyer who is transitioning to a virtual law firm, or if you are a new lawyer opening a virtual legal business, you will want to set attainable, measurable goals, establish your law firm’s values and vision, create a financial plan, and analyze the market you are about to enter.
  • Consider Client Intake: Virtual legal businesses will heavily rely on some type of software for client intake. This is how you will essentially run your business. Client intake will allow you to schedule appointments, generate intake forms, and keep track of your potential and current clients.
  • Strategize Ways to Communicate: You will need a communication strategy for communicating with both staff and clients. Since there will not be anyone in the office, how will you communicate now? There are many ways to do so such as, email, video meetings, apps, texting, calling, and chats. More importantly, how will you and your legal staff communicate with clients? Create a plan and process for booking and attending meetings.
  • Form a Marketing Plan: Because you will strictly be a virtual business, it is crucial for your legal business to have effective online marketing strategies. Focus on your law firm website, SEO, and your online presence. Additionally, your online marketing plan should include outside resources that can help you reach your targeted audience, such as lawyer social media accounts and online campaigns.

Transition from a Traditional Law Firm to a Virtual Law Firm 

Transitioning from a traditional law firm to a virtual law firm can be made easy when following these simple steps:
  • Be Patient: If you already have a traditional law firm, do not rush into going virtual. You don’t want to rush a big change like so, because it can result in hurting your law firm rather than benefiting it. Focus on your legal business and your clients while slowly transitioning. Additionally, you may come to find you do not like doing virtual business. You don’t want to discover this once it's too late. Start by operating your legal business with a hybrid schedule. For example, you and your employees can be in the office 4 days a week and remote one day a week to test the waters.
  • Slowly Incorporate Virtual Tasks: Be mindful of ways you can transition in-office tasks to remote, virtual tasks. This will allow you to slowly transition to remote work.
  • Automate Hands-on Processes with Technology: Finding a cloud-based technology can largely decrease the work you have to do in a secure, encrypted way. Consider the needs of your law firm and choose a tech solution that would best fit the needs of your legal business. For example, there is cloud-based management software that automates small tasks that have a large effect, keeping your law firm organized, secure, and manageable.

How to Provide Legal Services to Clients as a Virtual Lawyer/Attorney

Virtual law firms are not only beneficial to lawyers and attorneys, but they are also especially beneficial for clients. Virtual legal businesses are able to provide clients with a more exceptional experience. It allows lawyers/attorneys to give their clients what they want while in a vulnerable situation. With a virtual law firm, you can provide clients with a convenient experience by including the following: 

Online Client Portal

There are software specifically for legal businesses that allows them to document important, necessary information, and share and communicate with clients. According to Clio, clients prefer working with a legal team who has the ability to share electronic documents through a secure web page, online portal, or app. Clients receive a better experience when they can easily, and quickly access informative documents pertaining to their case. Furthermore, it is a time saving method for both clients and legal professionals.

Managing Software for Documentation

Employees that are working for a law firm will need to have access to case documents at any time, any place of the world. However, they need access to confidential documents, meaning they have to ensure the documents are securely stored, and saved each time they access it. Luckily, there is cloud-based document management software that have a solution to this problem, such as OneDrive, Dropbox, and Clio. A management software saves time for clients and creates a smooth experience.

Virtual Meetings

The last thing to consider when transitioning to a virtual legal business is how you will meet with clients. There are many ways to meet with clients such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype. Clients prefer virtual meetings because of the conveniency and as a bonus, it saves lawyers time. As a lawyer, you may have found there is not enough time in one day. Virtual meetings make it easier for clients and lawyers and is still an effective way to communicate and discuss legal matters.

Become a Virtual Lawyer or Attorney

Remote work is no longer considered a foreign term. In fact, many lawyers and attorneys work 100% remote. After researching the law firm rules and regulations in your area, decide if a virtual law firm is something you strive for. If it is, start with creating a plan, reviewing the details of your legal business, and how exactly you can transfer these details to a virtual style for your business. Take your time when acting upon the transitions between a traditional law firm and a virtual law firm. Invest in a marketing team, website strategist, and a client intake and management software to ensure your virtual law firm runs smoothly.

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