2010 Review of Virtual Law Practice in the News

It’s time again for a recap of virtual law practice news and articles since my last compilation this summer.  As usual, the goal is to provide a resource of links to articles, podcasts, and videos that discuss developments in elawyering and the delivery of legal services online.  If you know of any others, please add them to the comments.

In the New Economy, Use New Strategies to Hire Law Firms”, New York Times, by James Flanigan, December 29, 2010

“Law and Legal Affairs: Lawyer uses virtual fish to hook share of online market” , The Scotsman, by Martin Hannan, Dec 12, 2010 

“Virtual law practice a real-life convenience,” Wisconsin Law Journal, by Jane Pribek, December 24th, 2010

“How-to for virtual law practice”, Lawyers USA, by Correy Stephenson, December 29, 2010

“An Update and Reconsideration of Chrissy Burns’ ‘Online Legal Services-A Revolution that Failed?’ European Journal of Law and Technology, Vol. 1, Issue 3, 2010, by Darryl Mountain.

Alabama State Bar Ethics Opinion 2010-02, “Retention, Storage, Ownership, Production and Destruction of Client Files”

“Dueling Sanctions . . .  And More”by Gary Munneke, Chair of the Law Practice Management Committee, New York State Bar Association

Formation of the Legal Cloud Computing Association (LCCA)

“Introduction to Running a Virtual Law Practice”, Massachusetts Lawyers Journal by Stephanie Kimbro 

Legal Advice…on a Budget”, Wall Street Journal, by Rob Johnson, November 15, 2010.

“Ethical Obligations on Maintaining a Virtual Office for the Practice of Law in Pennsylvania”, the PA Bar Association Committee on Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility, FEO 2010-200

“Commentary: The ethics of virtual law offices, take two”, Daily Record, by Nicole Black, Nov 5, 2010.

 “The real world of virtual law firms”, fall issue of the Law Society of British Columbia’s Benchers’ Bulletin,

Thoughts on the Law Society of BC Bencher Bulletin Feature Article: The Real World of Virtual Law FirmsSlaw.ca, by  Nicole Garton-Jones, owner of Heritage Law BC, a virtual law firm in Canada, October 16, 2010.

Virtual Law Practice: How to Deliver Legal Services Online, Stephanie Kimbro, ABA LPM Publishing, October 2010.

 “Doing Law on the Web: eLawyering for Competitive Advantage”, September issue of the Technology eReport from the ABA GP, Solo and Small Firm Division, Richard Granat

Best Practice Tips for the Virtual Law Office,”  Michigan Bar Journal, September, 2010

ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 releases two issues papers for public comment: 1) “Client Confidentiality and Lawyers’ Use of Technology” and 2)  “Lawyers’ Use of Internet Based Client Development Tools.” 

Carolyn Elefant creates MyShingle’s ABA Ethics 20/20 Portal.

“Ethics and the virtual law office” videos Legal Currents blog, August 2010.

 “A New View of the Automated Law Firm”, ILTA session slides, August 25, 2010, presented by Gerard Neiditsch, Jeffrey Rovner, Mary Abraham and Ron Friedmann.

 “Harnessing Disruptive Technologies” at ILTA, slides, August 25, 2010, presented by Marc Lauritsen and Darryl Mountain.

 “What the Virtual Law Office Advocates Aren’t Telling You.” , Divorce Discourseblog, Lee Rosen, August 2010.

 “The Virtual Law Office Debate: Virtually Impossible To Succeed or Not?”, MyShingle.com, Carolyn Elefant, August 2010.

 “The Virtual Law Office Debate…Really?”, Build a Solo Practice Blog, Susan Cartier Liebel, August 2010.

 “Framing the Discussion about Virtual Law Firm Practice”, Elawyering.comblog, Richard Granat, August 2010.

 “Virtual Lawyering Goes Mainstream”, Digital EdgePodcast, Jim Calloway and Sharon Nelson, July 2010.

 “The Virtual Lawyer Stampede,” Slaw.ca, Sharon Nelson and John Simek, July 22, 2010.

 “Virtual Law Offices Are Becoming a Real-World Alternative,” Jim Calloway’s Law Practice TipsBlog, Jim Calloway, July 22, 2010.

 “Being a Virtual Lawyer is all Mindset, Not Technology, Legal Practice Pro, Jay Fleischman, July 20, 2010.

“Marketing Unbundled Legal Services in a DIY Economy” Lawyerist, Stephanie Kimbro, June 16, 2010.

Three part series on virtual law practice for the Massachusetts Law Office Management Assistance Program (Mass LOMAP) blog:

      “Introduction to Virtual Law Practice and Delivering Unbundled Legal Services Online” June 15, 2010

      “Marketing a Virtual Law Office”  July 8, 2010

      “Ethics Considerations for the Virtual Practice of Law” August 10, 2010

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  • Pulling together all of these articles in one place is very useful. It is hard to believe how much discussion has emerged about the virtual law office concept in just 12 months. However, its been my experience in introducing new ideas to the legal profession, that it will take about three more years for this idea to mainstream.

    I remember when we trained the first paralegals and no law firm would employ a paralegal. It took about 4-5 years for the legal profession to catch on, and now paralegals are employed in almost every kind of law practice.

    I could say the same about automated litigation software. We introduced the first PC-based automated litigation support software program around 1983 when IBM first introduced the PC, but it took about 6 years for the idea to mainstream. Now, in my opinion, if a litigator doesn’t use automated litigation software, its a form of malpractice.

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