TechnoLawyer’s 2008 Predictions for technology as it pertains to the legal profession came out this week. I was pleased to read that web applications were at the top of the list. Here’s an excerpt
3. Web Applications Inch Towards Greater Acceptance
Web applications will continue to make inroads in 2008, but they will not displace desktop software anytime soon. A Web application can do almost anything a desktop application can do. And now that lawyers have become accustomed to online banking and online backups, concerns about confidentiality have largely vanished.
My vlo is a completely web-based application (Software as a Service, SaaS). Reading through the examples that TechnoLawyer includes, I don’t think the legal profession has really been introduced to web applications to the extent that vlo technology takes it.
TechnoLawyer is certainly right about the security and confidentiality concerns. The security is only good as long as the provider of the web application keeps its eye on new security issues as they arise and is prompt about making updates to the software.
The public is ready to add legal services to the list of transactions they are comfortable handling online.
In order for the solo practictioner and even BigLaw to compete with the legalzooms and nololaw.com websites that are out there providing “fill-in-the-form” legal documents and generic legal advice, legal professionals should consider the benefits of a virtual law office. A vlo uses technology as a web application to provide the public with more efficient and convenient legal services while still maintaining the quality that can only come from a client communicating directly with an attorney rather than an automated document-generator.
I’m excited to get more attorneys up and running with this method of practicing law. Yes, I’m shamelessly plugging the software that my husband and I have spent over two years developing and continue to perfect, but it’s working for my solo and I believe in it.
Bring on 2008.