Richard Susskind, author of The End of Lawyers? Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services, has written a guest post for the Legal Rebels blog entitled “Disaster Ahead for Lawyers Unwilling to Change.”
Susskind looks at changes in the profession as well as the impact that the economic recession has had on our clients. He mentions disruptive technologies as another factor that will force legal professionals to find more innovative ways to provide legal services or face the consequences of losing their practices to the competition who will find ways to embrace the circumstances.
In my opinion, his arguments are supportive of virtual law practices. A virtual law practice is a practical way for attorneys to meet the demands of the public for the online delivery of legal services while finding creative ways to collaborate with other attorneys, pool resources and streamline the delivery of legal services online.
Here is the comment that I posted to the article: The changes are going to be consumer-driven. As the owner of a web-based virtual law office for going on almost four years, I have gotten significant feedback from the public indicating that they expect more affordable and accessible legal services from attorneys. The technology is available to allow legal professionals to step up and meet this consumer demand in a way that is ethical, avoids malpractice risks and provides quality legal services similar to what has been provided in a traditional brick & mortar practice.
I agree that in order to remain competitive attorneys will need to find ways to provide services to the public that acknowledges that most clients now have access to a wealth of legal information online. We have to find responsible methods of educating the public that our services are important and that cutting and pasting sample online legal forms or going with cheap online forms without attorney review is not in their best interest.
Attorneys should seize these changes as a great opportunity to revive the respect for the profession through innovation and entrepreneurship that serves the public as well as the legal professional.
If you are considering virtual law practice, whether as a solo or working with other attorneys to form a virtual law firm, you should read this article. It’s definitely motivational.