Happy New Year! I reviewed many of the virtual law practice news from 2009 in my last post. In this post I want to look forward to the year ahead by providing some news about my own virtual law office and upcoming speaking/sharing engagements.
2010 will mark year four of owning my own solo, virtual law practice. I opened Kimbro Legal Services in the winter of 2006 right around the time that I welcomed my daughter to the world. I remember being so excited about taking the leap into my own solo practice but also trying to ignore the negative comments that other attorneys had shared with me regarding the idea of making the practice completely web-based. And four years later, virtual law practice is something that is being embraced by the legal profession and expanding in innovation and technology way beyond what I had imagined back in ’06. I’m so grateful to be able to share my experiences with other attorneys and to assist them in setting up their own virtual law offices.
Looking forward to 2010, there will be several opportunities to share information about virtual law practices with others in the legal community. Up until this year I’ve done almost all of my communicating, educating and networking completely online. But this year, I’m coming out of the computer. I’m actually a little nervous about finally meeting all of my online mentors. I may be a bit “star-struck” until I get used to communicating without hitting the enter key first.
This year I plan on making it to the ABA TECHSHOW in Chicago around March 25-27 where there will be several panels and sessions devoted to cloud computing, SaaS and other forms of technology used to accomplish virtual law practice. The ABA eLawyering Task Force may meet informally at the TECHSHOW and then at the LPM Spring Meeting in Las Vegas at the end of April.
I am also really looking forward to the Get a Life Conference that will be held in Chicago starting on May 26th. I will be on a panel with Richard Granat of Directlaw discussing virtual law practice as well as on a panel with Niki Black discussing cloud computing. Later at the end of summer, I will be on an educational panel discussing virtual law practice at the ABA and LPM Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
The first draft of my book for the ABA’s LPM section is due this spring so if all goes well, it should have a summer publication date. I’ve been spending most of my writing and researching energy on the book. My goal is for it to be a practical, easy to read “how-to” book on the topic but that it will also contain appendices with my research regarding state-specific ethics or advisory opinions, and go more in detail into the technology topics.
As for my own VLO, I’m staying pretty busy with the online client base that I’ve built up around providing estate planning services. I had considered seeking a mentor to help me expand my services to providing some family law legal guidance. Maybe leave that for the future. There are several other NC Family Law VLOs and for now I have been referring those online clients their way.
I’ve enjoyed a growing number of members in my virtual law practice course on Solo Practice University and look forward to continuing to teach webinars and communicate directly with those students. It provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about other’s questions and thoughts about the ethics and technology issues in virtual law practice as it evolves.
I also look forward to getting more involved in my role as Consultant and Technology Evangelist for Total Attorneys. They have a great resource in TotalPMA, and I’ve already started joining in on the discussions and connecting with other attorneys through that legal community.
There will be more exciting news to share with everyone as the year develops and I’ll do so on the blog, on Twitter (@StephKimbro) and on whatever new online social networking tools are bound to crop up and become popular next year.
Happy New Year to everyone as we look forward to a productive 2010!