While researching the feasibility of creating a completely virtual law firm, I kept reading articles that viewed a “virtual law firm” in the same way that Dennis Kennedy defines it as “an affiliated group of lawyers connected by technology rather than co-existing in common physical locations.” Here is Kennedy’s article which I have read several times.
In other words, a group of lawyers working at Biglaw could all be on the same practicing network with other lawyers at Biglaw’s ally and they would be considered to have a “virtual law practice.” What I want to read about is not how practicing online affects the attorneys personally or makes their firm more productive. I want to read about how communicating and serving clients through the internet and how using technology to make it more affordable can affect the public. I know, with the burgeoning law school loans, I should be thinking more about myself and building a big career. But I get the biggest kick out of helping folks and making the law understandable for the lay person. I steered a lady and future entrepreneur in the right direction today. Didn’t get paid a cent for my time and probably won’t ever see anything tangible come out of it except maybe a referral. It felt right though and it reminded me of why the legal profession appealed to me in the first place.
Maybe that is why I define a virtual law office practice from a more client-oriented perspective rather than as a lawyer to lawyer tool. I feel like I’m going out on a limb every time I post or comment or share the concept of practicing completely online. But I strongly believe there is something to this. It’s going to take patience and staying power, probably until someone “bigger” than me picks up on it and brings it into public awareness.