Stephanie Kimbro, MA, JD, is member of Burton Law LLC, a virtual law firm offering online unbundled and traditional full-service representation in North Carolina and Ohio. She is the recipient of the 2009 ABA Keane Award for Excellence in eLawyering and is the author of Virtual Law Practice: How to Deliver Legal Services Online (2010), Limited Scope Legal Services: Unbundling and the Self-Help Client (2012), and The Consumer Law Revolution: The Lawyer’s Guide to the Online Legal Marketplace (2013). She is also the co-founder of Virtual Law Office Technology, LLC (VLOTech), which was acquired by Total Attorneys in the fall of 2009.
In addition to practicing law, Stephanie writes about the ethics and technology issues of delivering legal services online and is interested in the use of technology to increase access to justice. She has provided presentations and guest lectured for many state bars, law schools and other organizations interested in legal technology and other law practice management topics.
Kimbro is a co-director of the Center for Law Practice Technology, a member of the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, Secretary of the ABA Law Practice Management Division, and Chair of the ABA LPM’s Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee. She is an adjunct professor at several law schools and is currently developing two mobile games for legal services, including one related to foreclosure for Illinois Legal Aid Online.
Email: skimbro at burton-law dot com
What is a Virtual Law Practice?
Virtual law practice is one form of eLawyering. It is a secure, professional method of delivering legal services online that is accessible to the client and the attorney anywhere they may access the Internet. The use of an online client portal allows for the initiation of the attorney/client relationship through to completion and payment for legal services. Attorneys operate an online backend law office as a completely web-based practice or in conjunction with a traditional law office. Virtual law practice should maintain strong professional standards while providing quality legal services to the public. This blog is devoted to the technology and ethics issues involved in the delivery of legal services online and the use of eLawyering in law practice management.
The Consumer Law Revolution: The Lawyer’s Guide to the Online Legal Marketplace, ABA/LPM, June 2013
Essential Qualities of the Professional Lawyer, ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, Chapter on eProfessionalism, June 2013
“Using Technology to Unbundle in the Legal Services Community,” Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, online Fall/Winter 2012
Limited Scope Legal Services: Unbundling and the Self-Help Client, ABA/LPM Publishing, March 2012
Virtual Law Practice: How to Deliver Legal Services Online, ABA/LPM Publishing, 2010
Practicing Law Online: Creating a Web-Based Virtual Law Office, ebook, August 2008, revised January 2009
Ethics Chapter for Cloud Computing for Lawyers by Nicole Black, Winter 2012, ABA/LPM Publishing
Ethics of Virtual Law Practice with Courtney Kennaday, South Carolina Lawyer, March 2012
Educating the Digital Lawyer, Editors Oliver Goodenough and Marc Lauritsen, Harvard’s Berkman Center LawLab and LexisNexis, Chapter 10 “What Should be in a Digital Curriculum: A Practitioner’s Must Have List.” January 2012.
“The Law Office of the Near Future: Practical and Ethical Considerations for Virtual Practice”, New York State Bar Association Journal, Vol. 83, No. 7, September 2011.
“Popular Cloud Computing Services for Lawyers: Practice Management Online“, co-authored with Tom Mighell, ABA Law Practice Magazine, Vol. 37, No. 5, September 2011.
So You Want to Start a Virtual Practice? Steps for Choosing a Structure, Law Practice Magazine, January/February 2011.
“The Ethics of Unbundling Legal Services” Family Advocate, ABA Section of Family Law, September 2010
“Practicing without a Law Office Address: How the Bona Fide Office Rule Affects Virtual Law Practice”, University of Dayton School of Law, Law Review, January 2011
“Best Practice Tips for the Virtual Law Office,” Michigan Bar Journal, September, 2010
Three part series on virtual law practice for the Massachusetts Law Office Management Assistance Program (Mass LOMAP) blog:
“Marketing a Virtual Law Office” July 8, 2010
“Ethics Considerations for the Virtual Practice of Law” August 10, 2010
Regular contributor on virtual law practice and unbundling legal services on the Lawyerist Blog:
“Marketing Unbundled Legal Services in a DIY Economy”, June 16, 2010
“Putting Unbundled Legal Services Online” February 4, 2010
“Unbundling Legal Services Online” Feburary 2, 2010
“Avoiding Malpractice Risks When Providing Unbundled Legal Services Online”, February 8, 2010
“How to Write a Client Engagement Letter For A Virtual Law Practice” August 3, 2010
Setting Up a Web-based Virtual Law Office, ABA GP/Solo & Small Firm Technology eReport, November 2009.
Chicago Bar Association, CLE live and webcast, Virtual Law Practice, May 2013.
ABA Business Bar Leaders Conference, May 2013, Chicago. Social Media Panelist.
Avvo Lawyernomics, Speaking on branded networks and online marketing, April, 2013, Las Vegas.
ReInvent Law Silicon Valley, Ignite style presentation on the Consumer Law Revolution, March 2013
California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) CLE presentation on virtual law offices, San Francisco, December 12, 2012.
Use of Apps in Law Practice, NBI CLE teleconference, November 29, 2012.
Consumer Law Revolution, panel presentation for College of Law Practice Management (COLPM) with Michael Mills, Marc Lauritsen, and Prof. Tanina Rostain, Washington, D.C. October 26, 2012.
Reinventing the Practice of Law, panel presentation with Will Hornsby and Luz Herrera, ABA GP, Solo, Small Firm Conference, Seattle, October 13, 2012.
Unbundling in the 21st Century: Growing Your Practice with Limited Scope Representation, ABA webinar, panel presentation with Richard Granat, Sue Talia and Woody Mosten, September 18, 2012.
California Lawyer’s Mutual CLE presentation, virtual law practice (two recorded video sessions), August 28, 2012.
ALI-CLE webinar, “How You Can Deliver Legal Services Online,” sponsored by the ABA Law Practice Management Section, August 16, 2012.
ABA Annual, “Delivering “Unbundled Legal Services” Over the Internet” with Will Hornsby and Richard Granat, sponsored by the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, August 3, 2012.
International Legal Ethics Conference (ILEC), Banff, Alberta, Canada, “The Challenges of Virtual Law Practice and Social Media.” July 13, 2012
Pennsylvania Bar Association, Entertainment Law Section CLE, recorded webinar presentation on virtual law practice, June 14, 2012
Institute of Intellectual Property Paralegals, Cary, NC, CLE presentation, “eOffice”, April 26, 2012
U.S. GSA, Office of General Counsel, online presentation on remote lawyering, April 19, 2012
Stanford Law School, May 2, 2012, as a speaker sponored by CodeX: Stanford Center for Computers and the Stanford Program in Law, Science and Technology, and the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession, “Unbundling and the Future of Legal Service Delivery” . Video here.
Going Virtual to Expand Access, Legal Services Corporation’s Technology Initiative Grants (TIG) conference, Albuquerque, N.M., January 11, 2012.
Webinar for law students at Elon Law School, January 9, 2012.
Virtual Law Practice and the Future of Legal Services, American Association of Law Schools (AALS), Washington, D.C., January 5, 2012.
Cloud Computing, Dayton Bar, December 8, 2011.
Webinar for Buffalo Law School students, November 21, 2011.
Virtual Law Practice and 60 Tips in 60 Minutes presentations, North Carolina Bar Association Solo/Small Firm Conference, November 18, 2011.
Future of Legal Services and Online Delivery, Canadian Disciplinary Commission’s Annual Meeting, Toronto, November 3, 2011.
“Legal Trends”, National Association of Bar Related Insurance Companies (NABRICO), September 29, 2011.
Marketing a Law Practice and Cloud Computing in Law Practice, South Carolina Bar Solo/Small Firm Conference, September 23, 2011.
Delivering Legal Services Online CLE webinar for Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (IICLE), September 14, 2011.
Webinar for Concord Law School’s Small Business LLM on Virtual Law Practice and Unbundling Legal Services, August, 2011.
Webinar on virtual law practice for students at Charlotte School of Law, August, 2011.
Alabama State Bar Annual Conference, July 14-15, Point Clear, AL: “Visit My North Carolina Virtual Law Office and Remain at The Grand Hotel” and “Ethical and Technological Issues of Delivering Legal Services On–line”
The National Conference on Professional Responsibility, ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, Memphis, TN, June 1-4, “The Future is Here: Ethical and Regulatory Implications of Virtual Law Practice”, panel presentation with Will Hornsby moderating, co-panelists: Randall DiFuntorum and Richard Granat.
Missouri State Bar Association’s GP/Solo/Small Firm Conference,
Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, June 8-10: “Online Clients and Virtual Lawyering: How to Deliver Legal Services Over the Internet”, “Serving the DIY Client: Unbundling Your Practice”, and “Hey You! Get Off of My Cloud! The Benefits and Ethics of Practicing Law in the Internet Cloud” with Catherine Sanders Reach
ABA TECHSHOW, Chicago, April 11, 10:30-11:30am, “Expanding Your Practice with an Online Office”, co-presented with Catherine Sanders Reach and April 12, 8:00- 9:00am, Meet the Author, “Virtual Law Practice: How to Deliver Legal Services Online” 10:00 – 11:00am, “Popular Cloud Services for Lawyers”, co-presented with Tom Mighell
Panel discussion, Pacific McGeorge Ethics Symposium, Ethics 20/20: Globalization and Technology, April 8, 2011.
Virtual Law Practice: How To Deliver Legal Services Online, CLE for ALI-ABA and ABA-LPM, April 6, 2011
Practicing Law with a Virtual Law Office, CLE for Greensboro Bar, March 30, 2011
AVVO webinar on unbundling legal services, Thursday March 10th at 10:00 am PT.
Unbundling Legal Services: Ethics and Best Practices, ALI-ABA Teleconference, February 24, noon-1:30pm EST.
Going Virtual, Staying Ethical: How Ethically To Deliver Legal Services Online, ALI-ABA, January 2011.
The Virtual Lawyer: Is An Online Law Practice For You?, Seattle University School of Law, January 2011.
Ethics and the Virtual Law Office in Pennsylvania, CLE, ABA Law Practice Management Section, January 2011.
Practicing Law With a Virtual Law Office, Dayton Bar Inn of Court, January 2011.
Introduction to Virtual Lawyering: Delivering Legal Services Online, New Jersey State Bar Section of Elder & Disability Law, December 2010.
Practicing Law with a Virtual Law Office, University Student Legal Services Association Conference, December 2010.
How to Operate a Virtual Law Office and Deliver Legal Services Online, AVVO webinar, November 2010
The Virtual Law Office: What It Is & How to Use It, Law Practice Strategy, November 2010
Introduction to Virtual Law Practice, University of Dayton School of Law, dot.com course for LLM students, November 2010
Technology: How Can We Use it To Practice Law? covering the section on Virtual Law Practice, Georgia State Bar Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, November 2010.
ELawyering and the Future of Legal Work, CLE at American University Washington College of Law with co-panelists Blair Janis, Marc Lauritsen and Ronald Staudt, on October, 2010.
Delivering Legal Services Online with a Virtual Law Office, Massachusetts Bar CLE, October 2010.
Social Media in the Legal Profession, CLE for North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, Annual Meeting, September 2010
Introduction to Virtual Law Practice, guest lecturer for law practice management course at Campbell Law School, Raleigh, NC, September, 2009 & 2010
Leverage the Internet to Serve Your Clients and Grow Your Practice, ABA Journal, Legal Rebels, August 2010
The Virtual Law Firm: How to Build Your Practice in An Online World, Co-presentedwith Will Hornsby, Marc Lauritsen and Richard Granat, Sponsored by the ABA LPM Section, ABA Annual Meeting, 2010
20/20 Vision: The Impact of Technology and Globalization on Ethics for the 21st Century Lawyer, Sponsored by the ABA Ethics 20/20 Commission and the Center for Professional Responsibility, ABA Annual Meeting, August 2010
eLawyering and the Future of Legal Work, presented with the ABA eLawyering Task Force at Boyd School of Law, UNLV, April, 2010, video and materials online
How to Operate a Virtual Law Office and Deliver Legal Services Online, two-part online CLE for North Carolina Bar Association, July 2010
Twitter Debate: Virtual Law Offices—Game Changer or Business as Usual?, ABA Journal, May 2010
SC Bar Association CLE “The Virtual Law Office: Making it Work for You”, Friday, March 12, 2010, Live and Webinar audience
ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20, presentation about virtual law practice before Commission, speaker materials and transcript from public hearing, February 5, 2010
The Virtual Law Firm: Benefits, Costs and Ethical Pitfalls to Avoid, co-presented with Richard Granat and Marc Lauritsen, sponsored by the American Bar Association LPM Section and the ABA Center for Continuing Legal Education, December 2009
60 Websites in 60 Minutes, NC Bar Association Practical Skills CLE, co-presented with Erik Mazzone, Director for the NC Bar Center of Law Practice Management, and Lee Rosen, attorney and owner of Rosen Divorce Law, September 2008 & 2009
Virtual Law Practice: Technology and Ethics Considerations, NC Bar Association CLE for General Practice/Solo and Small Firm Symposium, July 2008
The Slippery Slope Podcast, September 2008
Ed Poll, LawBiz Podcast, January, 2009
Law Practice Webinar: The Portable (Law) Office, Lawyerist LAB, April 14, 2010
Virtual Law Firms, for Martindale Hubbell with Carolyn Elefant, Alan Wernick, and Richard Granat, March 29, 2010
Virtual Law Practice Webinar, Total Attorneys, June, 2010
2010 ABA Journal Legal Rebel
2009 ABA Keane Award for Excellence in eLawyering
2009 Coastal Entrepreneur Award
Wilmington Parent Family Favorite Award 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Also Featured in
The Federal Lawyer
Law Practice Magazine
Canadian Bar Association’s National Magazine’s Addendum
NC Lawyers Weekly
Wilmington Star News
Greater Wilmington Business Journal
Disclaimer: This website does not provide legal services or advice to the public.