An attorney operating a virtual law office relies more on online marketing and social media to develop their reputation and an online client base. Some virtual law offices are creating YouTube tutorial videos that will walk prospective online clients through their virtual law office registration process and explain how legal services are delivered online.
Below is my experiment using animated movies to introduce a virtual law office. Check out this Wall Street Journal article from last week about the use of animated movies. A movie like this could be placed on an attorney’s website and then circulated on different social media networks. It was simple to put together and took less than a half hour. The dialogue for the avatar in the movie comes straight from the text you provide. Many of us could cut and paste the text from existing law office marketing materials and just adjust it with the avatar’s facial expressions and motions to make it less stiff. There are many different characters and backgrounds to choose from.
As the ABA and other state bars analyze the use of the Internet as a tool for client development, here is yet another example of a technology that they will have to factor into their research on the topic.
This type of video could be used to market the online delivery of legal services of a virtual law office or used to educate the general public about basic legal issues, but in a fun format. While you might think it would appeal only to a select target client base, most likely younger or tech-savvy clients, I think that to rule out a larger audience interested in watching an animated movie would be ignoring the value of novelty. Much of the public gathers their information from the television screen or movie. Maybe those of us wanting to provide a basic legal education to the public are not using the correct form of media to reach them.
What do you think? Does this format have potential in elawyering? Could we use this to market our virtual law offices? Could we create educational movies using animated characters – one an attorney and one a client – to explain how unbundled legal services are delivered online or walk prospective clients through limited scope representation legal issues?
Video can be used to market the delivery of online legal services. I think one issue will be whether animated videos or “real life” videos should be used. Using real life video may provide an additional level of comfort to potential clients of a virtual law office by putting a face to the law office. Perhaps one solution would be to provide an introductory real life video welcoming clients to your virtual law practice and using animated tutorial videos.
Earlier today I ran across a good example of a virtual law office making extensive use of video. You can view them here https://www.eandrlaw.com/
I agree with you, Aaron, that real life videos are the ideal way to humanize the lawyer’s virtual practice. But I think it also depends on the lawyer and if they are any good at speaking on camera and creating quality real videos. And not all of us can afford video professionals and editing for a huge video. The great thing about this web app was that it produced a clean format in such a small amount of time. I’ve had to record videos of myself multiple times to get anything decent to post. I think your idea of using this method for tutorial videos after that first real video makes good sense.