The Benefits Of Hiring a Virtual Lawyer
Virtual lawyers are revolutionising the legal process. Find out how you can benefit from hiring a virtual lawyer in this article.
Technological change is shifting the goal posts in many industries. The legal game is no exception. Innovative change in legal technology has enabled a more democratised approach to legal services, costs and advice. It is also changing how lawyers conduct their work. Borne of this change is the virtual lawyer. The Office of The Legal Services Commissioner NSW was right in its predictions forecast a number of years ago, and the world of virtual law continues to grow. There are multiple benefits to this transition from the old to the new. We have listed some of these benefits for you to read below.
What is a virtual lawyer?
Virtual law practice permits lawyers to engage with clients completely online through technological means. Whilst many law firms and solo lawyers incorporate at least some technological means in their work, many also operate 100% online. The following traits are common in virtual lawyers:
- Not using a usual office space
- Using a secure web-based client portal with unique client login functions
- Cloud document storage and access
- Video conferencing and real time document collaboration
- Electronic signature tools
- Document automation
- Web-based phone and fax lines
- Less in-person contact with clients
Virtual lawyers face less costs. With fewer disbursements, and overheads like premises, rent, and office space, printing facilities and alike, it is far easier for them to devise more economical fee structures. Accordingly, this makes the legal process more affordable for you, the clients.
More understanding of your unique needs
Being part of disruptive tech movement, virtual lawyers are likely to be far more understanding of your own unique and innovative business ventures. They understand the value of change in our new world. Put simply, they get you. They will be more likely to adapt to change and the new ideas if helping you setup your new business.
The nomadic lawyer
Furthermore, mobility is key to this exercise. Sometimes, you may need to meet your lawyer on site, or at a particular location conducive to your business. Typically, lawyers entrenched in commercial leases are wanting to make the most of their space and will generally insist on having meetings in their office. With the freedom of the virtual lawyer, they are far more likely to accommodate your needs and meet in locations more suitable to you.
A virtual lawyer has far more flexible means of communication. The archaic face to face conference room meeting or telephone call marred by obstacles like office hours, transport, and single line phone connections are a thing of the past. A virtual lawyer has more means of communication by way of group chats, project management, communicative platforms like slack, facetime video capabilities, online messaging, and email. Round the clock access can also prove useful.
Two heads are better than one
With cloud based software, the legal brain can coalesce. If multiple lawyers work for a virtual cloud based firm, rather than having to arrange time to confer ideas on one another, the collective meshing of strategy and communication manifests with much greater ease. Using software to platform ideas and document legal processes between different brains is a fantastic way to streamline the process. Lawyers working together face obstacles in exchanging ideas and talking points when they do not have to physically move from one office to another in order to solidify their thoughts.
Given that much of the work is conducted online, and with communications held through online platforms, it is much easier for you to physically see and document how much time a lawyer is spending on your matter. Keeping lawyers accountable reduces your costs. One of the biggest concerns people have of lawyers is their reputation for over billing. This gives you greater confidence in engaging the services of a lawyer when required.
Certain communications platforms have high levels of encryption, making it very difficult for external parties to exploit content exchanged between you and your virtual lawyer. This can be much safer than the exchange of physical documents, and even communications by way of telephone. Many criminal lawyers maintain their client privilege and confidentiality through the utilisation of encrypted platforms. This extra reassurance is best when dealing with particularly sensitive material.
Control your affairs
With many virtual lawyers operating with personal login functions for clients, you can control your own account. Dealing with legal matters can be hard at times, so feeling as though you are more in control of your affairs goes along way to improving your outlook in those times.
It is evident that the way lawyers work is evolving – and will continue to. Understandably, many people the world over are embracing this change. You can too. If you have any legal matters you need to address, hiring a virtual lawyer online can help you save time and money.
Paul is an intern at Lawpath, and is currently studying a combined Arts/Laws degree with a major in criminology at Macquarie University. Paul has an interest in legal tech, which complements his broader interest in cyber crime/security and the way in which it is changing the world.