Considering starting your own law practice, and setting up shop? Many lawyers are foregoing the traditional, brick-and-mortar office building for a workplace in the "cloud."
The virtual law office literally allows practice in any location by use of Internet and cloud technology, according to Ohio State Bar Association member Theodore M. Mann. It relies heavily on technology and client acceptance of the no-physical-office concept as capable of delivering effective legal services, and comes with pros and cons
- Absence or reduction of issues applicable to maintaining a fixed physical office to include rent, maintenance, staff costs, and other issues;
- Lower cost creates an opportunity for competitive pricing options in delivery of legal services to the client;
- Structure provides access to technology savvy potential clients who are Internet oriented;
- Creates the opportunity for contact with client at home or office on a 365/24/7 basis; and
- Support staff talent pools expanded beyond local geography by Internet access.
- You must overcome potential client bias against untethered model and lack of a “presence”;
- Cost savings on brick and mortar is offset by need for system redundancy and alternative IT support;
- Lack of fixed location for client services or meetings;
- Subject to uncertainty of Internet operations and cloud provider stability;
- Lack of lawyer-to-lawyer contact for referrals and mentoring;
- Need for resolution of collaboration issues on internal and external matters; and
- Meeting clients somewhere is needed.