By Shantanu Mohan
September 7, 2018
When I consider setting up my base of operations as a solo practitioner, I must ask an important question: “Do I have what it takes to run a virtual law office (VLO)?” According to Jim Calloway’s piece in Law Practice Magazine, “Most virtual practices at this point seem to focus on areas that are heavy in routine document preparation, often providing document assembly tools for a fixed fee.” If you aren’t planning to practice in one of these areas, you may only need a virtual law office part of the week.
Calloway also explains that a VLO typically follows one of two business models. One model is a completely web-based firm that needs a secure portal for the lawyer and clients to communicate. The other model is a web-based “office” that is actually part of a larger firm. This kind of business may require the lawyer to occasionally conduct meetings with his or her clients. This is most likely to occur through telephone, video conferencing, instant messaging, or web chat. When I think about building a VLO, I know I will also need to carry a laptop and a briefcase back and forth to my office. And I will be using an app like or Outlook on a smartphone. If I’m going to be a small law office owner and operator, I must improve my time management skills and consider whether I need to hire legal support to service a growing caseload.
There are different approaches to having the right facilities, equipment, and office support for your lifestyle as a working lawyer. Some lawyers find it easy to get their feet wet at a larger firm, and, in this kind of workplace, everything is already set up for their use. Other lawyers want to start out small, even taking on clients little by little. For every type of legal setup, there are numerous communication needs. It works best for the busy lawyer to have 24-7 access to at least one virtual law office. This means that you can utilize the office setting with its multiple technology and production tools. You don’t have to handle any of the details. During the rest of the work week, you’re fully mobile.
I often talk to prospective lawyers who consider setting up a virtual space but don’t have much insight into what a virtual law office should look like. Basically, you need a home on the Web, a business address, communication services, and, perhaps, some help with incorporating and automating your website. We provide these services to new lawyers who are trying to establish a worksocial.works”>virtual office in Jersey City.
Here are some ways to go mobile that lawyers enjoy with WorkSocial:
1. Daily access to different sizes of offices and workspaces. This means you could work alone and return client phone calls, draft legal correspondence, and meet one-on-one with clients. We also have larger spaces for mediations and legal strategy meetings. With advance notice, we can also change the equipment, such as A/V presentation equipment and whiteboards, for the space you want to use in your next meeting.
2. Constant connection to office communications. You get Wi-Fi access everywhere in the building and usage of office equipment such as photocopiers, fax machines, scanners, printers, coffee, snack machines, water fountains, and clean bathrooms. If you’re burning the midnight oil, you want these tools accessible.
3. Ability to set up and break down operations in minutes. We make it easy for busy lawyers to work from anywhere and to use our facilities when it fits their schedule. You could spend the whole week holed up in a single office preparing for trial with exhibits spread everywhere. Or, you could use the space when you need to catch up on emails and prepare for a late morning hearing.
For more details about using a virtual law office space and keeping your overhead costs down, please contact us. We can help you list your office address on Google and Google Plus, which includes helping you establish a unique URL. With these listings, you will facilitate the search process for future clients. They want to find you easily through the Internet and social media.