Thursday, June 26, 2008

How Does a VLO Fit In With the Paperless Law Office Tech Trends?

This is an excerpt from a post I made on the VLOTech website explaining how a virtual law office (VLO) fits into the trend of attorneys using technology to create more paperless law offices. As more of VLOTech's clients go live with VLOs across the nation, the examples of virtual law practices will be clear. In the meantime, I'm saying forget about thinking outside the box to understand the virtual law office concept. Just don't get in a box in the first place.

In the past two years, the legal profession has seen the introduction of several web-based law practice management tools. These web-based systems focus primarily on time and billing management for attorneys. Separate systems are devoted entirely to online case management. Many attorneys seeking to have “paperless” law offices are creatively combining different web-based applications with software products, such as Adobe, to create a more digital law practice.

VLOTech strongly supports this movement by the legal profession to use the most current technologies to provide better services to clients and to create more productivity and balance in the lives of legal professionals.

Where do completely virtual law offices fit into this trend?

To understand what VLOTech and it’s attorneys are envisioning and practicing, think one step beyond web-based practice management systems and tools. Look at the way other businesses successfully function in virtual reality worlds and how avatar-based forms of communication are breaking down the barriers of geographic location and economic limitations. Less extreme, think about how many people handle all of their banking and financial matters completely online without ever walking into a brick & mortar bank building to chat confidentially with a financial consultant. A virtual law office capitalizes on the secure web-based technology available to create the infrastructure of an attorney’s law office online. VLOTech provides the technology and each individual attorney or law practice uses it to design the virtual law practice that meets their needs.

By the basic definition, a completely virtual law office (VLO) is a professional law practice that exists online through a secure portal and is accessible to the client and the attorney anywhere the parties may access the Internet. A VLO provides attorneys and clients with the ability to securely discuss matters online, download and upload documents for review and handle other business transactions in a secure digital environment. With a VLO, an attorney’s clients benefit from the convenience and accessibility. The attorney benefits from the flexibility of a virtual law practice, an online client and revenue generating software, and lower overhead associated with setup and maintenance of a nontraditional law office.

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