To understand how clients can be served by a Virtual Law Office, they must understand what it is. The Virtual Law Office (VLO) is the online delivery of legal services directly to the client over the internet. It is an innovative way to serve clients. It is convenient to the client who can access legal services from the comfort of their home or office. In addition, the reduced overhead costs to the lawyer can be passed through to their clients, thereby making legal services more affordable.
In the age of technology we do so many things online and have many devices to connect ourselves to the online world. Retailers, doctors, veterinarians, and lawyers are finding other ways to serve clients, and the option of online services is booming because of the obvious benefits.
For lawyers who think this business model is ruining the profession, they are ignoring client needs. Every populated city has a law firm with the etched glass door entry, professionally designed offices, plush carpets, marble countertops, a big staff, spacious conference rooms, that are located in high end real estate. While those firms looks impressive they are not catering to the masses of people who can’t afford their overhead. On any given day you can find people without the financial means to “hire” a lawyer. It is sad to see those people with real legal issues in the law library trying their best to understand how to help themselves with a particular legal issue they are having. Law Librarians cannot give legal advice, so the people that are falling through the cracks are thumbing through the Oregon Revised Statutes trying to figure out what laws apply to them and their legal situation.
There are too many un-served and underserved people with real legal problems in this country. There are income limitations for people seeking help from state-wide legal services agencies. Those people with incomes that exceed those limitations are referred to other legal resources.
The successful rise of the many online legal services, like OREGON LAWYER ONLINE, demonstrates that people want to do some of the lawyering themselves to reduce costs. The VLO is simply a new way of doing business with clients. It reduces costs that can be passed onto the client and provides easy access to anyone with a device that connects them to the internet.