Today is launch day – I am very excited to finally unveil my new website! I am still trying to work out the best strategy to attract new clients – but the mere fact that you are reading this means that at least one person has found my site, so I am happy that you are here.
So, what is a “virtual law office”? In a nutshell, it is a real law office that exists in the online world. Today, in the 21st century, many people prefer to do business online (I certainly do) – we shop for goods and services, book our vacations, pay our bills, and do our banking online – the possibilities are almost limitless. This has definite advantages – in today’s world, business is conducted 24 hours a day. With our often busy schedules, it can be hard to find the time during “normal” business hours to go to a store, bank or office and conduct business in person. Why drive to an inconvenient location (especially with gas at nearly $4 a gallon), and deal with traffic, parking, and other hassles – when you can get what you want online, from the comfort of your own home , at 10:00 at night – after the kids are in bed and you finally have the time to take a breath?
Since we can do all these other things online, as an attorney I thought it would be a good idea to practice law online as well. (I can’t take credit for the idea – there are actually a number of virtual law firms out there already – it may well be the “wave of the future” for the legal profession.)
Let’s say, for example, that you need someone to draft your will. You could go to the trouble of scheduling an appointment with an attorney, taking time off from work, and driving to a law office for a meeting. The attorney will likely quote you an hourly rate, and hopefully give you an estimate of the hours required to draft your will. You will sign a client agreement, they will interview you and take your information, and at some point the attorney (or his/her paralegal) will draft the will and deliver it to you for execution (which might require another meeting).
You could do that – or you could conduct the entire process online, at your convenience. Before entering into the transaction, you will know exactly what the cost will be, so that you can budget accordingly. (Since you won’t be paying for my overhead costs associated with operating a traditional “brick-and mortar” law office, that cost will likely be significantly lower.) After creating your personal, secure login account, you complete a detailed online questionnaire to provide the information I need to create your will (you can always save your answers and finish it later, when you have the time), and purchase your document(s) via secure credit card payment. I will then review your information and create your will, ensuring that it complies with Texas law while fulfilling your wishes. If, at any time in the process, you need legal advice, you can send me a secure message, to which I will respond as soon as I can. (If you need extensive advice and consultation, you can always schedule a conference by phone or Skype.) When your will has been completed, I will upload it to your personal login page, along with instructions as to what you need to do to comply with Texas requirements for a duly executed will. That’s all there is to it!