Virtual lawyers are not much different from the regular ones. Most people think that lawyers who can be hired online, don’t have the appropriate expertise, which is a huge misconception.
Online lawyers have the same level of expertise and courthouse experience as the lawyers who work from brick and mortar offices. Virtual lawyers have realized the benefits of the digital world and they’ve chosen to shift most of their attorney-client communication to secure online platforms.
In this article we will debunk several myths concerning online law practice and determine the major benefits that hiring an online lawyer can bring.
eLawyering- Requirements and Safety
eLawyering has been a very popular term in legal circles in the last few years. It stands for law practices that deliver their services online.
This field is strictly regulated by American Bar Association or the Solicitors Regulation Authority in the England and Wales. One of the major requirements for online law practitioners is to have a secure section of their website, where clients can register and receive a unique username and password.
Communication in these areas (which are also called secure client portals) is secured with SSL protocols and it is preferable to email communication, because it guarantees client’s privacy.
Secure portals also offer various extra features. In most cases they include secure cloud application that can store documents. This app is used for sharing documents between clients and attorneys, and it uses an external server and encrypted log-in. Some online lawyers also offer live and video chat consultations, as well as some other services that bridge the gap between them and their clients.
Many online lawyers use their websites to answer the questions of potential clients and give them their legal advice. Most legal advice that the lawyers provide this way are free of charge, and they use this method to prove their expertise and attract new clients. This way even people who don’t need to hire a lawyer can receive an expert advice on legal matters.
This area is also strictly regulated by American Bar Association (all solicitors in England and Wales are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority) and it requires lawyers to follow certain guidelines in order to protect client’s privacy and ensure they are getting the best possible service. These guidelines were introduced in 2003 and approved by the Action of the House Delegates of American Bar Association.
Benefits of Hiring an Online Lawyer
Although most people are not accustomed to online communication with their lawyers, virtual law firms are becoming more popular each year, because people are recognizing the benefits of this type of attorney-client relation. These benefits include:
- It saves time- Online communication will save you a lot of time, since you won’t need to visit your lawyers at their office.
- It saves money- Online lawyers offer more affordable rates and since all communication goes through secure client portals, you won’t need to spend money on transportation.
- Your documents are safer- Law firm office is a busy and dynamic environment, which means that your documents could be easily lost or viewed by unauthorized personnel. Encrypted document apps used by online lawyers are much safer, because they provide a strict authorization, and document backup.
- It makes online legal proceedings much easier- We are living in a digital age, where various types of legal proceedings are done online. For example, today spouses can start the Oregon divorce online, and this service is also offered in many other states. This way, the lawyers can complete the whole process, without even going to court.
- You can get legal advice for free- Most lawyers provide free legal advice to potential clients through their websites, emails and social networks.
- There is less paperwork- You won’t need to make extra copies of your court documents, because cloud app allows you to share digital copies with your attorney and save your money and environment, while doing it.
- Billing is more transparent- Online lawyers provide you with an easily understandable bill. Most of them use advanced tech to calculate their working hours and provide you with an insight in their work. In most instances they don’t charge you the time they spend on online chatting, which also makes their services much more affordable.
- You have more payment options- Virtual law firms usually offer more payment options. Their services can be paid for with wide variety of online payment systems.
In 2014 there were 15 virtual law firms in the United States. This is the proof that eLawyering popularity is facing a fast nationwide growth. Legal services require top privacy levels, and since advanced technology managed to provide highly secure communication and document exchange environments, we will witness even bigger growth of eLawyering concept in the future.
My name is Alex Williams, born and raised in beautiful Sydney. I am a journalism graduate, and a rookie blogger trying to find my luck. Blogs are the perfect opportunity for presenting yourself to wider audience, getting the chance to showcase my expertise and receiving recognition. I am a regular contributor at BizzMark Blog.