Many people are going through some unprecedented changes in how to conduct business. This is on top of many changes to personal situations like adult children moving back home, changes in jobs, cutbacks in the overall finances of the household, and other such changes that have permeated our lives throughout 2020. So the question that is often posed by people in my field is whether or not virtual law firms will continue.
Clients mention that they really enjoy the ability to meet with lawyers from where they are. For example, they can take a lunch break and have a Zoom meeting with their lawyer to discuss where they are in a case or to ask a legal question. Lawyers mention that this is a great functionality but they find that new clients are shy about this process. Everyone likes to be able to "sit down" and establish a relationship with an attorney. After all, you are trusting them to help you to resolve an issue in your life.
So, how do you establish a relationship online? The same way that any other online relationship is established when leveraging technology. Lawyers are going to have to be open to meeting briefly with clients on several occasions in order to really establish that trust and relationship with new clients. This may mean a greater investment of time in order to obtain the clients. Clients are going to have to be able to reach out and ask questions to their attorney until they feel comfortable. A client will also have to be comfortable with the platform or technology that an attorney is using to communicate. It may be helpful to the client if there are alternate ways to communicate. For example, one client may like a Zoom meeting while another may enjoy telephone consults.
Overall, throughout the whole of 2020 flexibility is key, on the part of both parties. Are virtual law firms here to stay? Who knows, but it is clear that there are pros and cons to these kinds of platforms. The true key is be able to create the connection in order to effectively service your clients.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carolyn Dragseth is an attorney with over 25 years of experience in Contracts, Business and IP law. She is a member of the National Business Association Leadership Council. She currently resides in Louisiana and is an active member of the Entreprenurial community. She enjoys writing, horseback riding and hiking. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 225-888-0015.
This is not intended to be legal advice, please contact an attorney if you are in need of legal assistance.