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Apart from the usual tips that go along with opening and running a virtual law firm, there are some serious practical considerations.
If you won't actually have an office, you may want to check to ensure that's ethical. However, most states have found shared virtual office services to be acceptable. If you opt for one of these arrangements, below you'll find five important tips for running your virtual practice.
1. Cybersecurity Is Paramount
If you can operate a virtual law firm, you better be able to operate some basic online cybersecurity software. Virtual law firm clients expect you to have some level of internet competence, and as such, you better make sure you're protecting your client's information.
2. Cybersecurity Redundancy
Not having one level of cybersecurity is inexcusable. And not having a second layer of protection is a bad idea. Like your calendar, having redundancy built into your cybersecurity can help ensure that you and your clients are safer from malicious hackers. For instance, having a second, offline backup, taken at regular intervals is a fail-safe against ransomware attacks.
Cybersecurity is not something that can be ignored. Make sure your team knows it and follows the rules you set to ensure proper handling of data. And if you have good cybersecurity, you can market it as a feature of your firm to clients.
4. Professionalism Matters on the Phone
If your virtual office can also provide telephone reception and message services, you may want to continually monitor the quality of their phone manners. Virtual offices are not always exclusive to law firms, and operators may not know how to handle a call for you properly, despite what notes or script you can provide, if that's even allowed.
If you're going to use a virtual office for your address and occasional working or meeting space, you may want to consider using a third party phone service if your virtual office doesn't offer it, or provide satisfactory quality of service.
5. Get to Know Your Virtual Office In Person
While everything may appear good on the internet, before you enter into a contract with a virtual office, you should go check it out in person. After all, a virtual office still has a physical address to receive mail, and hold meetings, usually.
You may be able to get a free day or two, or more, if you ask them to let you try it out. This will give you an idea for what it's like to have meetings there, and utilize the staff there to receive clients, or more. You may want to just test it out by having a friend set up an appointment with you so you can know how the process will go with a real client.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.