Technology allows lawyers far more flexibility to practice law virtually – from home or in shared settings – than ever before.
No longer must they maintain freestanding offices, support staff, and libraries. Lawyers can set-up offices in their homes, communicate with clients, adversaries and the courts electronically, outsource overflow work to co-counsel or vendors, and establish websites that can reach potential clients. These "virtual" practices are increasingly commonplace, but the relative ease with which they are established obscures many significant ethical issues.
This program provides a practical guide to significant issues when lawyers and law firms establish "virtual" law practices.
- Disclosure to clients of the virtual character of a law practice
- Electronic communications, confidentiality, and ethical risks in virtual practices
- Ethical issues when lawyers share office space or other resources but practice separately
- How websites and a "virtual" presence implicate multijurisdictional practice issues
- Outsourcing work to vendors or co-counsel, and ensuring its competently performed
- Requirements and risks when offering legal advice across state lines
- Duty to understand law office technology as a duty of competence