When I shared my plans to start a Web-based law practice several years ago, most attorneys I told were a bit skeptical that it would work. Very few attorneys were practicing in the virtual realm and the idea of delivering legal services online seemed foreign to them.
Times have changed. Americans use the Internet to shop, bank and communicate with friends and family. And more and more, they are turning to the Internet to seek the legal services they need. They appreciate the convenience of being able to contact an attorney on their time, rather than during traditional business hours. And they appreciate the cost savings that this type of service affords.
Despite the number of people looking for online legal solutions, most attorneys still don’t offer Web-based legal services. As a result, many people turn to document-preparation services, sometimes to their detriment, because they believe that contacting a lawyer will be cost-prohibitive. By unbundling and providing legal services online, attorneys can reach individuals who may have otherwise tried to handle their legal needs on their own or would not have had access to the legal services they require.
North Carolina attorney, Stephanie Kimbro, has written a great book to guide lawyers as they try to navigate this new reality. I got to know Stephanie three years ago as I started my own Web-based firm. Having operated her North Carolina virtual law office for several years, Stephanie was already a veteran in the art of delivering legal services online. Her guidance has been invaluable to me as I started and continue to grow my own practice.
Stephanie’s knowledge is extensive and she generously shares her wisdom and experience in “Limited Scope Legal Services: Unbundling and the Self Help Client”, which was recently published by the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Management Section. This comprehensive book discusses how unbundling and delivering legal services online increases access to justice, and provides information on:
- The ethics of unbundling
- Best practices for unbundling that minimize risk of ethical violations
- Considerations on implementing alternative fee arrangements
- How to unbundle in various practice areas
- Using technology to unbundle legal services
- Marketing and branding unbundled legal services
Stephanie also includes a variety of checklists, sample retainer agreements, and case studies of firms throughout the country that unbundle. You can read my interview with Stephanie in the case study section of the book.
To purchase “Limited Scope Legal Services: Unbundling and the Self Help Client,” click on the link.