Do Lawyers Need Offices Anymore?

from The Atlantic

VLP Law Group is a successful young firm by just about all measures: It employs about 50 attorneys. Its business is growing, and it counts startups and Fortune 500 companies among its clients—some of them even Fortune 10 companies.

And its lawyers never go to an office. 

VLP is one of several “virtual” law firms that are seeking provide legal services on the level of a traditional firm’s while dispensing with office space and having their attorneys work remotely, whether from home, a coffee shop, or a coworking space. On top of saving firms money on rent and reducing the pressure lawyers feel to be constantly present in order to appear busy, this arrangement has another, more basic benefit: It’s making many lawyers’ lives better. 

Michael Moradzadeh left a career in “Big Law” and in 2008 launched Rimon PC, which he calls “a truly virtual law firm, meaning distributed attorneys working from their homes connected through the cloud.” This model appeals to lawyers looking for a better work-life balance. “Instead of spending two hours commuting, I spend that two hours with my family,” says Moradzadeh. Options for remote work have become more common in the legal industry, but at firms where remote work is the exception, telecommuters can feel stigmatized. But when everyone is working virtually “there’s no stigma because it’s standard,” explains Debbie Epstein Henry, the founder of the firm Bliss Lawyers.

In addition to providing lawyers more control over their schedules, law firms that forgo the overhead that comes with office space can pass those savings onto clients—a major selling point of virtual firms. “We provide sophisticated legal advice in a wide range of practice areas, but our overhead is low, our staffing lean, our fees flexible and value-driven,” touts VLP’s website.

More here.

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51 Responses to Do Lawyers Need Offices Anymore?

  1. Edward Rebmann October 17, 2015 at 9:01 pm #

    The idea of a virtual law firm is very interesting. The very concept is something I would never have thought of, and yet in today’s digital world it seems to make so much sense. Lawyers are very expensive, but by removing overhead and keeping other costs associated with a physical workspace lean getting legal help can be more affordable. Perhaps the main drawback of the virtual law firm is the lack of face-to-face interaction, although even this can be cheaply fixed. Virtual law firms seem like a very good idea, but like any new idea it will take some adjustments to get used to it.
    When someone discusses a lawyer usually an image of a person in a fancy suit in a fancy office comes to mind, not a Skype session. Interacting with another person face-to-face legitimizes them to a certain level and lawyers should be completely legitimate. The face-to-face interaction builds confidence and allows for a more natural relationship to form. This is not to say that these things cannot happen on Skype, but there is a certain lacking of the “human element” in video chats that makes the relationship different. As with anything there are pros and cons to both types of law firms and it will be interesting to see the evolution of the virtual workplace.

    Abramson, Leigh McMullan. “Do Lawyers Need Offices Anymore?” Theatlantic.com. The Atlantic Monthly Group, 9 Oct. 2015. Web. 17 Oct. 2015. .

  2. Sherri Petonic October 18, 2015 at 6:58 pm #

    The idea of a virtual law firm can sound very satisfying, however looking at the perspective from a customer I feel I would be hesitant to hire an attorney that I am not able to go to their office to have that first face to face meeting. I think it’s important for there to be a physical interaction when hiring someone that is fighting for you. You can usually tell by meeting someone the first time if it’s going to be a good relationship. Plus the non-verbal actions that take place during that meeting can really tell a lot about the individual.

    In the article they did mention about the attorneys meeting at coffee shops, temp office space etc. but it doesn’t have the same clout as meeting an attorney in their office. In my position at work, I have a lot on interaction with our contract attorneys. I visit their offices frequently. Not only do I interact with the attorneys, but I also have interactions with their paralegals, administration and in some instances with their billing department.

    From the customer’s side its an advantage to the customer to be able to socialize and work with the staff of that attorney’s. In a virtual setting, I as the customer would not have that, and I’m not so sure I would be so willing to trust that attorney. The little bit of interaction that you have with the supporting staff can really tell what type of attorney they work for. This allows the customer a little peek into the type of person you are hiring.

    • Daniel Kelly October 23, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

      I feel like you hit a good point when you interpreted the issue as one with hiring a lawyer as I never considered this aspect of the issue. I would have to agree that if I were going to look for representation, that I would want to visit a professional looking office and I doubt any in home office could provide me with this assurance. I have always imagined imposing offices and red ties when thinking about lawyers working in the metropolitan area. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on how they might utilize a unified space that works like a temporary office which I believe they mentioned in the article.

  3. SamiyahK October 19, 2015 at 7:13 pm #

    A virtual law firm sounds very appealing. The savings on overhead cost and the convenience to lawyers are indisputable. However, there are certain aspects of a physical office space that the virtual one cannot make up for. Law firms generate heaps of paper. They keep original copies of signed documents, and discovery often encompasses boxes of documents and records. As efficient as a virtual filing room sounds, it is not realistic. Those original documents would end up in a drawer at the attorney’s home office. The solution to this could be e-signatures, but even then there are limitations.

    The article brings up a good point: technology has yet to replace the benefits of human interaction. Lawyers often act as a team, bouncing ideas off of each other and developing strategy together. This aspect of working with a firm is nearly non existent in virtual firms. Virtual firms also eliminate the use of office interns. Most lawyers begin their understanding of law as an intern at a firm. I’ve been told that while law school will teach you how to think like a lawyer, is interning and working that will teach you how to be a successful lawyer.

  4. Sandeep Mishra October 20, 2015 at 1:08 am #

    This article shows the comfort technology can bring us. Who would of thought that one day we would actually be able to be able to work from home or other spots to allow for a greater work-life balance. I think virtual law offices are a great idea, that would provide a level of comfort of not rushing into the office everyday. The article points out the pro’s and con’s of virtual offices. The pro’s are explained as better work-life balance, productivity, and less commute time. As for con’s it explains that there is no interaction between co-workers. I think that every idea has his good and bad points and that the option as certain law offices have done should remain with the employee of either coming into the office or working through a virtual office. I feel that companies are better understanding their employees and giving them freedom, when it comes to their work schedules. This would provide productivity in their work and produce better work results. Many argue that lawyers need a place to work together but its not necessary that they work face to face. They can still collaborate through online discussions through Skype and other mediums. There are work portals available where coworkers can share their screen with others to present their work and have active discussions. Although I agree that there may be some lack of productivity for those that are distracted with things in their lives that then makes them lose focus of the task ahead and those people should have the option to go to an office and work from there. Overall, virtual offices are a great idea and need to applied in other industries. It helps with lowering overhead cost and passes the savings to their clients, which is a win-win situation.

  5. Daniel Kelly October 20, 2015 at 11:31 pm #

    Call me old fashioned but, overall, I am not a fan of companies moving primarily to home office spaces. While I personally feel that one should never be begrudged for needing to work from home once in a while, the systematic dismantling of a core office seems a bit off putting to me. It seems that in a business whereby lawyers may need to rely on assistants and secretaries to locate and manage complex cases, that moving the whole process into the home would be a little bit taxing on the individual. Forgive me if I am incorrect in assuming that an attorney in a larger corporation may require the assistance of many to work on a larger case, or collaborate with lower level employees to fully manage and understand a case. I would love to have multiple eyes on any given project I am working on, it allows me to have fresh minds rejuvenating any conversation. Of course, my dislike of home office space does not mean that I desire a mad men style corporate culture but I think that we have a corporate culture for a reason, even a central office like Google or YouTube has a central space, even if they often break out of the norms. I feel as though the best way to improve the lives of lawyers will be through transforming their office space into a better environment that fosters creativity and collaboration rather than the isolationism of home office space.

    In my opinion, the author is absolutely right about the immense difficulty when working from home wherein the desire to multitask is omnipresent and fixing issues around the house risks taking over time allotted for work. I found in my job, which allowed me to work on a rather flexible schedule, gave my family the impression that I was able to do whatever was needed for them when they needed it. And gave my girlfriend the impression that it was less important if I could do it later, why not then do something together instead of going to work. A kind of situation which played work against personal life in a way that creates stress rather than the freedom one would hope. Working on my own schedule was an awful experience because its difficult to prioritize either family or work life and caused immense stress. Similarly, while injured I had the pleasure of working with my girlfriend as she drove me around (because of a broken foot). Having a job that required a lot of driving this was needed for a day or two and I can say that productivity decreased significantly. This, for my position, would be the equivalent of working in the office while the whole family is home and while it was so nice to spend that time together there were parts of the job that simply could not get done that day which, perhaps, should have been done. Of course, having that freedom means that sometimes if someone falls ill, that you can prioritize them and solve the problem without having issues at work (most days) but there may be a day when one has to make a choice between work and personal and that choice will be very difficult. Not that all of this can be fixed by having an in-office position because this trouble no doubt exists for most everyone with a personal life but having a set time in the office, meetings on a schedule allows for everyone around you personally to understand and plan their events around it. Telling your spouse that you have work from 9 to 5 is much more understandable than having work perhaps 8 to 6 or 10 to 10, with variables that mean no one knows what is going on. Having in office work can make this more manageable or at least the boss usually understands notification, when you have a work phone at home, I hear that no boss cares what you are doing. There used to be a day when you could go home and nobody from work would call and pester you, now the internet ruined that so why should we not keep some semblance of office culture, and keep the work in the office. At least we can mentally break away a little bit.

    1. Abramson, Leigh McMullan. “Do Lawyers Need Offices Anymore?” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 09 Oct. 2015. Web. 20 Oct. 2015. .

  6. Isabella Lopreiato October 22, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

    Technology has created different ways for employees to work; it offers much flexibility not just for lawyers, but to many other professionals as well. Since 2005 to now the number of people telecommuting grew 80%. A primary reason for the increase may be cost savings, both for employees and employers. Workers with an at-home office can cut commuting costs, childcare expenses and other work-related expenses, amounting between $2,000- $7,000 a year in savings. Employers save big too…for example, in 2009 Cisco released a report stating employees that telecommute save the company $277 million annually (The Cheat Sheet 1).

    While it may be cost effective, it does come with some downsides. For instance attorneys meet with numerous clients or collaborate with other attorneys in order to gather information on a case. Therefore, having a virtual office may hinder that process. Of course they can contact an individual via phone or even webcam, but that still is not the same in-person interaction. In addition, for some it may be challenging to concentrate on work related issues due to distractions such as their family or pets. Whereas, in the office there is a set schedule such as 9-5, and they may not have to bring any work home, thus is creates this separation between one’s work and personal life.

    “5 Ways to Ditch Your Car and Save Money on Transportation.” The Cheat Sheet. The Cheat Sheet, 14 May 2015. Web. 20 Oct. 2015. .

  7. Stephen Gallic October 22, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

    This is a very interesting article in terms of the change in the profession of lawyers but for future businesses that will operate in the same manner the more and more technology improves. Eventually a great majority of the jobs we have today will not be jobs at all as the world will soon be automized. Although businesses such as lawyers will be a job in which great demand for will remain. And, as noted by this article the life of a lawyer has become slightly more appealing. Everyone dreams of the life where you roll out of bed and you do not have to go anywhere for work. In our technologically driven world people have the luxury of conducting businesses from their bedroom or arm-chair in the living room and everyday technology is improving making this fantasy life a reality. But it seems the old saying goes, “we do not know a good thing till it is gone.” For lawyers it was the sense of comradery and social interaction that they seemed to miss as they began their work from home. This is a fairly surprising observation and reinforces our human nature as social creatures. We crave the interaction with others and it is unhealthy if we are confined to ourselves for a lengthy period of time. Thus, although we could do away without offices completely the concept of having a main office or two as opposed to seven smaller firms is a highly appealing concept. They also fell victim to more distractions which meant their work was not as thorough or comprehensive. These, of course, are only some of the drawbacks working from home we all fail to account for. But, we must recognize that this is where our society is headed and work to fix the problems of working at home rather than the office.
    For lawyers the solution is simple, have a main headquarters where people might come and meet or work if this is what they prefer. Law firms should give the option of working from home or the office and entrust their employees to complete their operations to the best of their ability. This entrustment is in my eyes the main issue with working from home. If a lawyer gets paid per hour who is say they are working at home how do we know they do not just say they were working when in fact they were binge watching Netflix? This is a simple fix in terms of lawyers as you could use the incentive of pay based on the amount of cases brought into the firm. But it is something to think about for other businesses allowing from home operation such as information technologies and healthcare.
    One major positive as noted by the article to reducing offices and working from home is the reduction on overhead costs. This is a great incentive for businesses to inject work from home into their model as it results in a higher rate of profit due to less expenses. It also creates a higher demand because they produce higher profits.

  8. Darren Williams October 23, 2015 at 2:24 pm #

    Technology and Law are two completely different fields when thought about as fields of work or study. However, both fields need each other to be successful in this day and age. Technology needs law in order to lay out ground rules for what the products are able to do, how they are to be sold and especially when it comes to different companies’ ideas. Seeing that various companies all specialize in similar fields making similar products that do similar things just slightly different it is easy for them to step on each others toes. For example Apple and Microsoft both make quality laptops and that causes people to make a tough decisions sometimes when factoring the different applications each provide. Looking at how far technology has come now though, and how intelligent some individuals have become in these fields, if they want to modify these computers they could. In the case that they did and tried to sell their modified product they wouldn’t be able to do so because the law protects the company’s rights to its product and how they created it. The law also factors in when it comes to how large certain companies get in a field when facing a possible monopoly. On the other hand, in order for those directly enforcing and interpreting the law these days to be effective, they need quality equipment to be successful. Having seen how long the briefs explaining cases can be, in addition to how many of them there are to be reviewed daily, weekly etc. technology must be easily accessible. When I think about my future job or looking at my parents now, I associate it with going into the office and sitting at my desk with other coworkers down the hall doing the same thing. I feel that at least for my first job as a fresh out of college student I want a job along those lines to give that traditional feeling of being productive. However, living with two of them, I know how stressful the lives of lawyers can be at times when the work begins to pile up and expectations are increased to meet deadlines. Of course that can be the case with any professional field, but with lawyers especially with all the reading and editing they must do the process can be extremely toilsome. When job requirements become more toilsome than what an individual is used to on a daily basis, each little thing piles up to make it worse. For example as deadlines approach time is of the essence, so in order to utilize all time available things must be given up. The most common of those things is sleep in most cases with the belief that coffee or other substances can make up for it on the back end. For the most part that is not the case it creates grogginess and less productivity. It causes that commute in the morning to become dreaded no matter the distance because of that well known struggle of waking up in order to do so. With telecommuting as an option stress can be relieved with more relaxation time, more time to spend with the family, less time traveling, as well as many other benefits for the lawyers themselves. As the article continues it shows the benefits don’t end there. Now that offices are no longer necessary firms will put that extra money, saved from eliminating office space payments, towards bonuses for the employees, and other benefits just overall improving the overall condition of the firm.

  9. Ryan Skolnick October 23, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

    The article, “Do Lawyers Need Offices Anymore?,” by Leigh Abramson is very intriguing. It tells the story of a few law offices that are entirely run by lawyers at home— why have an office with overhead cost when you can easily telecommute nowadays? The issue with this arise when family issues begin to interfere with work time. Many lawyers will begin to multitask and take care of their children rather than working. While that is all fine and good, productivity seems to slow a bit. Also, the article mentions how, without water-cooler talk, it is very difficult to know your fellow employees (Abramson). This is very important as the social interactions between your colleagues is a great way to network. How do you know what skill sets your fellow team members have without talking with them? Then, when you are developing a team to work on a project and you need to know the best skills your members have, you won’t know them off the top of your head. This is a huge issue. Of course, there are ways around this such as social gatherings for your entire office, but then it is almost forced socialization and it truly is not natural. Telecommunications has come a long way, but I highly doubt we will perfect it in the coming ten years. There are obvious benefits though: without the stress of driving into work everyday, the quality of life the employees have will go up— they get to spend more time with their loving (hopefully) family and they get to avoid the taxing commute in traffic. Plus, they no longer have to wake up at the crack of dawn simply to get to work on time— once again, traffic is horrible. These benefits are even added to the fact that companies can save huge amounts of money not paying for rent, electricity, or heating, which means that consumers get better prices making the telecommunication companies more competitive (Abramson). This competitive edge is huge when dealing with much larger corporations— the smaller firms have a fighting chance now. Personally, a system needs to be in place to ensure that the workers have strict focus as if they were in an office, but from home. If this can be achieved, then I do not see any reason why people would not telecommute. It is much easier to go into a Starbucks and begin working then going two hours in rush hour traffic to work each day. This also paves the way for more and more telecommunication jobs. While Uber is not in any way a job that you can telecommute for, their workers do get to set their own hours and decide when and where they wish to work for the day. If the worker lives in Virginia, but wants to travel into Washington D.C. to have higher traffic of customers, Uber is perfectly fine with this! The economy is changing— in my opinion for the better— and with it is coming more and more telecommuting jobs. This truly should help increase our quality of life and health expectancy as it lowers stress and allows us more time for our families.

    Abramson, Leigh McMullan. “Do Lawyers Need Offices Anymore?” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 09 Oct. 2015. Web. 23 Oct. 2015.

  10. Rushil Gandhi October 23, 2015 at 6:30 pm #

    Though the idea of a virtual law firm sounds innovative and very efficient, it has various draw backs that I can see. The article states that many of the attorneys at VLP law group, a virtual law firm, work from home. For me the idea of mixing the workplace and the home permanently will create more inefficiencies as the attorney would not necessarily be fully focused on the job at hand. While working from home once in a while is a refreshing experience, I feel that if one separates work and home they will lead a better life with their family. This is because the separation of work and home would mean that all the hustle and bustle of work, as I put it, would stay away from the family home where individuals are meant to spend time together and enjoy the comforts of their lives rather than work. In addition to this, working virtually where one is not required to be physically present in an office space leads to issues of focus and the quality of work. The article delineates that humans inevitably multi-task which means when working from home, in the case of the VLP attorneys, they are bound to focus some piece of their attention on things that are not related to the cases that they are working on.
    Furthermore, having multiple minds and eyes on the some project or case is a luxury that cannot be attained while working from home for a virtual firm. Having a peer look over your work or give you some ideas for the problems that you have to solve is a fundamental aspect of corporate work because these days doing it all on your own just does not work. This coupled with the fact that if one does work from home like the lawyers mentioned in the article they will hinder their social lives as they will meeting less people face to face and connecting with them over a conversation. However, VLP’s idea of having social events along with mobile conference spaces is good idea because it keeps their virtual attorney’s morale and allows them to seek help face to face when in need. I feel that we as humans are so advanced with technology that these kinds of businesses will rise to the top in terms of economic success. The fact that these virtual firms don’t have overhead costs like the price of renting/owning or maintaining an office space will mean that they will be able to charge less to consumers and more consumers will be attracted to them as it saves them the hassle of traveling to a physical location. Nevertheless, I do feel that having virtual companies that have mobile employees will result in the loss of the current corporate culture that we have and will somewhat hinder the networking and marketing abilities of the employees. After all, I believe that a good old face to face conversation is the best way to get a case or problem sorted out.

  11. Matthew Flanagan October 23, 2015 at 7:07 pm #

    When I think of a lawyer, I think of someone in a suit and tie with a briefcase. They seem like people who don’t joke around a lot and take everything serious. I couldn’t imagine having a virtual lawyer because you usually go into their office to speak with them. So the idea of having a virtual layer to me sounds a little crazy. Like the article said, having a lawyer work from home has its benefits and drawbacks. If I owned a firm, I wouldn’t want my employees to be working from home. This is because when people are at home they would procrastinate. They wouldn’t tend to be as focused with their work because they would be around their family and there would be more distractions.
    The best part of law firms where lawyers work remotely is the fact that it saves clients’ money. If the lawyers work from home, they do not have to pay rent, which means that they will be able to charge less for their services. They will also be able to take on more clients because they will be saving money and time by having their lawyers work from home. The lawyers would not have to commute and can take breaks at their leisure. I believe that lawyers that work from home would actually get more work done than lawyers that have to go into an office for work. The time that they were commuting, they would be able to be working. Their breaks would be at their discretion and they would be able to work while eating because their kitchen is right around the corner. They would also be able to work as late as they want. They would have the leisure of doing other things while they are working, removing the pressure of work. If they wanted, they would be able to watch tv while doing their work.
    Not only does it make the lawyers more productive, it improves their lives in general. Lawyers are very busy and have a lot to get done throughout the day. Most lawyers only have a few hours of leisure throughout the day. Being able to work from home would give lawyers the ability to spend more time with their families and children. It would take the stigma away from being a lawyer that that is all lawyers do. It is often made to seem that all lawyers do is work. If they were able to work from home they would have much more time to do things that they enjoy instead of working all the time.
    I think if everybody had the ability to work from home, they would. Some people just work better in a professional environment. Others work better in a stress free environment like home. For people who would work better in an office environment, working from home may not be the best option. But for people who work best in a stress free environment, working from home is the better option. It is also a better option for lawyers with families , especially children.
    I think the option to work from home is great because it makes a business much more efficient and flexible, giving its employees more options and by saving it money.

  12. Anthony hector October 23, 2015 at 8:29 pm #

    This all boils down to the advance of technology. Before lawyers needed a office to do all of their extensive work but now with the Internet and all the mobile products that make connecting with people easy, there really is no point of using an office because all the things that can replace an office. As I write this I am using my smart phone to read an article and also type my comment. With the technologies of today it makes everything so easy. It is definitely more practical for a lawyer to get an office because to have your own place to complete your work is just efficient but the new innovative technological products can be used if the lawyer is on the go and has to complete some work. So in my opinion it should definitely not replace an office but the technolgical products of today can definitely supplement an office in certain instances where a lawyer might need some info on the Internet they can get it even from their cell phone. That is definitely one of the great things about technology today because we have the information highway at our hands.

  13. Krystle Ezewuiro October 29, 2015 at 7:06 pm #

    If I had to decide whether to hire a lawyer from a virtual law firm, there are many things I would have to take into consideration before making that decision. I would want to know what their level of productivity is. At one time in my life, I worked from home, and I can honestly say that I found myself to be less productive then what I would have been if I were in an office setting. At home, I would often take breaks to spend time with my family, or pay bills, and occasionally, I caught myself watching t.v. here and there, so I don’t know if I could have someone handling one of my cases from the comfort of their home.
    But, on the other hand, I’m sure it’ll be much more inexpensive because I wouldn’t be helping to pay the overhead and other costs a physical law office would have to incur, which would leave my pockets very happy. I think that if the law offices came up w/ a protocol that the lawyers had to follow to ensure that they’re working of their workloads in a timely matter, I would definitley hire an attorney from a virtual law firm.

  14. Andrew Lentini October 29, 2015 at 10:06 pm #

    VLP Law group is one of several “virtual” law firms that are popping up more and more around the U.S. Many people ask what a Virtual law firm is and it is very simple, a virtual law firm is a firm that does not have an office, the employees are able to work at home every day. Just like everything in life there are many positives to this and also many negatives. Some positives include the firm is able to save a lot of money monthly by saving on all of the rent each month. Lawyers also feel the pressure to always appear busy while they are at the office but at home they do not have to worry about this. My mom works in the city and I live in Northern NJ so she has a very long commute every day. Her 2 hour commute by car, boat and bus is annoying and requires her to wake up 2 hours before she needs to be at work. With her waking up 2 hours early this means that she has to go to bed very early. This effects our family time, my mom is not always around and up to spend quality family time that is much needed. With these law firms that let their employers work at home they do not have to commute to work. The 5.6 second walk from the bedroom to the office is about the only thing they need to do to get ready for work. With this they now can spend more time with their family which intern will make a happier worker because they are able to spend much of their free time with their family. Unlike my mom who has to spend 4 hours each day just trying to get to and from work. One of the lawyers who works at home said “Instead of spending two hours commuting, I spend that two hours with my family.” The downside to working at home may be the lack of motivation to work because no one is at your house pushing you to work as hard as you can. At home you are more likely to lose focus and not be able to handle the workload due to much wasted time. Scott Goldsmith, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College says “People inevitably multi-task. It’s hard to maintain your focus when you are on your computer, on your phone, and handling your family.” I agree with this 100%, when I am on my phone I am completely shut out from the outside world and I am forced to only focus on my phone because that is all I can handle. It sounds crazy but it is true and I am sure many of you would agree with me.

  15. Allison Yashay October 30, 2015 at 10:21 am #

    It’s always interesting to me to see which career field is moving from the “physical world” to the “internet world.” For generations when you needed a lawyer you would either look one up in a phone book, or go to your local attorney’s office. You’d sit down in front of your lawyer at their desk, their room filled with various law books, and discuss face to face the issues at hand. Today, many lawyers are exchanging their offices for a virtual one. Firms like VLP Law Group, Legal Zoom, and Avvo allow attorneys to get rid of their office space and “work remotely, whether from home, a coffee shop, or a co-working space”. The online firms save “money on rent while reducing the pressure lawyers feel to be constantly present in order to appear busy.” But one of the main reasons lawyers are loving the switch is that it makes their lives better.
    The life of a lawyer is not easy. They barely have time to breath let alone spend time with their families. Previously, when lawyers had to take care of legal matters it had to be in their office. Now, with the help of online firms, attorneys are able to basically work at home. Michael Moradzadeh left a career in “Big Law” and in 2008 “launched Rimon PC,” another online firm which connects attorneys and the public through the cloud. Moradzadeh stated that “instead of spending two hours commuting,” he spent those two hours with his family. VLP Law Firm states that they “provide sophisticated legal advice in a wide range of practice areas, but their overhead is low, staffing lean, fees flexible and value-driven.” While the online law firm sounds like a dream for many attorneys, there are some setbacks.
    Working from home has always caused issues in job performance. Scott Goldsmith states that “people inevitably multi-task; it’s hard to maintain your focus when you are on your computer, on your phone, and handling your family.” We’ve all tried multi-taking, some are better than others. Those who have excellent time management skills, are more inclined to juggle their work, family, and social lives. But for many, it doesn’t come as easily which can result in problems. With a demanding job as an attorney, it is very taxing to try to handle both work and family life equally; many feel guilty. But the major issue that many online firms lack is the face to face contact that so many people need. An attorney’s home office is now their workplace. They miss the social interactions of being at a large firm, where they “bump into people at the water cooler.” Sherry Turkle states that “when things go virtual, you lose a lot of the serendipity where you set out to do one thing and something else develops.”
    Though most attorneys who choose to work virtually, many online firms have “opened several physical office spaces to house administrative staff, host client meetings and events, and accommodate attorneys who enjoy going into an office.” This creases, as Moradzadeh calls, a “nice balance.” This enables attorneys who do work at home the chance to get out of the house, and meet with clients face to face, rather than chatting online. Online firms may be the future of the legal practice, but attorney’s need to realize that before they apply for a job at one of the virtual firms, the potential challenge of multi-tasking. The concept is a great one, and I personally see more and more firms having some virtual entity attached to their physical firms

  16. Isabel Goodman October 30, 2015 at 12:15 pm #

    After reading this article, I see how far-reaching technology is. The connotation of the word “lawyer” is a hard-working individual who works far more than the average person should just so they can get ahead. This individual has little time for anything other than work and basically lives at the office. Now flip that entire image around. Here is a lawyer that works from home, spends time with his family, and is not constantly worrying about the balance between the two. That is what technology is doing to the law field. Currently there are “virtual law firms” that hire lawyers that never go into an office. They work from home or wherever they want and still manage to attain high-value clients. These virtual firms are the result of rapid technology advancement. It seems as though there is nothing technology cannot do today. Because we have accepted the online world as a part of the real one, why wouldn’t we hire our lawyers from a virtual firm? While technology helps the lawyers with their work-life balance and saves the company money, I do worry about the drawbacks discussed in the article. Can this work for long? I see three potential flaws in this operation and both were discussed in the article. The first is that the environment makes the workplace. It is the culture of a company that keeps bringing clients back. The environment lets them know that they are going to have the same experience because everyone is on the same page. With this, I feel that maybe they might get different experiences because the lawyers do not interact with each other all the time. While VLP Law group says they work on events to bring the lawyers together, not everyone can see each other regularly even if they go to all of the events. They can only have so many of these because everyone is busy. That is not the same as seeing the same people everyday, building relationships with them, and striving for a common goal. With this business model I feel everyone will be looking out for themselves since they do not know their coworkers very well. The second problem has to do with the distraction of working from somewhere other than an office. It is easy to get distracted when you work from home. My mom has the ability to work from home when she is not teaching a class. She is a professor and sometimes goes to school when she does not have to because it is easy to get distracted at home. The work environment motivates people to get their work done because they see others doing work as well. The last problem I have is with the cost of renting out space for the law firm. They company claims it saves money by being a virtual firm because they do not have to have a physical office, but later in the article they say they have multiple spaces for people to work if they get distracted at home. While they definitely save money by not having a large space, I cannot help but wonder how much they are really saving when they have multiple small offices. With that, there are still some people who work from home and their lack of productivity has to be factored in as another cost to the company. All in all, I believe technology has led to many advances in the law field as a result of virtual law firms but I don’t know if all the problems with it are solved. Only time will tell.

  17. Joseph Belli October 30, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

    Working from home should be a uniform option throughout all companies as it increases an employee’s productivity and potentially their health too. Giving employees the opportunity to escape the distractions of the office (i.e. coworkers or background noise) and allows them to operate at utmost efficiency. My father, the CEO of a procurement and consulting firm based in Pennsylvania, often works from home because he claims that his productivity is greater and when he has down time he can spend it relaxing as he pleases without being restrained to the bland amusement park of his office building. Of course, as the CEO, he must make his appearances in the office in order to maintain moral and provide leadership when necessary, however, instead of commuting an hour and a half to work, my dad gets to sleep in or eat a full breakfast before beginning his day of work. Working from home is taking new precedent in the law industry, as VLP Law Group, a young firm with 50 attorneys, is changing the way lawyers operate by allowing them to work from virtually wherever they please. This not only saves the firm money, but decreases the pressure on lawyers to feel the need to preform to try to build good relationships with the other members of the firm. It also creates a better balance between work and family life as lawyers can now spend time with their families instead of commuting two hours to the office. There are of course always issues with new innovations of any sort. A drawback for working from home in general is multi tasking and other distractions that may seem more important than work. If you’re a parent, you may have to operate around your child’s needs. Multitasking can build up stress or even instill guilt in a person because they feel more obligated to do one thing, but see the urgency to do something else. An important aspect of law is the face to face interaction that occurs between lawyer and client or even in the office between employees is very important to workplace collaboration and chemistry. Ideas flow more freely during face to face discussion and more great ideas normally flourish when emotion is sensed in the room. I can imagine that emails can only be interpreted in so many ways, while the value of a conversation has many different benefits to forming new thoughts. With this comes the importance of utilizing the technology we have. Google hangouts is a very neat way to have a virtual face to face conversation with multiple people. Therefore, only allowing conversation between employees when needed which slightly solves the communication problem brought by working from home. Nothing can replace the value of face to face conversations, however working from home does have its benefits between increasing productivity, and allowing employees to improve time management and tailor their time to their needs and wants. Especially in a very time demanding job like law, this innovation could easily change the way lawyers and clients interact. Only time will tell if this is true.

  18. Aaron Varghese October 30, 2015 at 3:26 pm #

    Reading this article about virtual law firms helped make me realize that the entire professional atmosphere is potentially heading down a road where virtual interaction will become more dominant than physical interaction. The virtual law firm talked about, VLP, has been taking advantage of working “outside” of the office to maximize business. Even through common sense this seems logical. When you want to seek service, would you either drive 20-45 minutes to the location where such desired services or products are sold or purchase such services and products from the comfort of your home either over the computer or phone. This is the same case with shopping. During times of intense shopping like around the holidays and change of seasons, most people do not want to put up with the inconvenience of going out to shop and compete with other shoppers and just simply purchase their items with the simple click of a button on Amazon. VLP acknowledges their not only adding convenience to their customers, but also to their lawyers as well. Clients can now call at any time without having to schedule an appointment and drive the long distance to meet with the lawyer. The firm benefits because it does not have to deal with the expensive costs of renting out building space and making sure the space is constantly maintained. The lawyer benefits by being able to work out of home and not deal with the stresses of having to drive to work. Lawyers would be able to take calls whenever they are free, thus making VLP more convenient for the Lawyers as well. The article also says,”In addition to providing lawyers more control over their schedules, law firms that forgo the overhead that comes with office space can pass those savings onto clients—a major selling point of virtual firms.” The fact that the savings can go into the client’s pockets is another major stimulus for business. Probably one of the biggest complaints I have heard from people when dealing with lawyers is the ridiculous expenses associated with making a simple quick call with their lawyer. When my parents were getting their divorce, one of the biggest complaints I heard from them was the fact that their bill would be so high for a 20 minute call. Knowing that VLP will be able to reduce their costs to clients without it serving any detriment to them. Another quote stated an inevitable problem for VLP: “People inevitably multi-task. It’s hard to maintain your focus when you are on your computer, on your phone, and handling your family.” There is truth to the fact that multi-tasking can result in a lack of true concentration and focus. When a lawyer is on the phone with a client while trying to attend a family matter, there can definitely be some stresses involved. Even though this will definitely be unavoidable at some points, the fact that the lawyer can work out of home essentially means that they have more time a home and as result, their families as well. VLP is definitely making the smart move of making a virtual workplace that is convenient for clients, the firms itself, and the lawyers of VLP.

  19. Ryan Hardrove October 30, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

    After reading the article, “Do lawyers need offices anymore?” I found the article to be interesting in the fact to see that law firms are starting to have their lawyers stay at home and work. I think it’s a good idea for modern times of now because we are starting to see more companies do this now because of the internet age we live in now and it is also a good business move as well to save money in other places. VLP is one of several virtual law firms that are seeking provide legal services on the level of a traditional firm’s while dispensing with office space and having their attorneys work remotely, whether from home, a coffee shop, or a co-working space. On top of saving firms money on rent and reducing the pressure lawyers feel to be constantly present in order to appear busy, this arrangement has another, more basic benefit: It’s making many lawyers’ lives better. I think this a great for law firms to go into this direction and to give their lawyers a better work environment to work in. I know a lot of government agencies are doing this as well to cut cost and to make their workers have a better work experience with their employer. Michael Moradzadeh left a career in “Big Law” and in 2008 launched Rimon PC, which he started as “a truly virtual law firm, meaning distributed attorneys working from their homes connected through the cloud.” This model appeals to lawyers looking for a better work-life balance. “Instead of spending two hours commuting, I spend that two hours with my family,” says Moradzadeh. Options for remote work have become more common in the legal industry, but at firms where remote work is the exception, telecommuters can feel stigmatized. But when everyone is working virtually “there’s no stigma because it’s standard,” explains Debbie Epstein Henry, the founder of the firm Bliss Lawyers. In addition to providing lawyers more control over their schedules, law firms that forgo the overhead that comes with office space can pass those savings onto clients—a major selling point of virtual firms. “We provide sophisticated legal advice in a wide range of practice areas, but our overhead is low, our staffing lean, our fees flexible and value-driven,” touts VLP’s website.
    However, virtual work is not without its drawbacks. “The so-called gift of working from home can bring problems,” says Scott Goldsmith, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College. “People inevitably multi-task. It’s hard to maintain your focus when you are on your computer, on your phone, and handling your family.” And constantly triaging the demands of work life and home life can be taxing. “People constantly feel stressed, guilty, and torn between the two,” Goldsmith says and further, no one has yet found a technology that can substitute for face-to-face interaction. I do understand Goldsmith point on this but with the technology now we can now skype with people over the internet so this is a problem that has been resolved. In my opinion, I think this is a common practice we will see in more companies in the coming years because with the technology we have now it would make sense from a business stand point to have employees work from home.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/10/do-lawyers-need-offices-anymore/409417/

  20. Michael MacRae October 30, 2015 at 6:37 pm #

    VLP Law Group is a completely electronic law firm. There is not an office, there is no consultation desk. There are about 50 attorneys that are connected with clients through the cloud service operated by the group. It has allowed for completely abstract employment for the attorneys – they can work wherever they want so long as they have a computer and a phone. It has made lives easier for these lawyers, according to the article. There is no stress to appear busy in the workplace. I fully understand that stress having worked in a restaurant that was only busy in the winter time. During the summer, I had to try my hardest to always appear busy or I risked being sent home by the manager-on-duty and losing half of my weekly hours. I can assume that these lawyers felt the same way. One of the major psychological points brought up regarding this topic was the stigmas associated with working from home. When telecommuting is the exception, there is often a stigma attached that makes those working from home feel inadequate, lazy, or unlike team players. The solution, however, is that this company has everyone working from home. There is no stigma; it is normal to not work in an office.

    There are, unfortunately, issues involved with this form of work. The loss of the office means loss of the comradery that exists otherwise. I can completely agree that the only reason I continued working at the jobs I had in high school was because of my coworkers. They were all like-minded people who had stories, personalities, and above-all, a sense of humor. It was very motivating when problems arose because we worked as a team and it kept us all together. Had I had terrible coworkers, I would have been absolutely miserable and unemployed. The article goes on to mention that without the office space, there is less discussion and breakthroughs. It seems that humor in serious discussions helps alleviate stress and allow for the best ideas to flourish. When the entire firm is online, however, it makes it more difficult to do so.

    The firm then decided to open several physical offices for various purposes. These include client meetings, administrative assistants, and attorneys who enjoy going into an office. So, then, this is not a completely virtual firm. They work predominantly online but they are still required to pay rent. While the article describes it as a “nice balance”, I disagree. I think that the appeal of virtual firms is that they have less costs and so they are cheaper for the consumer. If you start to bring up those costs while still being mostly online, you’re charging a consumer more money for a more abstract attorney. I prefer speaking with attorneys in person and at a desk in an office. It feels more professional and I feel makes better understanding of the issues at hand. The article does not mention a significant price increase, however, so these offices may be very small. Regardless, virtual firms seem to be the “way of the future” and it will likely be the rarity that a firm operates out of an office someday.

  21. Cai Johnson October 30, 2015 at 7:13 pm #

    The article seems like the company just allows majority of its staff to work form home. That’s fine there are tone of personal benefits that come along with working from home. However, the article’s points out that some of the cons of working at home are possibly less productive then it’s benefits. It’s not fair to call this firm a virtual firm. They have a an office to accommodate with client meetings, and it houses staff.Which is fine, but if they’re going to be considered a “virtual company” they have to be independent form an office space. From a business perspective it’s vital to have a space where you can meet costumers and make them feel comfortable. Seeking legal advice is serious, I’m not sure how seriously i’d take a company where everyone works from home. The staff at the company need to be able to collaborate. This can be done through technology, but the article itself sates that the staff still struggle with that. meeting in person gets things done more quickly. Removing human interactions from the premise of a company is somewhat detrimental.

  22. Dana Guittari October 30, 2015 at 8:45 pm #

    I think the idea of a “virtual” law firm is unique and interesting. A “virtual” any company is unique and interesting. And although I, personally, am in favor of home offices and working virtually, I see the pros and cons of it. To start off, one of the major things home offices accommodate are the employees. One man mentions in this article that he sent two hours commuting to work. Now that he works from home, he has those extra two hours to spend with his family. Working from home allows employees more time to spend with their family. Eliminating the time is takes to wake up, get ready, and commute to work can save so many hours a day and give employees more time to do other work, or more time for ohter activities. One of my favorite things about the idea of working from home is that you can pretty much make your own schedule. Although I’m sure there are deadlines ect., you can pretty much decide what work you’re going to complete at what time in the day, and you can do your work comfortably from your own home when you have a home office. I think I work best when I’m at home on my own, but I see the argument that working from home can be a distraction. When you work from home unsupervised, it can be easy to get distracted and to put off work to do other things. Also, if you live with other people or your family it can become a major distraction. Working without supervision can cause you to put off actually doing work, too. I had a friend last year who took a summer course online and it was the worst she’s ever done in a course. She was constantly missing the deadlines of assignments and putting things off until literally the last minute because there was no one physically there to remind her. A lot of people are like that. I personally think the major argument against “virtual” firms is the lack of interaction. If there is no office, no common place among employees to go and do work, they lose that face to face interaction with one another. They don’t get to know who they’re working with as well as they would if they all worked in an office together. I see the argument both for and against home offices, but I like how this article stated that companies are trying to accommodate and do a little of each. I think it’s a good idea that some companies allow their employees a couple days a month to work from home. I feel like that’s a good middle ground. And for the people who prefer working from home, I like that businesses have lunch meetings or meetings for drinks so the employees can interact. I think our society now is moving more towards a virtual workforce, but I do think it’s important that we find a middle ground.

  23. Nicholas B. November 2, 2015 at 10:22 am #

    Lawyers do not need to work in an office, but I still believe they should for at least half the workweek. As the article explains there are benefits and drawbacks of working from an off and working from home. Having the lawyers work some days from home and some from the office would get the best of both worlds. Lawyers would be able to have a better work life balance and be able to adjust for each client they have. Some clients still want the face-to-face meetings and can only get this if the lawyer has an office. Law firms will also be able to save money by using smaller office space because not every worker will be there at the same time. Many firms are moving towards a virtual one to save money and advance with technology. Many people like me still prefer to go to and office and have a real conversation with their lawyer especially when they are so expensive. So as many law firms are going virtual, I do not believe that lawyers working in an office will dissolve.

  24. Kayla James November 2, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

    As soon as I hear the word attorney, I immediately associate the word with a high-pressure, stressful, and frantic work space. Speaking in terms of business, lawyers working in distant locations are excellent ideas. The firm is most likely saving a decent amount of money in rent and other office related expenses. Also, the article mentioned the improvement in lawyers’ lives when joining virtual firms. They are able to spend more time with their families and enjoy a less hectic work environment. Although it sounds great, there are some problems with virtual firms. More people are likely to multitask at home instead of focusing on one thing. Also, the custom feeling of face-to-face communication is lost with an online based firm.
    For minor cases such as DUI’s, writing bad checks, or traffic violations, it is easy to see how virtual firms can be attractive to an audience. However, for more serious cases like homicides and robbery, I would not be open to hiring an attorney that I cannot see. When in need of a defense, not only do most people want a knowledgeable lawyer, but they want one that is convincing. Also, something that many professors have told us throughout college is the value behind networking. Being able to meet people, co-workers, and clients face-to-face holds incredible value that I believe the internet cannot yet replace. While virtual lawyers could cost significantly less than a traditional lawyer, I would personally feel more comfortable spending the money to speak to someone, face-to-face, regarding my concerns and making sure that my needs are met to the best of their abilities. If I were to be asked the same question in a couple of years, my answer could change pending on the evolution of technology.

  25. Thomas S. November 8, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

    Although the idea of a virtual firm may work in some cases, I do not believe it could benefit all. Virtual law firms do offer great benefits to the individual lawyers. They benefit from a more relaxed environment and a better work life balance, which is great for them. Lawyers have a very busy schedule, and often commute a lot, if they are constantly going to court. Offices are usually located near cities, not close to suburban homes where the employees live. The idea of a virtual law firm could be very beneficial for lawyers. Virtual law firms, obviously cost much less money to run, and these savings could be an essential tool to help bring on more clients.

    However, virtual law firms, put much more pressure on partners of a firm, because of the constant checking in on their lawyers, to make sure they are getting the jobs done. Virtual law firms, are also a very big security risk. Instead of the vast amount of confidential paper work being stored in the office, each individual lawyer has the responsibility to keep their work secure and confidential. This poses a huge security risk, that I believe, many potential clients of a law firm, would not like. A virtual law firm, allows for information to be stored on many personal devices of employees, which are subject to theft and hacking. It is one thing to take some work home, but to do all the work out of your home is another story.

    I feel like the combination of allowing lawyers to work from home some days, and being present in the office other days, would be the best solution for those who want to go virtual. There needs to be a centralized location for all incoming and out going mail, for computer servers, and a place for clients to come and meet with the partners. A virtual law firm has its advantages and disadvantages. I do not believe physical law firms will ever cease to exist, but maybe just have more telecommuting employees.

  26. Olena Kharuk November 8, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

    The idea of a virtual law firm is very interesting, but it also causes mixed feelings. On the one hand, I think it is very good decision for some cases, but not for the difficult ones. Also, it can make attorney’s help less expensive for clients. Besides, it gives lawyers more flexibility, and the ability to use their time more efficient. Additionally, it allows lawyers to spend more time with their families. But on the other hand, when things go virtual, lawyers experience lack of interaction. Also, there are many distractions at home, which can lead to less productivity.
    Certainly, any idea has its advantages and disadvantages; nevertheless I am not a big fan of virtual firms. First of all, I would like to have face-to-face interactions. That can help me to understand what kind of person I am about to hire, and if I can trust that person.

  27. Myung Ho Kim November 8, 2015 at 9:06 pm #

    The idea of a virtual law firm seems like a very smart move to me for law firms. Without any overhead costs such as rent, the overall costs of hiring a lawyer could be lowered and more affordable to people. It can also increase their outreach to potential clients over the internet as a medium. It also helps the lawyers in virtual law firms who would prefer to work from home such as lawyers with children. But I am worried that some people (myself included) would wish for a more personal interaction with my lawyer. With virtual lawyers, people cannot visit the lawyers in their offices. But solutions can be found through the use of video chatting systems like Skype or Google Hangout. Although it might not me directly face to face, it at least shows the lawyer’s face instead of an email. However VLP came up with its own solution where a separate building was created to host meetings which I think is a fantastic idea. Clients and Lawyers can exchange information quickly and efficiently while still maintaining social interactions when needed. When I think of a lawyer, I think of someone who is well dressed, well mannered, and can help me with my case. I might have some worries if I find a lawyer online (such as, what if the lawyer is not professional?) but my worries are rest assured once I see them face to face.
    This brings up the point that technology still has not replaced jobs that require interaction and a job like lawyers must need social skills. Technology just makes it easier (There is another article on Shannonweb about social skills in the work place- http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/18/upshot/how-the-modern-workplace-has-become-more-like-preschool.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share&_r=0)

  28. Nicolette D November 9, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

    I slightly disagree with the fact that the company in this article is basically allowing staff members to work solely from their own house. Personally, I find this occasionally acceptable because there are plenty of benefits that can come from working at home. On the other hand, there are also some negatives that have been represented by Leigh Abramson.

    The article, “Do Lawyers Need Offices Anymore,” expresses disadvantages consisting of the less productive side of working from home. Before making an essential decision like hiring a lawyer from a specific virtual firm, there are multiple things that would concern this choice. The first vital thing I would like to know would be their level of productivity. There are times that I am more distracted when I am studying or doing work at home. If I was in an office setting I think I could get a lot more done and be more productive. The distractions at home, like my dog, my friends texts, social media and even the T.V. prevent me from completing as much as I would without all that. However, in the long run, working from home could be cheaper rather than going to the office. The costs of a physical law office like the overhead costs might get expensive after a while.

    From a more business perspective, I believe having the ability of more space can make customers feel more comfortable when you meet with them. This is important when legal advice is requested. Working from home might come off as a little less serious and professional, in the sense of discussion. The article also discusses how difficult the use of technology can become when used to cooperate within the company. The whole meeting face to face seems more reliable and faster. Our society has enough issues with communication. By taking away more human interaction could potentially worsen the company. Overall I would most definitely recommend hiring an attorney from a virtual law firm.

  29. Gabrielle Liguori November 9, 2015 at 9:10 pm #

    Although many people may find this new version of operating more efficient and practical, I still believe that meeting face to face with colleges and clients in an office space is the best way to operate. For some jobs, I definitely agree that working from home or remote locations is beneficial. However for this job, I feel that everyone benefits from being in an office and working together. Allowing lawyers to work from home or other locations seems almost like the business is not as reliable as some other law firms that would have office locations.
    My dad has a law firm and I have seen firsthand how clients react when they are at the office. It almost seems like they are much more reassured because the lawyers have all the information they would need right there with them. Backup from other lawyers, law textbooks and databases are all readily available at the office for lawyers to use. It also is a much more professional environment. In my opinion, if I am meeting a lawyer to discuss a legal case or creating my will, I want to be in a professional location. I do not want to meet at a coffee shop or a random restaurant that the lawyer has picked. Again, I am not against the work from home idea, I just do not think it should apply to the law profession.

  30. Lauren S. November 11, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

    This is the first time I am hearing about virtual law firms. I think this is such a great idea to make the lives of lawyers easier! Obviously, not all work should be done electronically, it is still important to have face to face time with clients, but getting to work from home or somewhere else comfortable takes some pressure off. All fields should be keeping up to date with technology so that they can be available to all target groups and expand business. Another benefit of virtual law firms is saving money and time. Two things you cannot get back. The time you spend commuting to work can be spent working so that you can cut your work day in half. There will be more time to spend with the family and to relax. Also, companies will not have to pay for people to commute or any of the other million expenses that come hand in hand with renting/owning an officer space.

    On the flip side I can see why some people may be hesitant to try support this idea. Some people have not grasped all the possibilities technology has in store for us and prefer to do things the old-fashioned way. I personally think that working from home will promote lawyers to get more work done, but others may see it as a distraction. Also, confidential files may be openly available to any house guests you may have. Overall, there are some negative situations that could occur with being part of a virtual law firm, but I believe the pros overrule the cons. Too many people spend all their time slaving away at work and do not get to enjoy life. If lawyers can get the same amount of work done in a shorter time span, then why not? Someday all careers will be incorporating technology into everyday activities.

  31. Lisa Nuzzi November 13, 2015 at 10:58 am #

    The idea of virtual companies could change the way business is done in the future. There are several types of businesses that I can think of that do not necessarily need brick and mortar stores, like clothes, or as the article says businesses like law firms. Many companies also offer their employees the option to work from home which could become the only way to work or a more popular way to run a business. The VLP law firm is a great example of this new trend, VLP is a very successful law firm with no offices. The attorneys for this company either work from home, a coffee shop or some other arrangement. What this does for VLP and other companies like it can be an effective way for the company to save money and either pay its employees better or offer a less expensive product or service to its customers. Other law firms besides VLP are virtual law firms, Rimon PC created in 2008 by Michael Moradzadeh says that his virtual law firm offers a better work life balance for his employees, according to the article. The article also brings up a great point about one of the downsides to telecommuting, the stigma. Many people have the idea in their heads that workers who telecommute, may not do as much work or that they are isolated and do not work well with their coworkers. But, in the article Debbie Henry another founder of a virtual lawyer firm, says that there is no stigma when everyone is telecommuting, it just becomes what is standard. There are even some clothes stores, that have no set store. Pop up stores like The Vintage Twin are clothes stores that rent a store front for a day or so and advertise on social media where they will be and stay until they are sold out, the lack of permeate rent allows the stores to offer lower prices.

    I feel as though the example these companies are setting can definitely change the way business is done in the future. Technology has made communication much easier so perhaps soon there will be no need for offices, and working from home may become the most effective way for people to work.

    Source: The Vintage Twin
    http://www.thevintagetwin.com/

  32. Kevin Schoenholz November 13, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

    This article gives an interesting insight into the new trend of making a law firm that only takes place online rather than having a formal office. Some of the benefits that this provides to lawyers is that they spend less time commuting and more time with their family. Because lawyers can choose to work where ever there’s a computer with an internet connection it makes it possible to work from home all the time. This gives lawyers that are apart of a virtual firm a huge amount of control over their schedule. In an office setting if you didn’t have a lot of work to do you would still have to show up and appear busy all day, but with this model if you aren’t very busy for a length of time you can do whatever you want. There is also no formal law office which saves money on renting a building. The money saved from not renting a building allows firms to invest in better lawyers and technologies rather than an expensive monthly fee.

    There are also some drawbacks to working at an online law firm. One drawback is that working from home provides many opportunities for distraction. Home life will inevitably interfere with work life which can make it harder to stay focused throughout the work day. Another drawback is a firm loses a sense of community by not having a formal office setting. Having conversations by the water cooler can spark ideas and advice can be sought out easily in an office. Law offices also benefit by having a sense of organization that makes it’s employees feel like they are all working towards a common goal. Because the employees don’t see each other face to face it is harder to get into a team mentality.

    I personally would rather get advice from a lawyer in person then from online. Talking online never feels formal and it is easy to be distracted while on a computer. Being in someones presence demands more attention and it is easier to have a conversation face to face rather than online. Hiring a lawyer usually means someone is getting involved in a serious legal matter that can greatly affect their life. Because of the seriousness of the situation that requires a lawyer I would want one I could talk to face to face. Communication involves more than words being spoken from one person to another. We send non verbal signals all the time that can be important in understanding what a person truly means. Without those non verbal communication signals I could misinterpret what my lawyer means or my lawyer could misinterpret what I mean when having a conversation. Legal issues are very serious and I wouldn’t want to take any chances on hiring a lawyer that is limited in the ways we can communicate.

  33. Bobby C November 14, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

    I never knew that this existed, let alone a firm like this having clients as big as VLP Law Group’s. My mom works for a lawyer and this would be really nice if she could stay at home and do her work instead of going to the office everyday, but I feel like if she did that she would not get as much work done. She also works for a much smaller firm so I don’t think it would be worth it to change how they are doing things, but on the other hand, I do believe if she was a part of a bigger firm it would definitely be worth it to switch from an office to an at home setting in order to lower costs for both the overhead and customers. It’s very interesting that this has become normal for firms to start doing, because the customers they deal with generally have to meet with them face to face and if there is no actual building where do they go where it can be a private confidential meeting. There are ways around the cons of having no office, but the pros seem to be working and if it continues to be that way then there is no reason to change it, for now at least.

  34. Nicholas Kunik November 15, 2015 at 12:22 am #

    After reading the article “Do Lawyers Need Officers Anymore”, I found the idea of a possible virtual law firm as being very interesting. I felt initially that in today’s society with new technological advancements, the thought of using a virtual law firm as a no brainer. However in recent years surveys have shown that virtual law practices are on a steady decline. I believe that several factors have contributed to the decline in virtual law firms. Some of these factors includes a growing recognition that virtual law practices are viable business models, and many offer cheap and simple options through leveraging, in the long run, sustaining a stream of low-end cases can not work without the correct economies of scale. Another factor includes a lack if regulatory certainty which would increase the costs of doing business for virtual lawyers. Although I do believe that today’s lawyers should incorporate technology in their practices, it should only be used as a tool and not a business model. I believe that lawyers need to figure out how they want to incorporate virtual technologies into their practices =, while also deciding on whether the positives outweigh the negatives of using these technologies in particular cases.

  35. Burak Eraslan January 22, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

    For starters, I would like to begin by answering the question that the article poses in the title of “Do Lawyers Need offices anymore.” I believe that at the moment it is not a necessity, however in the near future, the idea of having an office as a lawyer will slowly begin to diminish. There is a fact that everyone needs to become well aware of, which is, technology is truly disrupting the way we do things, and the way we’ve handled our business in the past. It’s not the same, and we cannot over look this. The article is interesting because it does pose both sides to this question. There is the truth that lawyers In fact do not need offices anymore. Michael Moradzadeh for example left a law firm to begin his own virtual business, where he promoted working from home. This to me is not especially shocking, or mind blowing because, as Michael stated “there’s no stigma because it is standard.” This is a social norm that we all begin to see, and slowly adapt to. In the article there are parts where we see the negatives of potentially having everything moved over to the cloud, and have this virtual world of lawyers. The urge to continue having this face to face interaction is drawing a large amount of people away from accepting this idea of virtual lifestyle that we are slowly integrating into our lives. This article also demonstrates problems with the people of today’s society. We can see the negative outlook of people when it comes to change and new technology. However, time waits for no man, and you will be left behind if you continue to deny the truth that technology is taking over the way we do things. For example, going into a company right after college will not be how you expect it to be. If you are aiming to go to an elite company that has a great name, you will need understand that these companies are the ones that are adaptable to the new changes in the world. You will see how they integrate technology within their everyday lives to ensure that tasks are completed quicker. Companies have one main goal and that is to maximize their profit, and with the technology in today’s world, this has been a battle of being more efficient with the time that they have in their hands. Companies will use technology such as a google hangout to avoid transportation, an integrated platform within the company that ensures quicker communication among employees, or informational technology like big data to ensure that the company runs better overall. There is a portion of the article however, that I entirely agree with and is something that the technological advances will lack greatly on, which will be significant to many people. The idea of not having the face to face interactions will be one of the biggest setbacks of the technological era that we are moving into. Currently, and in previous years, there was a large push to become communicators, and having the ability to speak comfortably, confidently, and clearly. Now however, with the many demands of moving towards technology and virtual business, we begin to realize the loss of these skills, and that we are slowly becoming less and less social. Our phones will become our conversations, and google hangouts will be our conferences. These changes will be the most difficult aspects of such changes in the world. This will be especially crucial for lawyers which raises the question of whether or not to continue on this path. I am in agreement with this because as a lawyer, you are either researching or dealing with clients, and if your client is not getting the treatment or service that he or she wants, the lawyer loses the client. In a world where many are not adaptable to the changes in technology, you cannot expect a client to be happy with a google hangout for the price he or she is paying. There are many implications to this idea, and although this is not truly apparent to everyone yet, this will be our future. The sooner people understand this, the more of an edge they will have in terms of getting ahead. I spoke to an executive yesterday about this same exact topic, and we both came to agree that freelance is the way the businesses are beginning to move towards. I personally think that in the next 10-15 years, many of the companies that currently operate with stores, and desk workers will move to the virtual means of business. I mean look at the way shopping has evolved. Nowadays with the convenience of Amazon Prime, we can get whatever we want, wherever we want it, and whenever we want it. The advances in technology has changed our lifestyle, and soon enough, as the article clearly points out, it will change the way we conduct business forever. Well until the new stuff comes out of course.

  36. Sheikh Elahi-Siddiqui January 22, 2016 at 7:11 pm #

    The idea of a virtual office setting sounds like a very interesting concept. They’re obviously are many ups and downs to the idea. This idea today makes a lot of sense considering we live in such a digital world. Programs such as facetime, Skype, OovoO, etc. make it easier for people to connect from anywhere in the world. Some of the upsides to this idea include getting to spend more time with your family, not getting stuck in traffic during your commute and so on.
    However, there are many drawbacks highlighted in the article. Such as the lack of face-to-face interaction, or even the lack of focus when working from your home. When working at an office, a group can be as efficient as possible. But when you’re entire day is spent commuting to and back from work, it can be very tedious. The idea of a virtual office also sounds appealing because of the amount of money the law firm would save from not having to pay for an office place. That would be much more appealing to the employees because they would get a bigger salary. The concept of an online work environment also calls for more comfort for the employee. Not having to wake up earlier than usual and having to rush through traffic to start your tedious work day sounds much more appealing. Working from home is almost everyone’s dream. Most people in general are lazy.
    However, when a group works in an office more work is produced. People work harder when they are focused in a work environment. Also, the fact that a person has to wake up, get ready and follow a routine, it leads to a healthy life. Yes some may argue that living at home may be better for health than going to work. However, I strongly disagree. This is because when a person stays at home for too long, they become even lazier than before. I believe that following a routine and getting out and socializing in the work environment is healthier than not.
    In my opinion, the old fashion work place sounds more appealing for a law firm considering the amount of efficient work that could be produced by the work place environment. Working from home is much more difficult because of the immense amounts of distractions. In my experience, I found that working in an office is much more efficient then working from home. Procrastination seems to be the biggest issue when working from home. Both have their ups and downs, however, I feel that more work could be produced from working in an office.

  37. Katherine Gurski January 24, 2016 at 7:57 pm #

    I found this article to be very interesting, and I don’t have a concrete viewpoint because I feel like I both agree and disagree with the idea that law offices are no longer needed. Personally, my mother and many of my family members are lawyers, and I have gone into the office many times, so I see how they work. I somewhat agree with this article because I know that my mother would always bring work home and work in the house all while I grew up. It was almost as if she was a stay at home mom, because she would only go into the office occasionally to pick up or drop off work, because she wanted to spend as much time as she could at home with me during childhood. I also went into the office many times and I found that it was mostly just a space to do work in, which like the article argues, can be done anywhere so there is really no dire need for an office. Now that I am older and in college, my mom spends more time working in her office and goes there every day. I know she is a lot more productive when she is working there, because it limits distractions and helps her focus. The article touches on this idea when it quotes Scott Goldsmith when he discusses multi-tasking and the troubles that one can face while trying to work at home while doing other everyday tasks. The article mentions how they have still opened various physical offices where meetings and events are hosted and which accommodates those who prefer to be in an office space, which I find to be the perfect middle ground. I do not think offices should be eliminated completely, but I do think that they could be limited, and those that are able to work from home successfully should. However, I also disagree with the content of this article because of the fact that I don’t like how much people are relying on technology. I find that sometimes it is better to do things the old fashioned way, and still have face to face conversations with coworkers every day when one goes to work. I believe that the most important part of this is balance, and I also anticipate that this idea of virtual offices will happen in many other professions too, not just law offices.

  38. Liz Martinez January 25, 2016 at 6:05 pm #

    This article was a seriously cool read. My cousin is a lawyer, and we never get to see him because of his heavy work load. I loved reading this, and in-fact forwarded him the link so I could get his opinions on the topic.
    While I am not necessarily the biggest fan of technology, I love that it is being used to help build relationships instead of destroy them. To me, there are few things worse that having dinner with someone while they are on their phone/laptop/etc. because it makes my time seem less valuable. I’m glad to see technology not being used as a way to keep people online, but as a way to keep people with who they love.
    Not only is the creation of online law firms a positive addition to society because it may actually end up helping lawyers to be able to make and maintain their personal lives, but also because it has the capacity to keep costs down. While the article only briefly mentions the costs of this new type of business, I believe they could be reduced even further still as more and more start popping up. These law firms would no longer have rent, electricity, and maintenance costs, but could also get rid of their paper costs altogether. For all we know, in ten years all court rooms may be equipped with state of the art technology for each judge and juror to take notes on.
    In the most basic terms, online law is simply more convenient for both parties. The lawyers and the firm, because they have the option of working from whatever location they may chose, even on a beach or in the mountains, as long as they have an internet connection (which in this day and age is not exactly a hard thing to find). Not to mention the costs these lawyers can save on both transportation, which they would’ve needed to get to and from work, and attire, as the need for a formal business outfit (at least every single day of the week) would be just a thing of the past, and one simple suit for the day of the hearing (plus a few shirts in case of a stain) would suffice.
    The only clear down-side I can see to this possible online-law revolution, would be that it has the potential to completely control workaholics. I understand that obviously everybody has free will, and the capacity to make their own choices in life, but for those who feel compelled to work, this could be seriously harmful. My father is one of these workaholics (though he is an engineer, not a lawyer) and has been told by his bosses before that he is being forced to take a vacation day, or that he is in fact required by law to take a lunch break. If not for his superiors telling him this, he would’ve kept on like noting was the problem. Without an office, there is no place for workaholics to escape, because their work would be anywhere they were.

  39. Samantha Voltmer January 29, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

    It is interesting to think how something as conventional as an office is now being replaced with other means of work environments. In an age when technology is getting more and more advanced it is only natural that we humans must adapt to our new environments, and use this technology to its fullest. One field that is using technology to better their practice is law; many law firms have chosen to replace their traditional offices with “virtual” firms.

    These virtual firms are very beneficial to the firms as a whole. For instance, not having a traditional office saves the firms huge portions of their budget, which they can redirect towards bettering their services to their customers, and at a cheaper rate. In addition the article by Leigh McMullan Abramson explains that virtual firms also reduce the pressure that many lawyers feel in this traditional environment. But most importantly, it is making the lives of the individual lawyers much better. They no longer need to commute to work, and they can use this new found time to be with their families.

    However certain downsides come with a virtual firm. For example, at a virtual firms one loses most face-to-face interactions. This is extremely important in a working environment, some of the best ideas in this world have come from collaboration with others. With virtual firms all possibilities for those collaborations that happen in a break room or in front of a water cooler are lost. Companies who do operate primarily through virtual firms recognize this problem and have created ways to grow a sense of community regardless. These companies have “office” parties, where all the employees can meet in a casual, non-work related environment. In addition these companies still offer some work spaces for those set on traditional work environments, and for client meetings. Something I found particularly interesting was the fact that these virtual firms appeal more towards those who have been out of law school for many years, as opposed to those who have just graduated. It makes sense though, because those who have been practicing law longer might have families and other priorities, and virtual offices are more convenient to their lifestyles. Overall I would say that although virtual firms lack some of the professionalism that a traditional firm offers, they are more practical for the lawyers and can save the firm money, which can be used on bettering their services to their clients.

  40. Jalen Leacock January 29, 2016 at 7:36 pm #

    Do Lawyers Need Offices Anymore? When I was writing my response to snowstorm Jonas I thought about this same question. Although I never thought anyone would actually make an office less firm because of the old tradition of a firm being a physical place Lawyers went to. This idea is interesting because it has not really been done before however, the technology we have now such as skype, google plus and the cloud make it possible to run a successful office without the lawyers having to come into the office every day. In order to effective this business model can be I will examine what Public interest Lawyers do and how they could use the new technology we have to facilitate their jobs. I will also evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of not having a physical office.
    As a public interest lawyer, “you would focus on cases and causes that are significant to the general public. Oftentimes, you would provide legal services to disadvantaged and low-income groups in society. You may work directly with clients, or you may work on public policy and impact litigation. If you work directly with clients, you may provide legal representation in matters involving housing, immigration, family, government benefits, community development, employment, consumer, bankruptcy, education, discrimination and child advocacy. Some public interest lawyers work for organizations that are trying to effect change in laws and our society. This involves research, advocacy with political leaders and administrative and legislative bodies, and litigation. An example of this type of public interest organization is the American Civil Liberties Union,” (nalp.org). Technology such as skype, ovoo and webcam services will allow Lawyers to continue to provide legal services as well as work directly with clients.
    A huge advantage of not having an office is not having to pay for overhand. Which means more of the profit can go back into the firm in the form of increased salaries, which in turn can increase the caliber of lawyers that work for you, which will help increase your repetition allowing you to bring in more clients and thus more profit.
    The biggest drawback of getting rid of the office is that people still have that stigma of what a Lawyer is. A lawyer is supposed to be someone dressed in a fancy usually black suit that you meet with and shake their hand when you were done not picture behind a computer screen that you can just turn off when you are done. This will prove hard to overcome because it is an image already preset in our heads. The technology in general also takes the personal feel away from the engagement, which could prove to have a negative effect on the client. If the firm can change the precedent of what a lawyer is supposed to be while providing a personal feel to the online conversation they can be successful.
    At first glance the idea sounds good however, it could prove to be detrimental because of the stigma of what lawyers are supposed to be. In the end people are more confrontable talking to someone face to face rather than via webcam.

    Works Cited
    “BOOKSTORE.” NALP. National Association for Law Placement, Inc, n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2016.

  41. Andrew Garcia February 5, 2016 at 8:26 pm #

    I do not disagree with the new premise that lawyers may possibly no longer need offices and can now work from their homes. I personally believe that 5 out of 10 jobs can work from home. Although it may seem as a practical solution and answer to many problems, it has its flaws. In the law industry it is generally accepted that clients must meet face to face for the best defense, prosecution or simple execution of the law. Nowadays with such a fear of video surveillance and monitoring all the way to hidden recordings and entrapment it can be a very difficult thing for people to trust online interaction or communication. Lawyers are part of the privileged groups protected by confidentiality and bound by rules to the point where they can lose their license. Furthermore, sensitive company or personal information can be a sensitive issue to touch upon as many entrust documents and findings to being controlled and not shared.
    See even when lawyers believe they do not merely need offices they come across multiple obstacles. Let’s begin with the most obvious, procrastination and distractions. As you are now working from the comfort of your home you no longer have other colleagues watching over you or even lending a hand. The watchful boss isn’t around to neither monitor your progress nor monitor any mistakes that you may be taking. Although many love this, we fail to see we owe a huge debt of gratitude to such experiences. From these encounters and monitoring we learn helpful life lessons and work ethic that pushes the execution of our jobs to a successful one. The job of a lawyer can be very scary and tricky. You are a manipulator, protector and defender of the law. In being so can be messing with your own career and even freedom as any small screw up can end up on your plate and you as the scapegoat. In addition, we all have a home life from kids and a spouse to girlfriends or simply parents. Such personal relationships can now easily create a wall that interferes with our job effectiveness. We are now encountering the issue of mixing the separate places into one. This crash of such major distinctions in life can lead to serious downfall.
    To further push the points forward, major fortune 500 companies expect the best and only the best to be done for them. They get billed an arm and a leg for such work they expect from a major 5 story New York office filled with hundreds of trained and experienced workers. We now relay that entire thought process to cloud communication and others “trying” to work together from home. Connections such as phone lines and wireless communication can be a flaw as they aren’t always effective. The use of in office resources used for all is now stripped from the attorneys and the aspect of teamwork is driven to the side burner and now is focusing on a single brain with the hopes of communication as long as schedules don’t conflict. Continuing from this, attorneys host multiple events from their office, from conferences, to personal meetings, arbitrations and even witness briefing. This can be done in a home but uncomfortably and portrays an image on not being professional.

  42. M.A March 5, 2016 at 1:53 am #

    The idea of having virtual law firms in the workplace is very interesting. It allows more flexibly and achieves the work-life balance for attorneys. But we present a new idea; we have to look from the workers’ side, and the customers’ side, since people have different opinion of dealing with virtual law firms. Every idea has pros and cons, and from that we could determine if it is a good idea or not.

    There are many pros of having virtual law firms. First, VLF would make attorneys to have more freedom to set schedules, and be organized. Second, it will save attorneys’ money because they do not have to pay rent for a space. In addition, the services will be more affordable for customer because attorneys do not have more expenses if they were in an office. Third, attorneys will not have to waste time and drive around all the time to clients’ locations.

    On the other hand, having a conversation over the phone, or a Skype call with an attorney will not as effective as it would be face-to-face. Face-to face conversation would give a sense of trust, confident, and more comfortable. There could be sensitive cases that people will not trust an attorney in unless if it is face-to-face. Also, working from home, or a coffee shop will cause a lot of distraction when an attorney is working. The distractions could be the family, and neighbors, or the music in coffee shops. That leads to ineffective working environment for attorneys. Personally, I would not be comfortable with hiring an attorney from a virtual law firms, because these situations are sensitive, and face-to-face interaction is needed.

  43. Greg Tibok March 5, 2016 at 10:15 am #

    This article really caught my attention because I have been afforded the luxury of a semi-remote position for the better part of 4-5 years. When I first transitioned into an optional work-from-home position from a call center environment, it was the biggest breath of fresh air that I ever swallowed. At the time I was working for a large telecom company with a fast paced and rigid work environment. The calls flew in one after the other and you really felt like you were chained to the desk.

    The one topic in the article that I especially agree with is the lack of camaraderie that can occur when you are not around your peers for a majority of the week. When I finally “got my freedom back” I was in an outside sales position. The way that I would avoid allowing myself to feel isolated was teaming up with a co-worker for an afternoon, or pro-actively setting appointments with customers that would of happily taken care of the whole transaction remotely. Practice makes perfect and I really saw the value of having the opportunity to present face-to-face, rather than just emailing or having a conference call.

    With anything, there are positives and negatives associated. In an industry such a law, this is probably an ideal situation for many. However, if you have a young team or if everyone is not disciplined enough to police themselves while working remotely, this situation could present many problems. I have personally witnessed the demise of many that simply could not handle the freedom. You really need to have a strong sense of personal responsibility and accountability in order for this set-up to work. Also, boundaries and expectations need to be set from the beginning in order to ensure a healthy and productive work environment.

    Overall, I think the benefits of working remotely greatly outweigh the negatives in most industries. The fact that the law firms are able to keep costs down due to less overhead is an extreme benefit to the clients. Just by not having to pay a secretary, commercial rent, utilities, and office supplies even a small firm with 1500-2000sq/ft would be able to save well in excess of $100k/year.

    Lastly, even with remote positions I still see the value in team members getting together occasionally to share successes and ideas. Skype calls and video conferences, simply can’t replace the benefits of face-to-face interaction.

  44. Gianna Prosperi March 5, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

    I honestly think that this new way of working is so fascinating. The fact that you can do something as difficult as being a lawyer, virtually is amazing. Not only does this help the firm save money on rent, basic utilities, but also in the lives of their workers. Instead of making a horrible commute to work, that time is used to be with families or even get more work done, depending on preference. And to answer the articles major question, “Do Lawyers Need Offices Anymore?”, no I do not believe they do.

    I do not believe they do, due to all of the positive things it adds to the workforce. It erases the cost of having a work building, the rent and utilities are gone. The profit the firm would make, would go to the payment of the “cloud” and their employers. I think that this will become more common in coming years.

  45. Eb_rider March 5, 2016 at 4:17 pm #

    I think virtual law firms are great and I am up for it. Like any other businesses more and more firms nowadays go virtual, allowing their employees to work from home or anywhere that can get the job done. As long as they deliver the work result that’s all that matters. Lawyers don’t have to go to the office if there is no need for it. I think allowing employees to work remotely whether from their homes, coffee shops, or anyplace improves their job satisfaction and reduces employee turnover, and enables them to have better control over their schedules. It also helps lawyers to find balance between work and life. Not to mention its saves firms on rent and energy costs. Those savings can pass onto clients, a major selling point of virtual firms, like the article mentioned. This is a win-win for lawyers, virtual law firms and their clients. I can see why there are so many virtual law firm startups.

  46. Adis Hoti October 15, 2017 at 9:00 pm #

    I disagree with law firms no longer having offices. I believe a lawyer should continue to work in an office. Working in an office eliminates the at home distractions. Lawyers hold important an important job; they help determine whether a person is innocent or guilty. Lawyers can ruin lives if their jobs are not done correctly. A good lawyer can save a person’s life. To be able to gather all the evidence necessary to support your client takes hours of investigating. If lawyers work from home, they can be restricted to limited focus. Not having enough focus can cause lawyers to miss important details about a case. Missing details that can be controversial in a case can hurt a lawyer’s reputation. I do not want a lawyer who is working from home to support me in a case. I want a lawyer who is in the office, free of distractions working on ways to prove my innocence or prove someone’s guilt. Choosing a lawyer is very important, one that is constantly surrounded by distractions is one that is not focused.
    I suggest that instead of eight hours a day in the office it can be limited to four to five hours instead. These lawyers need some time free of distractions to handle their work. I understand being a lawyer is hard and stressful, but they need to do their jobs. By requiring lawyers to spend four to five hours in the office they will have the time to thoroughly work on their case and have time for outside of work activities. Many lawyers want to spend time with their families, go to the gym, and do other things that they find entertaining. A shorter workday will provide them with the capability to do all that they please. Family time and doing things that you love are important, and being a lawyer with long office hours can sometimes keep you from doing what you love. Being held back and or denied the opportunity to do what you love as a result of your long office hours is a tragedy. Not doing what you love can cause depression, and in return will cause you to not do as well in a work place. When you get to do what you love it makes going to work easier because after four to five hours you can come back home and do what makes you happy.
    I stand by my opinion on lawyers having to work in the office. It is crucial that these individuals have a guaranteed work place to get all of their work done with at the best of their ability. To get this done you must have a place in which you can focus and I do not believe that place is your home. A house hold sto many distractions for the average lawyers. By being home most of a lawyer’s attention will go towards their husband, wife, kids, pets, etc. The solution to this debate is to only require lawyers to put in four to five office hours a day. This will grant them enough time do what they love. That will result in a more positive attitude everyday by the lawyer. Although law firms will not be saving money on rent, they will receive better case results due to the lawyers positive attitude.

  47. Janessa Smith March 29, 2019 at 9:11 pm #

    VLP Law Group made a decision to have a remote business environment. A remote environment have pros and cons, but I personally would not work remotely. Yes, it sounds very appealing to be home at all times and spend time with family, but all of the distraction will not help with getting work done. I like to be face-to-face with employees when I have questions or problems with work. In this situation, VLP could work remotely because the employees are lawyers and tend to work individually on cases that was brought to them. Most lawyers work out of their home due to having individual work or the expensive expense of opening a practice.
    One pro of working remotely is spending more time with family, and even friends. If an employee already started a family with a loved one, then it’s easier to spend time with kids and the spouse. The con with this is distraction. Somebody with no children will be more focused but there are little things that might distract someone, and then all concentration is lost. A second pro with working remotely is less communication with colleagues. I believe this is a pro for multiple reasons. One, some employees do not get along. The employees who have problems with each other try to be cordial, but in the long run they report each other or don’t work well on any project. Second, everything is technology based. If an employee has any issue or problems, another employee is always one call, email, or text away. A con for this would be the non face-to-face communication. Some people like to see expressions or gestures when talking to another person. I like to see the expressions on someone’s face when I gossip to make sure I’m holding the conversation well. I know everyone is different, but I learned that some people actually like to look at someone when making conversation. Also, you would have to rely on your cell phone for communication; everyone does not pick up on the first ring, or answer a text right away. Another pro to working remotely is travel. There is no need to travel, unless the employee is meeting a customer, but it saves money on gas. The last pro I’ll present is saving money from not having a practice. In the beginning of the article, it stressed that working remotely is helping with the cost of having a practice; it is not as expensive to work from home than it is to pay for a building with offices, and having to keep up with supplies, etc.
    I understand that working remotely makes the employees life better, but how is it making it better? I would be bored at home all day looking at a screen. Yes, in a office you would do the same thing, but there’s relationships made with employees where you would want to swing over to their cubicle to gossip, or have lunch with them. Also, if there’s any problems or confusion, you could walk over to someone’s cubicle and ask questions. I honestly would not like to be home all day and work on a computer; something always catches my eye then I get caught up with doing that, so the distractions would definitely get the best of me.

  48. Niurka P April 5, 2019 at 8:11 pm #

    VLP Law Group is a successful firm that promotes a remote work environment. All employees work from the comfort of their own home or a coworking space. Remote environments have their positive and negative perspectives that most can agree on. Personally, I have both negative and positive feelings about working remotely. With remotely working, I would not have to worry about commuting to work every morning, especially since I am not a morning person. However, I would be bored not having fellow co workers around me to interact and collaborate with.

    The pros and cons of working remotely outweigh each other when you think about it. A pro with working remotely is less communication with employees. Some people are more introverted and tend to keep to themselves in the workplace, so this would be a big pro for them. They can peacefully work without having to think about any communication with any of their colleagues. However, this can be a negative aspect as well. Some people who are more extroverted tend to work better around others and are more productive when they have co workers around them to engage with. Depending on the kind of person you are, this could be a negative or positive to the job you work at. Another pro of working remotely is the fact that you are always available at home. Single mothers tend to enjoy working remotely because they are able to care for their children while working from the comfort of their own office space. Most mothers do not trust nannies babysitting their children, so this would also be a way to ease their mind. However, this is also a big negative. Children are not easy to take care of, especially if they are babies or toddlers. They need constant attention during these ages, so working and having to take care of multiple children would be difficult to balance a heavy workload. A final pro to working remotely is the ease of technology. Technology nowadays makes it easier to work from basically anywhere and there are many platforms that make remote working easier. Slack is a chat forum where you can communicate with all of your fellow employees in real time. Google Suites is also helpful because you can collaborate on projects with co workers and see the edits being made right in front of you. But, a negative to this would be if the only technology one had to work suddenly broke or if the wifi were to stop working. This would impact your work day because then one would have to go to get the computer fixed or get the cable workers to fix the wifi.

    Working remotely can definitely be a plus to certain people. However, others who are skeptical about the idea should really consider and do their research. There is definitely a big adjustment to be made if one chooses to work remotely instead of in the office. Some can be prepared for that while others may not take it too well.

  49. Demetri Allen April 5, 2019 at 8:49 pm #

    What Leigh describes in this article is the example of a company switching up its business model to more properly acclimate to the times. With the pace society is going we are at the beginning of a full digital transformation. The more fundamental ways of looking at certain things are changing as the newer generation begins to evolve. Companies are focusing more on their websites, their social media presence, and ways to reduce as much physical manpower needed. VLP has the right idea when it comes to eliminating office space and by doing so not cuts total costs but also appeals to more modern clients. With the advent of Amazon making delivering whatever you want to your door, having a company focused solely on their online presence makes it more convenient for clients. Now, they could get in contact with a lawyer faster than having to travel to a firm and wait for the next available attendant. This streamlined service is exactly what is needed in order to adjust to the changing landscape. However, the biggest problem right now is that older generations are more reluctant to get acclimated to the newer times. Most of them are unfamiliar with computer programs or mobile phones so they miss out on the potential the changing industry has. Obviously, like Leigh said working from home has its own downsides. Not having that constant work environment can lead to distractions, personally to get the most work done I need to be outside of my room. But in the end, being more accessible and cutting costs is well worth it. I feel like more companies will start switching over to the business model to ensure that they are ahead of the game.

  50. Emily Crisafulli October 19, 2019 at 1:14 pm #

    First, I had no idea this was a thing. However, now that I do, I think it’s awesome! I am in huge support of this for a few reasons. I believe that a family-work life balance is immensely important. Everyone, regardless of the profession someone wishes to pursue, is deserving of some family time. It truly benefits mental health and family growth. There are many families with young children spend a lot of time without their parents, or one parent, because they have such a demanding job, but if this can make it possible to work in a legal field and be with your family, then I am all for it. I do, however, understand there is always the caution of actually balancing the two worlds and not getting distracted, so if I ever took advantage of a service like this, I would want some kind of reassurance that my lawyer was giving me their full attention.

    Additionally, I really like the idea of this service because it is more cost effective for the worker and the consumer. Less travel time means less time on the clock, therefore a more affordable service for the consumer. There is less money having to be put out for traveling, clothing, material etc. for the lawyer as well, making this overall cheaper. It also can save money for the consumer if they would be able to access these services from home as well, eliminating the need to leave for work or obtain childcare. They also wouldn’t have to travel if that was an issue for them, making obtaining legal help so much more practical.

    I’m sure there is A LOT that goes into perfecting a service like this that holds so much value and importance. I am excited to hear that this is a thing and I am hoping to start seeing more availability for things like this around me. I feel like the benefit on both parties is so worth it.

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